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Posts tagged: cod liver oil

Red Seal's Health Blog


The Sunshine Vitamin – are you getting enough?

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Most of us are now very aware of the damage the sun can cause and the days of sun baking and sun worship are gone. The nationalised program of “slip, slop, slap, wrap” to cover up with clothing, hats, sunscreen and sunglasses has become a national mantra to protect against sunburn. It is no surprise when New Zealand rates of melanoma are the highest in the world. Shunning the sun has meant many have taken a toll on their health without realising it. This combined with aspects such as an indoor lifestyle, increased age, increased weight, dark pigmented skin and dietary constraints such as avoiding dairy products, adhering to a strict vegan diet or those who are on cholesterol lowering medication impact the level of Vitamin D intake.  The “sunshine vitamin”, Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to skin being exposed to sunlight, but it is also occurs naturally in a few foods – including some fish, (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel), fish liver oils, egg yolks, and fortified dairy.

Many people tested for Vitamin D levels show that they are below optimal levels.  Generally it is considered 5 to 15 minutes of daily summer sun exposure on bare skin on our arms and legs, to give us enough Vitamin D to help keep us healthy.

The symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency in adults include:

  • unexplained fatigue
  • severe bone or muscle pain
  • stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis, and hips

The change of season often means increased chances of winter bugs. Cold wet days of winter and end of summer for many of us means reduced outdoor time and decreased sunshine exposure.

It is not surprising with the change of season that more people come down with lurgies as the drop in this vitamin has been linked to a decrease in immune function. Vitamin D for many years has been one of those nutrients that have gone almost unnoticed by many because we make it naturally with sun exposure. Recent studies have shown there is a connection to this nutrient with supporting the immune system, mood balance, bone health and other serious illnesses.

Vitamin D is important for:

  • Normal growth and development of bones and teeth
  • Disease resistance
  • reducing risk of some serious illnesses.
  • reducing risk of ills and chills.
  • Supporting weight Management
  • Supporting balanced mood.
  • Bone strength and integrity
  • Healthy heart function and normal blood pressure
  • Joint mobility
  • Protective effect from some serious illnesses

Doctors can diagnose a Vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have had your Vitamin D levels tested, it’s important to understand what the results mean, and what action you might need to take. The results of the blood test can tell you whether you’re getting too little, too much or the right amount of vitamin D.

There has been some controversy over the amount of vitamin D needed for healthy functioning. Recent research indicates that you need more vitamin D than was once thought. Normal blood serum levels range from 50 to 100 micrograms per decilitre. Depending on your blood level, your Vitamin D intake needs may be increased.

Vitamin D blood levels  
0-10ng ml Deficiency – likely to have health problems
10-20 ng/ml Low levels
20-30 ng/ml Maybe enough
40-50 ng/ml Getting enough
50-60 ng/ml Good range/ normal
60-70 ng/ml High normal
80-90 ng/mg Higher than normal range
100 -150 ng/mg Not toxic but considered too high
<150 ng/mg Levels considered toxic and may be damaging to your health
   

 

If you feel you are lacking Vitamin D and are looking for a way to supplement it, consider adding Vitamin D rich foods into your diet, enjoy a few minutes of sunshine daily and look for supplements such as a multivitamin, Cod Liver oil and calcium products with it added.

Always read the label and use as directed. Supplementary to a balanced diet. Endeavour Consumer Health, Auckland

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The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have it

Good eye health is a vital part of our well-being, yet we often take it for granted or assume we can do little to improve it. In fact there are many factors that can have a positive (or negative) impact on eye health – and diet is the first place to start.


NOT JUST CARROTS

While it’s true that the beta-carotene found in carrots is beneficial to your eyes, there are many other nutrients that are also essential. The two star players are lutein and zeaxanthin. Termed “macular pigments”, they are most prominent in the lens and macula regions of the eye and have been shown to play a prominent role in maintaining eye health. Lutein effectively controls free-radical generation and the resulting oxidative damage through its ability to filter out blue wavelengths of light (such as UV rays) which cause damage to the eyes as well as to the skin.

Where can you find lutein and zeaxanthin? They are most abundant in yellow, orange and green plant foods. Goji berries, kiwifruit, tangerines, persimons, red and yellow peppers, spinach, pumpkin and kale are all great sources, as are egg yolks. Marigold flower petals are an amazing source of lutein and zeaxanthin – branch out and add these to salads.

TIP: An extra-potent way to maximize the eye-health benefits of carrots is to drink their juice followed by a shot of cod liver oil.


WINTER WARNING

Open fires, windy days, seasonal allergies and central heating can make our eyes feel drier in winter. If this affects you, try upping your intake of vitamin B, essential fatty acids and potassium.

Star picks:

Red Seal Fish OilVitaminBComplex


Chamomile tea & Raspberry Leaf teaTEA AND SYMPATHY

The proverbial “cup of tea and a lie down” cures many ills, but did you know that teabags themselves could benefit your eyes?

Both Red Seal Raspberry Leaf teabags and Red Seal Chamomile teabags can be moistened with warm water and used as compresses several times a day. These kitchen-cupboard wonders can help with eyes that are swollen, bloodshot, itchy and irritated. 

Simply pour hot water over one or two teabags and steep them for three to five minutes. Squeeze out the moisture and pop them into the fridge for 20 minutes for a cool compress (much less for a warm compress).
Then lie down, place them over your eyes and relax. Bonus: you also get to drink and enjoy the tea!


WHAT CAUSES TWITCHING EYE?

Eye strain, high stress levels and lack of sleep can cause these infuriating tics and spasms. Magnesium, which works on relaxing muscles, is the most popular remedy for this ailment – try Red Seal Magnesium which also contains potassium.


EYE UP THESE SUPPLEMENTS

Even the best diet won’t always cover all the bases, so consider the following extra ammunition to support eye health:

Red Seal Zinc B6 and Magnesium – supports eye health and blood circulation to the eyes and can assist with dry eyes
Red Seal Selenium Plus – antioxidant protection plus vitamins A, C and E
Red Seal Cod Liver Oil, Red Krill Oil and Fish Oil – these supply plenty of omega-3 fatty acids essential for eye health
Red Seal Vitamin B complex – a great all-round supplement for those who are stressed, as stress affects eye health


By Julie Fergusson, Red Seal Naturopath

Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.

Credit: Life & Leisure

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