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Posts tagged: Anti-Ageing

Red Seal's Health Blog


Six ways to battle Joint Stiffness

Joints photo

Joint stiffness is an almost inevitable part of aging, but the good news is that there are many ways to support joint comfort and joint health.

What is joint stiffness?

Joint stiffness occurs when joint cartilage wears away and bone rubs against bone. Not surprisingly, this can affect your quality of life and how active and fulfilled you feel.

Six supplements that can support joint health:

  • Red Seal Glucosamine, Chondroitin & Calcium
  • Red Seal Omega 3, Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  • Red Seal Krill
  • Red Seal Krill with Glucosamine & Chondroitin
  • Red Seal Fish
  • Red Seal Magnesium Forte

 

Glucosamine

This is a natural substance found in healthy cartilage. A supplement will provide you with the building blocks to help repair cartilage wear and tear. Most people find one supplement (1500 mg per day) will benefit their joints.

Note: Diabetics or the hypoglycemic should be cautious when taking glucosamine as it is an amino sugar and if you have a shellfish allergy this supplement may not be right for you. Always check with your doctor.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet

Chondroitin sulfate

Chondroitin is a molecule that occurs naturally in the body. It acts like a “liquid magnet”, helping to attract fluid into the joint and make it more resistant to compression and movement. Again, this is often a shellfish-based supplement, so if you have an allergy to shellfish it may not be right for you.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet

Omega-3

Studies have shown that the actives contained in fish or krill oil, EPA and DHA, can support joint mobility and comfort. If you’re not a fan of oily fish such as salmon, you can try adding chia seeds (rich in omega-3s) to your diet. Supplements are also a great way to increase your omega-3.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet

Boron

Boron may be key to maintaining and preserving levels of calcium. Research has shown that in areas where boron can be easily absorbed into the local diet, the number of people with joint issues is usually low. But New Zealand soil is low in boron so this is a common deficient mineral for many Kiwis. Since it’s not present in many foods, an easy fix is to take Red Seal Vitamin D3 with boron and selenium.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet

Magnesium

Magnesium is important for uptake of calcium and is also vital to help those tight, tense muscles to relax at night. Foods rich in magnesium include dark, leafy greens, avocados and bananas.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet

Vitamin D

In March 2009 a Mayo clinic study showed that patients with low vitamin D levels had lower joint comfort than those with adequate levels. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels. It’s known as the sunshine vitamin but is also found in cod liver oil and supplements such as calcium and magnesium.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet

Did you know?

As there is no direct blood supply to your cartilage (that’s why it is white), it does take some time for supplements to have an effect. So be prepared to be patient and consistent – give them a go for at least six to eight weeks.

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The Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is often said to be one of the healthiest drinks available today. Thought to help with anything from regulating body temperature to aiding digestion, it’s not hard to see why. It’s a rich source of antioxidants, providing maximum anti-aging and other benefits if you drink 2-4 cups every day.

What is Green Tea

Originating in China, green tea was used for medicinal purposes throughout Asia for almost 4000 years, and has since become a favourite in the Western world. In fact, it is the second most popular drink around, after water, due to its numerous health benefits.

The traditional way to drink green tea, unlike most teas, is on its own. It can be sweetened with honey, but if brewed correctly it should have a robust flavour that needs no improvement. For a strong taste without any bitterness, it is recommended that you let water cool for 30-60 seconds before pouring, so as not to burn the tea leaves. Leave the teabag to draw for 3-5 minutes depending on personal preference. If you find the taste to be bitter, allow the water to cool for a little longer, or remove the teabag earlier. Green tea can be served with a mild snack, such as rice crackers, and is best enjoyed between meals, as is can reduce your appetite.

The Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has numerous reported health benefits. It can boost metabolic rate, helping you to digest food faster, and can reduce the risk of heart disease. It has also been shown to contain high levels of flavonoids, which can have anti-aging, anti-allergenic, anti- inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-diarrheic properties. Green tea has also been thought to help with certain types of cancer. On top of all this, it can even reduce the likelihood of depression and contribute to managing psychological distress.

 

Our Green Teas

Green Tea
The original green tea. Filled with antioxidants, and with no added flavours, this classic is pure and great for you, aiding digestion and cleansing your body. Click here for more info.

Lemon and Ginger Green Tea
This combination of pure green tea and lemon with a warming dash of ginger can cleanse your body, boost digestion, and can even help settle your stomach. It’s also the perfect way to increase your intake of antioxidants. Click here for more info.

Lemon and Peppermint Green Tea
Blending the taste of green tea with the zesty flavour of lemon, and a cool refreshing touch of peppermint, this is an exciting new tea from Red Seal. As with all our green teas, it is great for digestion, and a boost of citrus helps with your immune system. Click here for more info.

Zesty Orange Green Tea
By mixing the rich taste of green tea with orange and jasmine, we’ve created an energising tea that cleanses your body while boosting your immune system. It also contains extracts from the blackberry leaf, giving it a healthy dose of nutrients and antioxidants. Click here for more info.

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4 Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep

There are many reasons why some people don’t sleep. Are you a natural born lark or owl?  Do you need twelve hours of sleep or five? Do you fall asleep but wake up several times at night or do you have trouble even falling asleep?

It’s first helpful to identify the problem(s) keeping you awake. By looking at a combination of several things you can start to build a strategy for bedtime and sleep.

Common reasons for not sleeping

    1. Thyroid problems
    2. Stress or depression
    3. Side effects from medication
    4. Allergies
    5. Sleep apnea (Lack of oxygen or breathing incorrectly, especially while sleeping).
    6. Jet lag
    7. Menopause
    8. Clock watching
    9. Too much caffeine or alcohol
    10. A snoring or restless partner
    11. Smoking
    12. Shift work
    13. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
    14. An over active bladder or prostate issues
    15. Lack of physical exercise
    16. Cramp or restlessness

Step 1: Develop Better Daytime Habits

  • Don’t nap during the day. Napping during the day will throw off your body clock and make it even more difficult to sleep at night. If you’re feeling especially tired and absolutely have to nap, do so for less than 30 minutes and keep it early.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol. Although alcohol may initially act as a sedative, it can interrupt normal sleep patterns. Some people are so sensitive that even one cup of tea or coffee during day can affect their sleep. There are some herbal teas that help relax the body and don’t have the stimulating effect of caffeinated drinks.
  • Don’t smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant and can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Smokers often has difficultly sleeping due to nighttime withdrawal symptoms.
  • Medication Many medications can have the side-effect of disrupting sleep patterns, so always check the small print and keep yourself informed. Famous culprits include antidepressants, heart and blood pressure medications, allergy medications, stimulants (such as Ritalin) and corticosteroids. Some OTC medications, including some pain medication combinations, decongestants and weight-loss products contain caffeine and other stimulants. Antihistamines may initially make you groggy, but can worsen urinary problems, causing you to get up to pee more at night!
  • Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after waking up. This will help regulate your body’s natural biological clock. On the flip side, keep your bedroom dark while you’re sleeping so the light won’t interfere with your rest.
  • Exercise early in the day. Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise every day can help you sleep, but be sure to exercise in the morning or afternoon. Exercise stimulates the body and aerobic activity before bed may make falling asleep more difficult.
  • Check your iron levels. Iron-deficient women tend to have more problems sleeping, so if your blood is iron poor, a supplement might help your ability to sleep.
  • Magnesium is the mineral to help your body release tension and relax. Cramps, tight muscles and insomnia are all signs you may need to add supplemental magnesium into your day.
  • B vitaminsResearch has shown that maintaining sufficient levels of Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 and B12 may help achieve good sleep. B vitamins help regulate the body’s level of tryptophan, an amino acid important for maintaining healthy sleep. Vitamin B3 (niacin) often promotes sleep in people who have insomnia caused by depression and increases effectiveness of tryptophan and is an important nutrient to help people who fall asleep rapidly but keep waking up at the night. A deficiency of B5 (pantothenic acid) can cause sleep disturbances and fatigue, so keeping good levels can support your body in time of stress and anxiety. Vitamin B9 (folic acid) deficiency has been linked to insomnia. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is reported to help insomniacs who have problems falling asleep, as well as promoting normal sleep-awake cycles.
  • Eat to enhance sleep. Some foods are more conducive to a better night’s sleep than others. You already knew about warm milk, chamomile tea and turkey, but bananas, potatoes, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread are great food too. Avoid food with additives like MSG, colours, aspartame, or food/drinks that cause you digestive problems
  • The power of herbs. Some herbs are classified as nervine herbs and are known to help tone, relax and strengthen your nervous system  They’re generally considered safe and non-addictive. These herbs are not hypnotics and will not “put you to sleep”, but rather help relax and assist the body in preparing for sleep. These include; chamomile, red bush, valerian, lemon balm, passionflower and skullcap.

Step 2: Create A Better Sleep Environment

  • Make sure your bed is large enough and comfortable. Disturbed by a restless bedmate? Switch to a queen or king-size bed. Test different mattresses and try therapeutic-shaped foam pillows that cradle your neck or extra pillows that help you sleep on your side.
  • Be careful of allergies. Some people are allergic to feathers and down, wool, nylon or dust, so make sure that materials used on your bed are right for you.
  • Make your bedroom a place for sleeping. Don’t use your bed for paying bills, doing work or watching movies. Help your body recognise that this is a place for rest or intimacy!
  • Keep your bedroom peaceful and comfortable. Make sure your room is well-ventilated and the temperature consistent. Keep it quiet. You could use a fan or a “white noise” machine to help block outside noises.
  • Hide your clock. A big, illuminated digital clock may cause you to focus on the time, making you feel stressed and anxious. Place your clock so you can’t see the time when in bed.
  • Electromagnetic smog.  Electro-smog is the collective term for all artificially generated electrical, magnetic and electro-magnetic fields. Electro-smog is invisible, inaudible and odorless, but omnipresent. Examples of its sources are all kinds of domestic electrical installations, cordless telephones, mobile phones, baby intercoms, TV, radar and radio communications. It’s been estimated that a small percentage of people may have sleep disturbance, fatigue, increased concentration of stress, headaches and skin irritation linked to influences like electromagnetic smog, and eliminating these devices from your sleep area may help.
  • Blocking out noise and light. A dark room is an important part of regulating Melatonin ( the natural sleep hormone) levels. Having trouble falling or staying asleep may be due to an environmental issue like too much light. Eye masks or blackout curtains can help.  Also make sure to turn off mobile phones, fans and machines that create noises that could disrupt you.     

Step 3: Do These Things When You Wake in the Middle of the Night

  • Get out of bed if unable to sleep. Don’t lie in bed awake. Go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Worrying about falling asleep actually keeps many people awake.
  • Don’t do anything stimulating. Don’t read anything job related or watch a stimulating TV program. Don’t expose yourself to bright light as this gives cues to your brain that it’s time to wake up.
  • Toilet breaks. If you need to go to the bathroom, don’t switch the light on. Consider a dim night light that can light your way and will automatically switch off.
  • Get up and eat l-tryptophan.  Some people get tired after eating a turkey meal as it is a major building block for making serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps promote sleep. We don’t always have turkey in the fridge, but another common source is pumpkin seeds and dairy products.
  • Consider changing your bedtime. Some people need more sleep than others. If you suffer from sleeplessness or insomnia consistently, think about going to bed later so that the time you spend in bed is actually spent sleeping. If you only get five hours sleep every night, figure out what time you need to get up and subtract five hours (for example, if you want to get up at 6:00 am, go to bed at 1:00 am). This may seem counterproductive and at first but it can help train your body to sleep consistently while in bed. When you are spending all of your time in bed sleeping, you can gradually sleep more by adding 15 minutes at a time.
  • Owl or lark? People are naturally Night Owls and others Larks! Which one are you? Some people find they are natural Night Owls and work better at this time of day. You might find it best to create your lifestyle around your particular sleep patterns.

Step 4: Keep a Sleep Diary 

Learn about your sleep patterns and habits by keeping a daily sleep diary. Be sure to include:

  • Time you went to bed and woke up
  • Total sleep hours
  • Quality of sleep
  • What is hormonal cycle right now?
  • Times that you were awake during the night and what you did (e.g. stayed in bed with eyes closed or got up, had a glass of milk and meditated)
  • Amount of caffeine or alcohol you consumed and times of consumption
  • Types of food and drink and times of consumption
  • Feelings – happiness, sadness, stress, anxiety
  • Drugs or medications taken, amounts taken and times of consumption
  • Did herbal teas (chamomile, peppermint, valerian, passionflower or skullcap) before bed help?
  • Does B vitamins help?
  • Taking Magnesium before bed time work for you.
  • Try a combination of herbal teas, B vitamins and magnesium?
  • Check your room for noise and light issues
  • Check your room for gadgets that would give off electro-magnetic fields
Photo credit

 

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Vitamins and Minerals for Health and Vitality

The importance of vitamins and minerals to health, fitness and vitality is undisputed. A sufficient intake helps us to look good, feel good and enjoy life to the full – whatever our age! It is recommended that we eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day in order to achieve an optimal intake of vitamins and minerals. However, a supplement may also help to safeguard your dietary intake.

Vitamin A – essential for healthy eyes, skin and growth. Also an important antioxidant and immune system component.

Biotin – takes part in the metabolism of protein, fats and carbohydrates and plays a helping role in the production of antibodies.

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Herbal teas: Refreshing drink or health-boosting tonic?

The truth is, herbal teas are usually both; a good way to increase your water intake and delicious, enjoyable way to add extra nutrients while getting added benefits in your daily diet and increasing your sense of wellbeing.

There’s no need to hand pick the herbs and dry them or have the mess of dried leaves clogging up your kitchen sink. You don’t even need to use a special tea pot. Red Seal has taken all the hard work out of it for you by putting a selection of premium quality herbs in convenience, no-fuss, unbleached tea bags that can be readily found in your local supermarket or health food store.

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