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Posts tagged: mood

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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Garcinia Cambogia – A slimmer’s advantage

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“Diet” is a four letter word that most of us shudder at when we realise that we have gained a few extra pounds. The thought of dieting is often connected with feelings of self-deprivation; doing it hard… going hungry, being moody, craving something sweet or naughty and feeling deprived when you can’t have it, but feelings of failure if you succumb to the temptations. All these things can lower your ability to stick to any weight management programme. Those that are steadfast and the most self-controlled of us can stick to a diet and reach our goal weight, but what if there is a little support to help overcome these obstacles?

This is where the advantages of a small pumpkin shaped citrus fruit from Indonesia can help! Commonly used in Indian cooking and chutneys, Tamarind (also known as Garcinia Cambogia) with the active component hydroxycitric acid (HCA), has increasingly become a popular weight management aid all over the world. Research has shown that this fruit can help with stress levels, support healthy levels of “the happiness neurotransmitter”, help manage appetite and sugar cravings and help the body metabolise fat.

HCA supports healthy levels of a vital enzyme Citrate Lyase. Our bodies naturally convert food calories we consume into energy. Extra calories than what we need is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Glycogen is the reservoir energy reserve ready to use when the body needs it. When the reservoir is at capacity then the brain will signal to us that we have had enough and we get a sensation of fullness after eating. But overeating when full, will result in the body producing fat from carbohydrates and turning these extra calories into fatty acids and cholesterol. HCA supports reduced action of the enzyme ATP-citrate lyase, helping normal fat metabolism and healthy cholesterol balance of LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.

HCA also helps manage appetite and supports healthy levels of your brain’s serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in your brain that gives an increased sense of wellbeing. Low levels of serotonin can result in feelings of worry and despair; triggering many into behaviour that creates emotional or reactive eating. By supporting healthy serotonin levels, HCA supports good mood and lessens the drive to react to stressful situations with food. Serotonin is also an important precursor to melatonin – the neurotransmitter that is vital in sleep regulation. Getting enough sleep is also shown to be important in weight management.

As you eat less, your body releases the stored fat in your fat cells for energy. Because Garcinia Cambogia extract is a fruit and not a chemical, it is all natural with few known Garcinia Cambogia side effects. But some people have experienced dry mouth, or digestive disturbance.

Garcinia cambogia is a great product to use if extra will power is needed, if belly fat is problematic, if stress, or sleep and overall mood needs some support while dieting. But Garcinia Cambogia is best used in conjunction together with a diet rich in whole, natural foods.

  • Supports healthy fat metabolism
  • Supports appetite management
  • Supports good mood
  • Supports belly fat management
  • Supports sleep
  • Helps manage sugar cravings
  • Help decrease stress levels

We use Garcinia Cambogia in our Body Right Tea range and our Fit Protein – Shaping Vanilla.

*Always read the label and only take supplements and herbs as directed and if you are taking any medication please check with your health adviser. Endeavour Consumer Health Ltd, Auckland

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Immunity support to help fight off the nasties

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It is good to know that you now get a great quality extra strength supplement support at your local supermarket at reasonable prices.

The Red Seal High Strength range is just a little different from the average supplements in the supermarket, with:

  • Easy to swallow capsules
  • Most in veggie caps and suitable for vegans
  • All high quality
  • Higher doses; for when you need it the most
  • A reassurance that they are New Zealand made
  • Most are One-a-day doses

 

Immune Defence -High Strength Immune Defence

The most complex system in the body is the immune system. It is constantly working to protect us from invaders day and night. With our busy lives, we are constantly surrounded by pathogens that test us. The immune system is only something we become aware of when there are chills and ills in the body, feeling tired,  a scratchy throat and blocked nose, or a feeling of a full scale war in our body. Traditionally herbs such as Echinacea, Garlic, Pau d’Arco, Elderberry and Andrographis have been used to help support the immune system for the upper respiratory tract. Immune Defence also combines Vitamin C, bioflavonoids and Zinc to enhance the herbal synergistic actions and further support the immune defences and recovery from those winter threats.

 

Multiple Good Guys -High Strength Probiotic 50 billion

Not all bacteria are bad! Some bacteria are there to help protect us, and they live inside us.   They boost our immune system, protect against disease and aid in the digestion of food. When antibiotics, stress, or infection create imbalance by killing off the healthy bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract, then it is more likely that harmful bacteria may overwhelm our system.  This can lead to poor overall health and a variety of developing health issues. What are these good guys?  Probiotics!

High Strength Probiotic 50 billion capsules are a high dose multi strain of eleven probiotics especially selected to be able to move through the high pH of the stomach and continue to the digestive tract, and other areas such as the vagina and urinary tract. Thus helping to repopulate and colonize healthy bacteria in the right areas. Many people notice that when the digestive system is working better, their sense of wellbeing and mood also improves.

Being shelf stable,High Strength Probiotic 50 billion is ideal if you are home or travelling as there is no need to refrigerate them. Ensure you are back to health by including a multi strain Probiotic daily.

 

Be Complex –High Strength Vitamin B

If you are feeling run down and fatigued B complex may be what you need. B vitamins have a number of different functions in the body. B’s are responsible for many aspects that contribute to our well-being; including energy conversion, cognitive function, mood, healthy hair, skin and nails, detoxification, cholesterol balance, digestion, hormonal, nervous and reproductive systems.

Being deficient in some B vitamins such as B12, or Folic acid can lead to some critical health conditions that can make you feel tired and worn out. Different types of vitamin B all come from various types of foods. Most are water-soluble and it is critical that we replenish our daily intake. B vitamins work as a family and are synergistic so best taken together as a group. Large doses of any one single B may have no therapeutic value, or worse, cause a deficiency in another B vitamin. It is recommended that B vitamins are taken in a “complex” form, or if a single B vitamin is taken for a boost, that it is accompanied by a B complex or multi vitamin supplement.

Certain health conditions can result in a poor absorption of B vitamins, a poor diet with a high intake of processed foods, sugar and alcohol will mean the body will have a greater need for B Vitamins. Taking oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and sleeping pills also increases the body’s demands of B vitamins. Certain population groups, such as older adults and pregnant women, need larger amounts of some types of vitamin B.

 

Supplementary to a balanced diet.  Always read the label.  Take only as directed.

Endeavour Consumer Health, Auckland.

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High Strength – The Magic of Magnesium

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It is good to know that you now get a great quality extra strength supplement at your local supermarket at reasonable prices.

The Red Seal High Strength range is just a little different from the average supplements in the supermarket, with:

  • Easy to swallow capsules
  • Most in veggie caps and suitable for vegans
  • All high quality
  • Higher doses; for when you need it the most
  • A reassurance that they are New Zealand made
  • Most are one-a-day doses

 

Deep Sleep – High Strength Deep Sleep

Sleep is the panacea of all ills and usually only becomes a problem when you repeatedly can’t get to sleep or have a restless sleep.  Sleep problems affect day to day functionality; your mood,  ability to focus, weight and immunity.  Supporting the body’s ability to sleep naturally and in a non-habit forming way is important for total peace of mind. Formulated with ingredients that support both relaxation to get to sleep but also help stay asleep throughout the night. Deep Sleep is formulated with two forms of Magnesium, (aiding muscle relaxation and helping ease nervous tension), along with Tart cherry (to support our sleep/wake cycle), Passionflower, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan to relax the body, mind and support a good night’s sleep.

 

The Magic of MagnesiumHigh Strength Magnesium Complex

Muscle tension and stiffness, stress, worry, poor quality sleep, and much more.

Magnesium deficiency can be caused by a number of factors, but the main culprit is usually low dietary consumption or eating or drinking those things that deplete us such as sugar, coffee or even poor absorption. Stress and intensive exercise are other common factors that can deplete your body of magnesium.  Magnesium is one of the seven major minerals that the body needs in relatively large amounts (Calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, potassium and phosphorus are the others).  Found in green leafy veggies, sometimes we just don’t get enough and our bodies constantly need more due to our busy lifestyle demands.

Magnesium is also most like a magical mineral as the body needs it for so many functions.  In fact, it is necessary for every major biochemical process; digestion, protein synthesis, cellular energy production and glucose metabolism. Magnesium is also needed for bone strength, muscle strength and heartbeat, as well as the functioning of the nervous system.

 

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

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Your Inner Peace Pact

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Stress, anxiety and inner turmoil seem to be a modern life curse and affect everyone from time to time. While struggling with stress and depression, it feels like you are on a treadmill with just enough energy for daily survival and no way to break the cycle.

While pharmaceutical solutions may be the answer for some it may not always be the best answer for many us. Identifying your stress triggers, being open to working with some “tools” and considering changing some behaviours may be enough to help during tough times.

How can you get the tools to help you reconnect with your inner sense of peace and stabilise your mood?

There are many things that can affect mood and stress levels. Some we have direct control over and others we have little control over. It is when high stress becomes the norm and is long term that it can begin to impact on your state of wellbeing and your overall health. To break the cycle the key is identifying some your “stressors”. Some can be linked to physiology factors, behaviour habits and emotional circumstances.

  • Poor diet – processed, high sugar, high trans-fatty acids, high salt and genetically modified foods and food intolerances.
  • Blood sugar level imbalance
  • Poor digestion and Gut dysbiosis
  • The impact of aging
  • Alcohol and drugs; pharmaceutical and recreational
  • Gadget addiction
  • Fatigue and lack of sleep
  • A major life crisis or major life change
  • Dehydration
  • Shallow breathing
  • Work pressure
  • Lack of sunshine and connection with nature
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Environmental: Pollution, moulds and chemicals
  • Being too busy

Part of dealing with stress is learning to change and improve on the things we can, and learning to let go of things that we have little or no control over.

Hormonal Imbalance

Thyroid hormones that are out of balance, high cortisol levels, menopause, PMS, and insulin levels, all affect how we feel, and how we think. If you think that your hormonal system is not working as well as it should be, get it checked out by your health practitioner. Symptoms can include irrational responses, moodiness, irritability and inability to cope.

Blood Sugar

Stable blood sugar is also vital as high and low blood sugar can affect our mood. Low blood sugar is often linked to panic attacks, fatigue, a lack of focus, headaches, nervousness and mood changes. . Cutting down on sugar and ensuring you have some protein with each meal can ensure you have slow long burning energy reserves. An easy way to help start the day and maintain blood sugar levels balance is a protein smoothie for breakfast. Supplement support for stable blood sugar levels can include: B vitamins, chromium, magnesium, omega oil, fibre and cinnamon.

Exercise

This is not only helpful with blood sugar control but can help increase those feel good neurotransmitters to help you feel good.

Sleep

One of the keys to coping with stress is getting enough sleep.

A lack of sleep has been linked to numerous conditions:

  • Increased aging as it affects the Human Growth hormone, increases the breakdown of collagen and increases the stress hormone cortisol
  • Increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Interference with critical thinking and our learning ability and memory
  • Impact on metabolic rate, blood sugar control and weight gain
  • Increased feeling of anxiety and/or depression

Some tips to consider for a better night’s sleep:

  • Aim to get 7-8 hours sleep a night
  • Recreate a bedtime pattern
  • Mediation to help with sleep
  • Cut down on or better still cut out caffeine
  • Remove all electronic gadgets from the bedroom
  • Have a cup of relaxing herbs to help the body unwind
  • Check any medication that you are taking as many have side effects that include insomnia

Mindfulness & Meditation

Taking time to be present in the moment and appreciate the little things in life is critical. Meditation can seem daunting however there are lots of aps you can download now to help guide you through. As little as 5 minutes a day can really help.

Take up a relaxing hobby such as painting, playing or listening to music or reading. A new trend that is really great is adult colouring. It’s relaxing and allows those who are less creative to have a creative outlet.

Stress is a constant in your life that will come and go, but if your physiological wellbeing, behaviours and emotions are out of balance it can create a bigger impact on your inner peace. Small actions such as eating regularly, keeping well hydrated, having a good friend that you can have heart to heart talks with, sleeping better, exercise, taking some key supplements can help you cope a little better.

*If you are taking other medication you do need check out that they are not contraindicated with what you are taking.

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