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iHerb Blog

Surprisng Smoothie Ingredients
Surprisng Smoothie Ingredients

Here are some surprising, but healthy ingredients that you can add to your smoothies!

Smoothies are instantly refreshing, satisfying, and delicious. We sometimes use them as a way to ingest foods that our bodies need that may not be so pleasant on their own. You should add the following ingredients to the list.

Green tea is a catechin and an antioxidant, so it packs a lot of benefits. Research shows that it may reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 50 percent. It could also reduce the risk of several other cancers. Green tea might help fight heart disease and stroke, and studies in 2011 showed that it significantly reduced cholesterol levels. The best type to add to your smoothies is matcha tea in brewed or powdered form.

Collagen occurs naturally in the body and is what's responsible for giving our skin elasticity. It also helps improve the quality of your hair, nails, muscles, and bones. Reap all the benefits from collagen powder by pairing it with an ingredient containing vitamin D or A.

Seaweed is high in fiber and loaded with beneficial minerals and trace elements. It also increases gut health and makes you feel full longer. Keep the flavor of this sea veggie from overpowering your smoothie by only using a teaspoonful of kelp powder, dulse flakes, or dried, soaked seaweed.

Some of these items can be purchased from iHerb's Grocery Page!

Reference

Savvy, N.; 9 Surprising Ingredients You Aren’t Adding to Your Smoothies — But Should; Care2 Website; Accessed 10/26/16

Ware, M.; Green Tea: Health Benefits, Facts and Research; Medical News Today Website; Accessed 10/26/16

Kirsch, M.; Seven reasons to eat seaweed; The Guardian Website; Accessed 10/26/16

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Brain Power
Brain Power

How to protect the brain against memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease

Is memory loss and decreased brain power inevitable as we age? Many people in their 40s, 50s, and beyond are told that it is, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Not true. Steps can be taken not only to stop memory loss, but also to reverse it. Of course, many things other than aging alone cause memory problems. These include depression, certain drugs, strokes, head injury, alcoholism, and dementia (severe problems with memory and thinking, such as Alzheimer’s disease, or AD for short).

Feed Your Brain, Sharpen Your Mind

There is considerable evidence that diets high in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E prevent age-related memory loss and other degenerative brain disorders. It is very important to eat a diet rich with green leafy vegetables; highly-colored vegetables such as carrots, yams, and squash; and flavonoid-rich fruits such as citrus, berries, and cherries, while avoiding consumption of trans fatty acids, fried foods, smoked and cured meats, and junk foods. Numerous studies have shown that brain function is directly related to nutritional status. Given the frequency of nutrient deficiency in the elderly population, it is likely that many cases of impaired mental function may have a nutritional cause.

Nutritional Supplements to Protect Your Brain

In addition to a healthful diet, a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral formula, and 1,000 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (combined) from a quality fish oil, I would recommend taking coenzyme Q10 with pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), phosphatidylserine, and curcumin (if some symptoms of mental deterioration are present in a person 50 years or older). A brief discussion of each of these important supplements for brain protection follows:

  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Although the body makes some of its own CoQ10, considerable research shows significant benefits with supplementation, particularly in people with heart disease, including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, or those taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. Recent studies indicate that CoQ10 levels are significantly lower in the mitochondria in people with degenerative brain disorders. For general supplementation levels, take 100 to 200 mg daily of CoQ10 in a base of rice bran oil in a softgel capsule.For improving memory, even better results are seen with CoQ10 if it is taken with PQQ. It exerts a synergistic effect with CoQ10, and it is vital for the function of mitochondria. Like CoQ10, PQQ protects brain cells from damage. It has been shown to be memory-restorative in animal and human studies, and its antioxidant activity is about 5,000 times the effect of vitamin C. The dosage for PQQ is 20 mg daily.
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a critical nutrient for anyone with AD, PD, or impaired mental function. Low levels of phosphatidylserine in the brain are associated with impaired mental function and depression in the elderly. Over a dozen double-blind studies have shown phosphatidylserine to improve mental function, mood, and behavior in patients with degenerative brain disorders. The recommended dosage is 100 mg three times daily.
  • Curcumin, the yellow pigment of turmeric, is showing incredible promise as a brain protector, including an ability to prevent and possibly reverse Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Residents of rural India, who eat large amounts of turmeric, have the lowest incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in the world: 4.4 times lower than that of Americans. Researchers have demonstrated that curcumin is able to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s brain lesions in mice specifically bred to develop AD, and may actually reverse damage to brain cells. Turmeric can be liberally consumed in the diet, but taking a curcumin extract may prove to be important in preventing age-related memory loss, as well as more serious conditions such as AD.
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Breathe
Breathe

Remedies for sinus congestion, bronchitis, asthma, and COPD

Virtually all of us take the ability to get a good breath of air for granted. For people suffering from chronic sinusitis, asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive lung disease, and other diseases of the respiratory tract, however, an effortless breath of air is greatly appreciated.

These conditions are often more problematic during the winter months. Sure, we are exposed to more viruses at this time, but one of the key reasons sinus and airway congestion occurs more frequently during winter months is dry, warm indoor air. This dries out the airway membranes. As a result, mucus isn’t cleared as effectively, which can increase your risk of sinus, bronchial, or lung congestion and/or infection.

Fortunately, there are safe and effective natural products that can improve the moisture content of the airway passages as well as the mucus secretions, and as a result, lead to easier breathing. Three of the most useful are N-acetylcysteine, ivy extract, and bromelain. These ingredients can be used individually or combined for even greater effectiveness.

N-acetylcysteine

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a derivative of the naturally occurring amino acid, cysteine. NAC has an extensive history of use in the treatment of acute and chronic lung conditions, including emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. It directly splits the sulfur linkages of mucoproteins, thereby reducing viscosity of bronchial and lung secretions. As a result, it improves bronchial and lung function, reduces cough, and improves oxygen saturation in the blood.

NAC is helpful in all lung and respiratory tract disorders, especially chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In detailed analysis of 39 trials, it has been concluded that oral NAC reduces the risk of exacerbations (severe worsening) and improves symptoms in patients with chronic bronchitis compared with a placebo.

In addition to its effects as a...

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How To Boost Energy Naturally
How To Boost Energy Naturally

The “up” side of caffeine

Vibrant natural energy is truly a wonderful feeling that too few people experience on a consistent basis. The number of Americans suffering from fatigue is staggering. Fatigue is by far the most common medical complaint in medical practice, yet it remains one that is dealt with inadequately.

Fatigue can be caused by factors including depression, diabetes, poor sleep quality, hypothyroidism, and certain medications. Nutritional factors are important as well, including nutrient deficiencies and blood sugar instability or hypoglycemia. Simple iron deficiency (anemia) alone is a major cause of fatigue, particularly in women.

3 essential supplements

The best approach to boosting energy levels naturally is to address any underlying factors as effectively as possible. Beyond that, there are three supplements that are essential in any health promotion plan: a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral, a high-quality “greens” drink, and a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement. Once this strong nutritional foundation has been established, many people with low energy levels can benefit from dietary supplements containing caffeine-based natural energy formulas.

Is caffeine safe?

There is no question that caffeine is a stimulant that can increase physical and mental energy levels. Caffeinated beverages like green tea, yerba maté, guarana, cola nut, and cocoa are used by cultures around the world. In its natural form, the caffeine is provided along with plant compounds that tend to lessen some of caffeine’s negative effects, such as anxiety and nervousness. For example, in addition to caffeine, green tea contains L-theanine, a natural compound that counteracts some of the effects of caffeine on the brain that can lead to nervousness and interference with sleep.

The effects of a moderate dosage of caffeine (e.g., 10—125 mg) is influenced by consumption pattern; if you regularly ingest...

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Glutamine for Workouts
Glutamine for Workouts

Discover how glutamine supplements could boost your workout.

L-Glutamine is an amino acid found in the skeletal muscles of the body. The amino acid is responsible for protein synthesis within the muscle cells. It is also needed for the proper function of the immune system. Taking dietary supplements of L-glutamine and eating a diet rich in lean proteins could help you to boost your workout.

One of the leading ways in which your body benefits from L-glutamine supplements is by enhancing athletic performance during high-intensity workouts. If you are already an active person who has a regular fitness routine, kicking up the intensity of your workouts could cause you to be fatigued.

Supplementing with L-glutamine can help your body to repair minor muscle damage from intense workouts. It may also help you to digest your food better so that your body can be supplied with a regular source of energy during workouts of a long duration.

Some people also find that using L-glutamine helps to increase their muscle mass, which could be an effect of the repairs and protein synthesis performed by the amino acid.

The next time you visit iHerb, be sure to pick up one of our over 50 Glutamine Products!

Reference

Wong, C.; L-Glutamine Supplements; Very Well Website; Accessed 10/4/2016

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