Holistic Health Journal

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It is not uncommon for well-meaning friends, or even a physician to tell you to get more of a certain vitamin in your diet. For example, during cold season you might hear people say to eat more Vitamin C. But why do you need these vitamins, and what are the best foods for getting them?

Let’s first look at why: When we eat foods, we get energy from those foods. Vitamins and minerals are not what provide that energy, but they are crucial for turning food into energy. In addition, they are key for things like ctivating nerve function and muscle contraction, fighting off illness, and protecting cells against damage.

Each vitamin plays a specific role, which is why you might be told you need more of a specific one. Let’s take a look at what foods are best for getting the vitamins your body needs. LifeHack made a nice infographic, and we added to that information below:

VitaminsCheatSheet_50b7279fdca58

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Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps to improve eyesight, fight off infection, reduce the ris of certain cancers, supports the growth and remodeling of bones, and aids in the differentiation of cells. In other words it is pretty important.

The best food sources for Vitamin A are liver and fish oils, leafy green vegetables, andorange and yellow vegetables. In other words, a spinach salad topped with tomatoes, red peppers, and carrots, is always a good idea!

Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps the body to metabolize fats and proteins, and gives us healthier hair, skin, liver and eyes.

The best food source is red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans whole grains, seeds and oysters

Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps make red blood cells which carry oxygren through the body. Very important for proper body function.

The best food sources include seafood, meats, milk and cheese, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals

Vitamin C
It helps produce collagen, protects against bruising, aids in the absorption of iron and folate, and can help keep you healthy.

The best food sources for Vitamin C are citrus fruits. But you can also find it in strawberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes.

Calcium
Calcium is needed for bone health.

It is commonly believed the best source is dairy products, and fortified foods. But it is also found in many green vegetables.

Vitamin D
The body needs it to absorb calcium and promote bone health. The best way to get it is by sepnding time in the son.

The best food sources are fortified milk and cereals, cod-liver oil, seafood and eggs.

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is for immune health, skin health, and healthy eyes. It is a great antioxidant.

The best sources include: nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, fortified cereals, and leafy greens.

Folate
Folate is great for protecting against cell damage and free-radicals, and supports immune function and protection from infection.

The best sources include enriched grains, dark leafy greens, whole-grain breads and cereals and citrus fruits.

Iron :
Iron helps blood cells cary oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
The best food source for iron is red meats, fish, and poultry, lentils and beans, tofu, spinach, and other plants.

Magnesium
It helps with many chemical reactions in the body, maintaining energy levels, and the ability to relax.
The best food sources are green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, banana, low fat milk and yogurt.

Niacin
Niacin can help with improving cholesterol, lowering cardiovascular risk, and more.
The best sources for Niacin from foods are meat, fish, poultry, nuts, particularly peanuts, and enriched grain products.
Potassium: Potassium helps in a lot of ways, from stimulating nerves and muscles, to helping bones retain calcium.

The best known food source for Potassium is bananas, but you can also find it in broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, kiwi, prunes, apricots, milk and yogurt, nuts, and legumes.

Riboflavin
Riboflavin helps convert carbs, fats, and proteins into energy.

The best food sources for Riboflavin are nuts, milk, wheat germ, and fortified breads and cereals.

Sodium 
Sodium helps with nerve function.

While you can get plenty of salt in processed foods, the healthiest ways to get sodium are milk, celery, and beets.

Thiamin
This helps our bodies use carbs as an energy source. The best source is whole and enriched grains and fortified cereals.

Zinc:
Zinc helps kids to grow and adults to stay healthy.

The best sources are: oysters, crab, lobster, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, and fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.

By Lynda Hammons, Vice President, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs

The popularity of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) is on the rise. Globally, hundreds of millions of dollar are spent on TCM products each year. In the US, more than 1 million people annually use Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Nature’s Sunshine’s TCM products have a clear quality advantage over the competition. We spend millions of dollars each year on Quality Control testing, which involves 3 critical areas:

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  1. True identification of raw materials so you can be assured the correct genus and species of plant is used.
  2. Distinguishing between the regions of origin of the plants so we can be confident that the optimum actives in the correct amounts are always present in each lot.
  3. 600 different tests and procedures for contamination, purity, potency and safety.

Ying YangIn truth, this could be a scary time to take herbal supplements from just any company. With tremendous growth in the industry, many companies with little experience are trying to produce herbal supplements without our same model of testing the products.

Anyone can encapsulate them and package them with professional-looking labels to make a “nice-looking” product. These companies aren’t required to be tested for purity, safety or potency. 

We recently tested several other competitors’ TCM products in our quality labs. The results were surprising.

  • Three competitors’ products tested positive for aristolochic acids. The FDA has warned consumers against taking products that contain aristolochic acids, because they have been associated with permanent kidney damage as well as certain types of cancers.
  • One competitor’s product tested high for lead content.
  • One had microbial contamination.
  • We also tested five brands of cordyceps products alongside NSP Cordyceps. We found that NSP Cordyceps had the highest combination of cordycepic acid and adenosine per capsule.

While not every competitor had bad results, the evidence shows you probably want to think twice before choosing just any supplement.

Because we produce and test our own products, we don’t have to rely on third parties. Our strict and comprehensive testing for POTENCY, PURITY AND SAFETY allows you to be 100% confident that Nature’s Sunshine TCM formulas are the very best.

MacaIn today’s world of widespread pollution and gender-bending chemicals, it can often be difficult to keep our hormones in balance. Even the most health-conscious of us are assaulted on all sides by a large number of poisons, such as BPA, that can disrupt our endocrine systems and cause havoc in our bodies. Consequently, many people have resorted to hormone-balancing drugs to help improve their health, which often cause even more problems in the long run due to their unnatural ingredients.

Thankfully, nature does provide us with a small number of foods that contain noted hormone-balancing properties. Perhaps the most potent of these foods is maca, a plant native to the Peruvian Andes that bears edible taproots. The indigenous Peruvians have long considered the root of the maca plant to be beneficial for hormone health, and a great deal of modern research confirms these allegations.

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Maca for balancing female hormones

A large amount of research shows that maca can stabilize and boost female hormones. For example, a double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the International Journal of Biomedical Sciences found that organic maca stimulated the production of estrogen, suppressed follicle-stimulating hormones and reduced the severity of menopausal symptoms (especially hot flashes and night sweating) in postmenopausal women. These results led the researchers to conclude that maca offered “an attractive non-hormonal addition to the choices available to early-postmenopausal women in the form of a natural plant alternative to Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).”(1)

Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in Menopause in November 2008 discovered that maca “reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.”(2) In other words, maca benefited the female subjects’ moods and libido without negatively affecting their sexual hormones.

Maca for balancing male hormones

Research also shows that maca can balance and enhance male hormones, though most of these studies are confined to sexual health issues. For example, a study featured in Andrologia in October 2006 showed that black maca extracts could increase sperm count at the epididymal level after one day of treatment and an increase in sperm count in the vas deferens after three days of treatment. The researchers observed an increase in daily sperm production after one week of treatment, though testicular testosterone remained unaffected. “In conclusion, Black maca affects sperm count as early as 1 day after beginning of treatment,” wrote the authors. (3)

A study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology in December 2001 also discovered that maca tablets could improve sperm production and sperm mobility in adult men. Specifically, treatment with maca “resulted in increased seminal volume, sperm count per ejaculum, motile sperm count, and sperm motility.”(4)The researchers noted that serum hormone levels were not affected with maca and that there wasn’t a correlation between sperm count and the number of maca tablets consumed.

Sources:

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

 

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brain-imaging-sugarHave you ever wondered why you binge eat on donuts and chocolate, chips and other junk food instead of lettuce, kale, and zucchini? 

The explanation is fairly simple, and yet very complicated at the same time. 

Why We Binge on Junk

We binge on junk foods instead of healthy foods because we are addicted to them. Put simply, we binge on junk food because junk food stimulates the reward center of the brain, and healthy food does not. 

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Brain imaging shows high-sugar, high-fat foods activate the same regions of the brain as heroin, opium, and morphine. Processed sugar and fat, wheat, and salt stimulate the rewards center of the brain, causing many people to eat cookies, chips, soda, and other foods when stressed, tired, or bored. In many senses it is an addiction.

Although typically when we think of addiction we think of things like drugs, alcohol, smoking, and other highly addictive substances, junk food addictions are very real and very prevalent. Addiction has been traditionally looked at in terms of substances, but the American Society of Addiction Medicine is now looking at addiction with a broader definition that includes behavioral or process addictions, such as binge eating junk food. Just about anything can become an addiction, as everything we ingest is a substance and everything we do is a behavior. However, it is the things that stimulate the reward center of the brain that are most worrisome. 

Why You Don’t Binge on Healthy Foods

You don’t binge eat healthy foods because they do not cause the same reaction in the brain. And they do not have the same addictive qualities. Eating junk food can be as much of an addiction as alcoholism. The impact on others is less, and the consequences are not as immediate, but it can still be an addiction. Next time you get home after a long day of work and reach for chips or ice cream, and think to yourself, “At least I’m not an alcoholic or addict” think again. 

Many people suffer from a junk food addiction. How can you know if you are one of them? If you quit eating it will you experience cravings or withdrawal? Can you stop eating sugar, or drinking caffeinated sodas without becoming irritable, experiencing headaches, or craving the junk food? Can you even stop? 

Change can be hard, especially if there is prolonged behavior and a history of binge eating junk food. However, like any addiction there are things that can be done to help! You can try to break the addiction on your own or seek professional help. 

If attempting to curb your junk food binge eating on your own, consider the following tips:

1. Consciously look for a more productive way to de-stress:

One of the most common causes for binge eating is stress. Familial stress, financial stress, work stress. It doesn’t really matter what kind, when people feel stressed they look for comfort, and binge eating can provide a temporary comfort. However, there are more productive ways, and less harmful, to achieve the same thing. Meditation, yoga, exercise, journaling, 

2. Try to Eliminate Triggers.

Are you more likely to binge eat if it is late at night? Go to bed earlier. Do you junk food binge when you are hungry and short on time? Plan ahead better, and have healthy options readily available. Does talking to your mother-in-law always stress you out? Keep a stress ball, a mug of green tea, and a good book to dive into on hand for when you talk to her. Track your behavior, and pinpoint the triggers in your life that lead to binge eating, and look for ways to reduce and eliminate those triggers. 

3. Fight the Addiction. 

Go cold turkey if you want to, for one week, and cut out sugars, processed foods, soda, and other junk foods. And don’t put yourself in situations where you would give in. Just like an alcoholic shouldn’t spend time in a bar, don’t have junk food readily available in your home. See how long you can go, and identify your weaknesses so you can find ways to combat them. 

It may not be as rewarding, but next time you feel the urge to binge eat, try Brussels sprouts, kale salad, and a spinach smoothie.

In less than 10 years, there will be a national shortage of 800,000 nurses,about the population of South Dakota. To address this issue, LicencedPracticalNurse.com came out with this graphic showing practical ways to take preventative measures — beyond diet and exercise. 

The graphic focuses on the brain, shoulders, ears, eyes, heart, lungs, intestines, back, hands, knees, legs, skin, and feet. Enjoy:

your-nurse-first

DandelionMost people in western society have grown up without using bitter herbs on a regular basis. Bitter herbs are not the most tasty, but they are outstanding for our health. These herbs help produce digestive enzymes and improve liver and gallbladder function as well as anything. Utilizing bitter herbs on a regular basis is a fantastic health strategy for optimal digestion and detoxification.

When the tongue recognizes the bitter flavor it sets off a set of reactions in the neuroendocrine system that is labeled the “bitter reflex.” This process is mediated by the hormone within the stomach called gastrin which stimulates the flow of hydrochloric acid. This reflex then goes down and helps with liver and gallbladder secretions of bile and pancreatic enzyme secretions (1).

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Experts believe that the bitter reflex helps to improve the structure and function of all the digestive organs. Bitter is good for the liver” is a popular slogan describing the benefits of these herbs. They are also good for cleansing the blood, digestive system, kidneys and urinary tracts.

Bitter herbs are divided into two major categories: cholagogues, which increase the flow of bile, and hepatoprotectants which repair and protect the liver from overexposure to toxins. The cholagogues include dandelion root, parsley, burdock root, artichoke, ginger and goldenseal. While hepatoprotectants include turmeric and milk thistle.

Be sure to include some of these bitters in your meals and in your juicing schedule.

Dandelion:

This is rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. They are also very high in highly absorbable methylating agents such as vitamin B2, B6 and folate. Rich in minerals such as potassium, iron and zinc, it releases excess fluid out of the body detoxifying the kidney and liver. Dandelions support digestion, reduce swelling and inflammation, and treat jaundice, edema, gout, eczema and acne (2).

Parsley:

Parsley is super rich in chlorophyll and also contains about three times the amount of vitamin C by volume as an orange. Vitamin C is extremely important for healthy immune function and youthful skin & joints. Additionally, it contains carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which enhance eye function and help the body neutralize damage from UV radiation (3).

Coriander/cilantro: 

This is a powerful heavy metal detoxifier. This is due to its strong array of phytonutrients and chlorophyll. This is extremely good for blood, liver and kidney purification. Be sure to utilize cilantro in your juices to help pull out heavy metals like aluminum, mercury and nickel (4).

Ginger:

Ginger is classified as a carminative (reducing intestinal gas) and an intestinal spasmolytic (soothes intestinal tract) while inducing gut motility. Ginger is known to reduce fever related nausea, motion sickness, and feelings of “morning sickness.” Additionally, it helps aid in the production of bile, making it particularly helpful in digesting fats (5, 6).

Turmeric:

The orange Asian herb turmeric has been traditionally used for centuries by Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. Curcumin is the most powerful active anti-inflammatory compound within turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to detoxify the liver, boost glutathione levels and be a powerful suppressor of chronic inflammatory mediated disease processes (7).

Milk thistle:

Milk thistle was used by medical herbalists in the late nineteenth century to treat varicose veins and liver, spleen and kidney disorders. Today, it is primarily used to improve the function of the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal system. Many individuals have seen dramatic improvement using milk thistle for health issues such as psoriasis, menstrual problems, jaundice and poor circulation (8).

Sources:

1) http://www.westonaprice.org

2) http://umm.edu 

3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

7) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

8) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov 

http://truthwiki.org/turmeric

Aloe VeraAloe vera plant is a non-toxin, succulent plant which store water in their fleshy leaves and its succulence allow this juicy plant to survive in areas of low natural rainfall. There are many Aloe vera benefits from health to nutrition, from acne treatment to skin care. Aloe vera plant is widely grown as an ornamental plant; however it is equally popular as medicinal plant due to several Aloe vera uses.

1. Weight Loss

You must have taken slimming tablets or tried all the exercises and diets to lose weight. However, you didn’t get the desired results. Do you want to lose weight naturally? Aloe vera juice is the easy and natural weight loss solution. It reduces weight by stabilizing the metabolic rate, reducing lipid levels and helping burn fat.

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2 Control Diabetes

Aloe Vera is good for diabetes patients because it helps to regulate the blood sugar levels when consumed regularly. However, consult your doctor before you start consuming the aloe juice.You need to have the dose prescribed by doctor so that it doesn’t interfere with the medicines you are having to curb blood sugar. Aloe vera plant is considered to be a miracle plant because of its too many curative and healing health benefits.

3. Increase Immune system

Drinking aloe juice regularly replenishes the amino acid deficiency in your body. The high vitamin content in it boosts up your body’s immune system and self-defense mechanism.

4. Control many disease

Drinking aloe vera juice help ease congestion, stomach ulcers, colitis, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections and prostate problems.

5. Skin Care

Brighten skin. Aloe can decrease pigmentation and dark spots. Make skin new again with an exfoliating, organic sugar scrub by mixing together two tbsp. of aloe vera, 2 tbsp. of organic brown sugar and 1 tsp. of organic lemon juice.

6. Hair care

Speed up hair growth by massaging aloe into the scalp, letting it sit for 30 minutes, and rinsing. Reduce hair dandruff by mixing aloe vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.

7. Stimulates Metabolism

Aloe vera juice also increases energy level and helps to maintain a healthy body weight. Drinking aloe vera juice regularly stimulates the metabolism and helps the body to burn calories more quickly. So aloe vera keeps you slim naturally.

8. Help in reproduction

Aloe vera tonic is wonderful for the female reproductive system. It helps to rejuvenate the uterus. It is very beneficial to drink aloe vera juice if you are experiencing painful menstrual cycle.

9. Use as shaving cream

In-the-know beauty buffs swear by pure aloe as the perfect shaving cream: It’s antibacterial, which is great for nicks; it’s slippery, allowing for a nice close shave; and it moisturizes, too. You can use it on its own, or combine with other nourishing ingredients for a more luxe (but still DIY) product.

10. As Face wash

Mix 1 Tbsp aloe vera gel with 1 tsp almond milk, and 1 tsp lemon, wash and let sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Since some minerals found in aloe are antibacterial, this face wash is ideal for sensitive skin, breakouts, and rosacea, says Pekar. Need an anti-aging boost? Mix 1 Tbsp aloe with 1 tsp 100% raw organic coconut oil, massage into hands until the contents are warm, then wash and rinse.

11. Control bad breadth

Come a little closer…no, actually—don’t. When bad breath hits, drink up to 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel dissolved in a 1/2 cup of water or apple juice, suggests herbalist Letha Hadady, author of Healthy Beauty. Aloe vera contains an anti-inflammatory compound called B-sitosterol that soothes acid indigestion, a common cause of bad breath. But resist the urge to chug; in large doses, aloe vera can work like a laxative.

12. Wrinkle Repair

Skin loves Vitamins C and E which are present in Aloe, helping to improve skins firmness and keep it hydrated. Combining virgin coconut oil can make a creamier way to supplement nutrients, essential fats and moisture. Aloe Vera gel penetrates skin almost four times faster than water, and its super emollient qualities help it moisturize the under layers of skin.

13. Gastrointestinal disorders

For gastrointestinal disorders like indigestion, heartburn, stomach ulcers, haemorrhoids, congestion, urinary infections, colitis, prostate problems, rheumatism pain and arthritis, aloe vera juice can be taken orally. It helps in comforting these disorders.

14. Get rid of Eczema

Aloe vera can be applied topically to minimize inflammation, puffiness, and also itching onto the skin by using a lotion, cream, gel or shampoo. It is also available in tablet form, as a juice and a few other forms for the patients who wish to consume it orally.

15. Repair damaged tissue

Minimize damaged tissues because of frostbite. Try natural aloe gel from a bottle or perhaps straight from a plant’s stem on to the infected place two times a day.

16. Vitamin and Mineral Source

Every day our body needs to ingest several vitamin and minerals and aloe vera juice contains a great deal of these. It includes vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. In addition to these, it also contains chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, iron, sodium, calcium and others.

17. Detox

Aloe vera juice can be a great natural option for detoxing. Because of the way we live including stress, pollution and junk food, we need to occasionally cleanse our systems. Aloe vera juice is an ideal way to do this because it contains many trace elements, vitamins and minerals that can help the body deal with daily stresses and strains.

18. Cardiovascular Health

Some research has shown that when doctors inject aloe vera extract into the blood, it drastically multiplies the diffusion abilities of red blood cells as well as the oxygen transportation. It contains nutrients that can regulate blood pressure, improve blood oxidation and circulation, lower cholesterol and make blood less sticky.

If you know more uses of aloe vera juice feel free to ad in comment section.

Article Source:

http://health.howstuffworks.com http://www.stylecraze.com http://www.prevention.com http://www.thebeautypixie.com

Astragalus The human immune system is a remarkable network of biological structures and processes. When functioning properly, it has the ability to remember diseases that it has previously encountered for more efficient removal, trigger immediate responses to emergencies through its advanced communication systems and much more.

Despite its sophistication, however, the immune system is notoriously fragile, and even the healthiest of us can suffer from compromised immunity from time to time. During these difficult periods, when we’re at a far greater risk of infection than usual, it is a good idea to supplement our diets with herbs that are well-known for their immune-boosting properties. Three of the best of these herbs are listed below.

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Astragalus

Astragalus is a perennial plant native to the northern and eastern regions of China, as well as Korea and Mongolia. Its antioxidant-rich root, which resembles a garlic bulb, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to strengthen the body against disease. Moreover, Astragalus‘s adaptogenic qualities make it effective at fighting disease as well.

Astragalus has been well-studied in the West, and numerous studies confirm its alleged immunity-boosting properties. A study published in Cellular Immunologyin 2011, for instance, found that Astragalus polysaccharides could stimulate the body’s production of macrophages (white blood cells that tackle foreign invaders and cancer cells).(1) A later study, published in Microbial Pathogenesis in January 2014, also discovered that Astragalus polysaccharides could regulate the production of T cells (white blood cells that defend the body from pathogens) in infected mice.(2)

Echinacea

Echinacea is a flowering plant that grows throughout North America and Europe. It was immensely popular in its native lands as an immunity booster and general “cure-all” during the 18th and 19th centuries, but its use began to decline after the advent of antibiotics. Fortunately, the West — prompted by growing research into its health benefits — seems to have rediscovered Echinacea in recent decades.

Studies into Echinacea‘s immunity-boosting properties are considerable, and new research is being published every month. For example, a study featured in International Immunopharmacology in March 2014 found that Echinaceapolysaccharides could regulate T cell cytokine response, thus enhancing the body’s defenses against infection.(3) These results were reinforced by another study published one month later in Natural Product Communications, which concluded that Echinacea preparations can bolster immunity by decreasing the “number and function” of regulatory T cells.(4)

Cat’s claw

Cat’s claw is a woody vine native to the Amazon Rainforest of South America. While the indigenous people of Central and South America have used cat’s claw — which is named after its hook-like thorns — to treat a wide variety of medical conditions, it is especially revered for its ability to strengthen immune function.

Few studies have been conducted on cat’s claw compared to Astragalus and Echinacea, but the limited amount of research we currently possess is promising. A study published in Phytotherapy Research in August 2011, for example, discovered that cat’s claw extracts could boost immunity by modulating “distinct patterns of the immune system in a dose-dependent manner.” (5) A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in March 2007 also listed cat’s claw as one of three herbs (the others being saw palmetto and Echinacea) that could regulate immune function by activating disease-fighting macrophages.(6)

Sources:

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Magnesium ComplexHeart failure affects millions of people around the world, with over 650,000 diagnoses being made every year. It’s one of the most serious conditions that can affect the human body, and its prevalence is only increasing as time goes on. The term itself is one of the most resigning names for a condition out there, and leaves hardly any room for optimism when it comes to treatment. Let’s face it – hearing that you’re suffering from “heart failure” is something that can be hard to recover from on its own, let alone the actual effect on blood pumping.

Heart failure can be caused by a number of different factors, including:

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  • Heart attacks
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Thyroid disease

Regardless of how it’s caused, it is possible to take actionable steps to prevent its occurrence. It starts by understanding the underlying mechanisms of heart failure that characterize it in the first place.

So, how does heart failure work?

A diagnosis for congestive heart failure (CHF) is made when your heart’s left ventricle becomes incapable of pumping a sufficient amount of blood to fuel your body. As a result, a buildup of blood starts to pool in the heart and some of it gets shot back up into the lungs (leading to shortness of breath, wheezing, etc.) and can even collect in your lower legs.

Despite the main cause behind it, the majority of them (listed above) come back to your body not having the energy needed to perform the blood pumping function, or it occurs as a result of muscle damage in the affected area. So, understanding these two common factors is helpful because conquering them both simultaneously should yield some beneficial results.

Thankfully, there is one mineral that both improves energy levels and prevents muscle damage – magnesium.

What does magnesium do?

Well, as already mentioned, magnesium can keep your energy levels and muscle health in an optimal state. With heart failure generally being considered fatal, doctors often resort to drugs when it comes to treating the condition; unfortunately, taking regular supplies of these drugs can often have a negative effect on magnesium levels in the body. Basically, they drain you of your magnesium supply.

At the same time, magnesium affects your likelihood of experiencing heart failure in two pivotal stages:

  • Magnesium actually prevents your arteries from dealing with spasms, and fights against abnormal blood clot formation. It can also help relax your arteries, bringing your blood pressure back to a healthy level.
  • Having a healthy supply of magnesium can help reduce inflammation from an excess of calcium in the arterial wall (which would interfere with blood flow).

Without magnesium, the heart would give in to a number of different bodily functions that ultimately end in heart failure. Remember, there are so many different causes of the actual condition – but in the end, a lot of them also link back to not getting enough magnesium in your diet (at least to help fight the problem). There are a number of different foods out there that can give you your daily dose (and then some), so incorporating them into your day will help keep your heart health in check.