<![CDATA[Nature's Sunshine]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog/ Tue, 18 Jun 2019 06:03:49 GMT Tue, 18 Jun 2019 06:03:49 GMT LemonStand <![CDATA[Heavy Metal Detox]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/heavy-metal-detox https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/heavy-metal-detox Sun, 28 Apr 2019 00:00:00 GMT The human body is exposed to many environmental toxins. These can be naturally occurring compounds such as lead, mercury and cadmium, and there are human-made chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA). This compound is widely used in the manufacturing of plastics and epoxy resins that are used in food and drink packaging, water, baby bottles, metal can linings, bottle tops, and water supply pipes. Amongst the other common environmental toxins are pesticides. Most conventional food production uses pesticides; therefore people are exposed to low levels of pesticide residues through their diets. 

All these solvents entering the body can, over time, decrease the optimum functioning of its organs. The body’s immune system may become compromised as it tries hard to cleanse the body of poisons, and the elimination organs such as the liver and kidneys can become overloaded.

Eventually symptoms may start to appear as allergies. Chemical allergies may present themselves as skin reactions, watery eyes, ringing in the ears, stuffy nose, diarrhoea, nausea, upset stomach, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, fatigue, eczema, intestinal disorders and head aches. If these conditions are manifesting then it is indicating the immune system has become overloaded.

Try to remove or reduce exposure to these contaminants. Simple things such as washing fruits and vegetables, buying organic and chemical free products where possible, and reducing the use of BPA and similar plastic products will all help to reduce the toxin load entering the body.

Ingesting foods with natural ingredients that are high in antioxidants such as vitamins, minerals and herbs may also help to counter the effects of external toxins. Nature’s Sunshine Heavy Metal Detox is a potent natural detoxification support product. Not only will it help replenish vital minerals and vitamins but can provide support for the major detoxifying organ, the liver.

 

 

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Time For Number Twos]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/lbs-ii https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/lbs-ii Thu, 21 Feb 2019 00:00:00 GMT There is so much information about the do’s and don’ts, the how to, the how many, the shapes, the sizes and smells of poos, yet, lets be fair, no one wants to really talk about it. But the bowel plays an extremely important role in many aspects of our health that it simply can not be ignored.

For optimum health, the bowel should move every single day. The amount of waste matter that ends up in the bowel (the colon is approx. 5ft long on average) is between 3 and 5 kg every day. It is not only food (remember most of the food you ingest is not absorbed into the body as it only needs the microscopic nutrients in the food fibre) that ends up in the colon on a daily basis; it is also all the dying body cells and waste that ends up in the colon. In other words it gets very full each day and thus should be emptied daily. If foods stay in the bowel too long bowel bacteria etc. can start to become imbalanced bringing unpleasant side affects.

Healthy bowel movements are those that allow you to empty your colon often enough that you don’t feel bloated or in pain, and you don’t have to strain hard to get the job done. Much can be learned about your overall health by the shape, size, smell and colour of your faeces, which is made up of undigested food, bacteria, mucous and dead cells.

Sadly however there are millions of visits to doctors each year for gastrointestinal and bowel conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's, colitis, constipation, leaky gut and bowel cancer; one of the highest rates in the world. The good news is maintaining good colon health is easy, and the things that are good for your colon are also good for your heart, brain, kidneys, liver, skin, hair, and overall well-being.

If you do experience uncomfortable bowel movements, or they become irregular, don’t ignore the situation. It could simply be your diet is lacking fibre, you’re dehydrated or not getting enough exercise. Vacations and other types of travelling can cause changes in your bowel habits as you are often eating different types of food, not moving as much and are out of your usual bathroom routine. Another common reason is medications as many of these can have a side-effect of constipation.

To keep the digestive process working smoothly, try to include daily servings of fruits and vegetables and high-fibre grains, good oils, water, remember to move, exercise regularly, keep a healthy weight and limit alcohol, caffeine and smoking.

To bolster your daily routine you can also add in natural supplements such as Nature’s Sunshine LBSII. This gentle formula is designed to support bowel regularity, digestive and liver function, helps cleanse and detoxify toxins and parasites and aids symptoms of intestinal discomfort.

 

Posted in: Digestion, Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Food Cravings]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/food-cravings https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/food-cravings Wed, 02 Jan 2019 00:00:00 GMT Vegetables

 

If you are craving something, your body is speaking to you. Listen to it! For example, if you are craving sweets, your body may need chromium, phosphorus, sulfur, or tryptophan. Instead of turning to sweet treats all the time you can take a supplement or find the needed nutrients in the foods you eat. For example, chromium can be found in broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, and chicken. 

Another craving you might get is for bread. It may mean that your body is in need of nitrogen. You can find nitrogen in meats, beans, and nuts. If you are craving soda or other carbonated drinks, eat high-protein foods that contain nitrogen.

Some cravfatty foods. If that’s the case for you, give your body some calcium. When it comes to calcium, it is important to know that calcium and magnesium depend on each other for proper assimilation in the body. Calcium is found in mustard, broccoli, kale (basically any dark green vegetable) as well as legumes and cheese.

One last craving that we’ll mention is salty foods. It may mean you need chloride, which can be found in fish. 

The next time you have a craving, try adjusting your diet and see if the craving goes away.

 

Posted in: Weight Management

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<![CDATA[Healthy Bowels]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/healthy-bowels https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/healthy-bowels Sun, 28 Oct 2018 00:00:00 GMT When it comes to topics of the “nether regions” addressing what is happening, and more importantly, what isn’t happening down there is not often a subject embraced with enthusiasm.

If the bowels aren’t functioning quite as well as they should we often grin and bare it, hoping it will work itself out eventually. Unfortunately irregular bowel movements can lead to skin breakouts, headaches, fatigue, bad breath, excess gas, bloating,  constipation, irritability and cramps.

Infrequent bowel movements can leave faecal matter in the bowel for longer than necessary. This can put extra strain on the body’s natural ability to cleanse the organs thus compromising their ability to do their jobs effectively. Keeping the gastrointestinal system healthy is essential to optimum vitality and well-being.

The small intestinal system and the colon both play an important role in your digestive system. Stress, medication, poor dietary habits, inadequate fibre, dehydration and lack of exercise can wreck havoc on the intestinal system.

Small intestinal system

  • Reabsorbs water and electrolytes and sends them back into the blood stream
  • Eliminates cellular waste and toxins released from cells
  • Eliminates digestive by-products and indigestible substances

 Colon function

  • Absorbs water and minerals
  • Formation and elimination of waste
  • Houses over 700 species of bacteria, some of which are considered friendly bacteria, that protect us against harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungus

Did you know…

  • Diet directly influences the diversity of microbes in the intestines
  • Undigested meat and other foods cause mucus build up in the colon - this build up can produce toxins that enter the blood’s circulation
  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement causes waste material to build up and become compacted, leading to constipation


Bowel health questions

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you drink alcohol daily?
  • Do you exercise less than 3 times a week for 30 minutes?
  • Do you eat red meat more than 3 times per week?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you regularly eat processed foods?
  • Do you have infrequent bowel movements?
  • Is your stool hard and dry?
  • Can you have a bowel movement without straining?
  • Do you eat less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily?
  • Do you consume less than 25 grams of fibre per day? (One apple contains 5 grams)
  • Do you have a stressful lifestyle?

If you feel your digestive function is not quite right and a there are few too many “yes” answers, then diet and lifestyle factors should be addressed. Natural supplementation can support not only any unpleasant symptoms but provide support for long term, optimal bowel and digestive function. Check out these popular products from the Nature's Sunshine Digestion and Bowel support range 

 

Posted in: Digestion, Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Overeating]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/overeating https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/overeating Sun, 26 Aug 2018 00:00:00 GMT Hamburger 

Is your hunger physical, emotional, or a little bit of both? Research is exploding with labeling the overeating experience. 

One example reports people can be (1) a “social overeater” where you continue to eat with those around you in social situations; (2) “checked out” described as being disconnected from body cues and mindlessly overeating while distracted or bored; (3) “emotional eater” where you are attempting to cover an emotional feeling by eating too much food; (4) “strong cravings” where you don’t understand why you continue and overeat specific foods.

Still others classify overeaters as being overworked, grazers, misunderstood, or traumatized.  Dr. Tory Butterworth, licensed professional counselor for compulsive overeaters, believes people easily fit into more than one category:

  • Overworked eaters put other’s needs before their own
  • Grazers have a hard time making decisions about what to eat, lack structure
  • Misunderstood overeaters are sensitive, intuitive and need to learn to speak up for themselves

Regardless of your type of overeating, emotion is at the root.  A 2012 study in the Netherlands indicated that emotion was the initiating and continuing reason to overeating in obese women.  When compared to normal weight participants, another study reported that the intensity of negative emotions towards appetizing foods was higher in obese participants.  Meaning all food, whether healthy or not, created feelings of guilt and frustration in the obese.

Your Personal Food Environment

Bonnie Liebman, Director of Nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest wrote in her Nutrition Action Healthletter, “Calories don’t count if you eat standing up, you eat off someone else’s plate, you’re just straightening the edges of a pie or cake, the refrigerator door is still open, or you eat really quickly.”  Comical, but I think everyone can relate.

Think about whom you eat with – or do you eat alone?  Do you eat at the dinner table or standing next to the counter? How about in your car?  Do you much all day at your desk, or mostly eat out?  How fast do you eat?

Research shows that bright lighting causes us to eat faster, and that music distracts us so we overeat (of course, so does television.)  We are served something in a restaurant and we rationalize that it must be an appropriate size or we wouldn’t have been given it.  Dieting is restriction; mindfulness is enjoying food.

We must develop new habits to create a healthier lifestyle. What if before we began our meal we paused for a minute (or better yet, two!) and really tried to come into tune with our body.  Ask yourself if you are eating for calorie needs or for emotional needs.  Do you really need this food, or do you just like the smell and taste.  What are the thoughts and feelings going through you at the moment?

Observe the food.  This about its origin, where it came from and what it will do for you.  Eat with all your senses.  What if you ate more slowly and savored the food instead of inhaling it?  How many seconds can you go before the first bite?  And what if instead of taking 12 bites each minute, you only took five?  What if instead of saying “I can’t have that,” you say, “I can have that but I don’t want it”?

Set yourself up to succeed.  Instead of thinking, “Tomorrow I’m going to start working out in the gym twice a day and making my own meals three times a day” you start with achievable goals – like making dinner at home several times this week.  Set yourself up to succeed, not fail.

And what if you do mess up?  Don’t throw in the towel with one mistake.  Really ask yourself what your personal health vision is for you, something that you want more than anything else.  Then ask yourself what is holding you back from attaining it.  Be willing to put your health as top priority and realize that not overeating is a statement of self-love.  

 

Posted in: Weight Management

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<![CDATA[Blood Pressure]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/blood-pressure-rising https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/blood-pressure-rising Mon, 25 Jun 2018 00:00:00 GMT Today's fast past lifestyle is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure. House prices are rising, food costs are rising, rising rates of disease, raising children, the only things that aren’t rising are salaries and interest rates, and combined, that’s enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure.

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a condition in which the pressure exerted by the blood on artery walls is abnormally high, potentially causing artery damage and health problems over the long term. It affects up to 1 in 5 New Zealanders and is a significant contributor to the incidence of heart disease and stroke.  

Blood pressure varies throughout the day in response to factors such as excitement, stress and exercise, and it increases as we age. It is generally recommended that men over 45 years and women over 55 years should have their blood pressure checked regularly, along with the following groups of people;

·         Those who have had a strokeheart attackhigh blood cholesterol or diabetes

·         Those who have a history of high blood pressure

·         Those who are overweight

·         Pregnant women

·         Women taking oral contraceptive medications

·         Those who have a family history of heart disease

Poor diet, high body mass index, physical inactivity, excess alcohol and smoking, account for 60% of life lost to cardiovascular disease, with 1 in 6 NZ adults taking high blood pressure medication. Medications are often required on a long term basis and can come with side effects such as: fatigue, cold extremities, cough, skin rash, impotence and light-headedness.

So before you jump on any pill popping journey you might want to find a healthy diet and lifestyle balance and start reducing your risk early; preventative heart care is the best form of defence.

Include a natural supplement like Nature’s Sunshine HSII, formulated to support the cardiovascular system and healthy blood pressure. It has circulatory properties that may benefit the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart muscle and support overall cardiac function and health. 

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Greens for the whole family]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/greens-for-the-whole-family https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/greens-for-the-whole-family Sun, 29 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Kids, and some male folk – you know who you are - can become vegetable magicians, slipping peas to the pets, burying mushies under mash, and planting broccoli in the pot plants.

Parents will often turn to sly and devious ways just to slide greens into the family diet and that’s because we know how important these nutritious superfoods are. Fruits and vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, provide a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants essential for building strong healthy bodies.

Boiling veges to beyond an inch of their life or thinking the “raw only” movement is the way forward can have anyone running for the hills. To stop turning into a veggie loather and into a veggie lover is often in the preparation.

Fresh, home grown and seasonal produce is often crisper, juicier and tastier making for a more pleasant eating experience. Homemade smoothies, stir fry’s, soups and stews are great options to jam pack in an abundance of vegetables converting even the hardest critic.

For those of us on the run, perhaps may over indulge a bit too often, or need a little extra support to bolster up our 5+ a day then how about including a shot of Nature’s Sunshine Liquid Chlorophyll. This power packed green superfood is a delicious and convenient way of getting a daily green nutrient hit providing the equivalent to 2 ½ cups of spinach in each 15ml dose.

  • Nutrient and antioxidant rich
  • Promotes cleansing and detoxifying
  • Supports healthy digestion
  • Promotes circulatory and immune health
  • Encourages balanced pH levels
  • Internal deodoriser

Nature’s Sunshine Liquid Chlorophyll is 100% natural, free from parabens, alcohol and palm oil - suitable for the whole family

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Dehydration]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/dehydration https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/dehydration Sun, 25 Feb 2018 00:00:00 GMT If you could point to the very first thing that determined your health and wellness, it might be water. Or more specifically, drinking enough of it.

Depending on your weight and age, the amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75%. The average adult human body is 50-65% water, averaging around 57-60%. The percentage of water in infants is much higher, typically around 75-78% water, dropping to 65% by one year of age. With those numbers, hydration becomes critical for many of the body’s functions.
 
If you struggle drinking water during the day try adding a squeeze of lemon or infusing water with your favourite fruits or herbs. Nature's Sunshine Liquid Chlorophyll is ideal for adding into your water bottle. This green superfood not only gives the water a delicious minty taste but provides valuable nutrients. In fact just 15mls of liquid chlorophyll equals the equivalent of 2 1/2 cups of spinach!  

The infographic below provides a great explanation about what happens when we don’t drink enough water:

 

 

Fatigue

Water is the most vital source of energy in the body. Dehydration causes the enzymatic activity in the body to slow down, resulting in tiredness and fatigue.

Asthma and Allergies

When dehydrated, your body will restrict airways as a means to conserve water. In fact, the rate of histamine produced by the body increases exponentially as the body loses more water.

High Blood Pressure

The blood is normally about 92% water when the body is fully hydrated. When dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker causing resistance to blood flow, which results in elevated blood pressure.

High Cholesterol

When the body is dehydrated, it will produce more cholesterol to prevent water loss from the cells.

Skin disorders

Dehydration impairs the elimination of toxins through the skin and makes it more vulnerable to all types of skin disorders, including dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as premature wrinkling and discoloration.

Digestive Disorders

A shortage of water and alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, can lead to a number of digestive disorders, including ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux

Bladder or Kidney Problems

With a dehydrated body, the accumulation of toxins and acid waste creates an environment where bacteria thrive, resulting in the bladder and kidney to be more prone to infection, inflammation and pain.

Constipation

When short of water, the colon is one of the primary regions the body draws water from in order to provide fluids for other critical body functions. Without adequate water, wastes move through the large intestines much more slowly or sometimes not at all, resulting in constipation.

Joint Pain or Stiffness

All joints have cartilage padding which is composed mainly of water. When the body is dehydrated, cartilage is weakened and joint repair is slow resulting in pain and discomfort.

Weight Gain

When dehydrated, cells are depleted of energy. As a result people tend to eat more when, in reality, the body is thirsty.

Premature Aging

When chronically dehydrated, the body’s organs, including its largest organ, the skin, begins to wrinkle and wither prematurely

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Travel Health]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/travel-health https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/travel-health Mon, 08 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT Sitting for long periods of time or stuck in a car all day can have us break a normal routine of good hydration, balanced nutrition and regular movement. Movement stimulates the gut, so sitting for long periods of time can cause bowel movements to become irregular. In turn, this can lead to unwanted and uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, indigestion and gas.

Those who have headed abroad, having survived the airport queues, the plane, train and bus trips and questionable food options, can then be hit by roaring diarrhoea or brutal constipation.

Time differences can pose a problem. Many people have a normal bowel movement routine, but when jetlag or a new time zone shifts that schedule it can mess up that routine. We often trade in our daily exercise, litres of water and fibre-fortified morning cereal for buffet feasts, afternoon drinks and hours lazing by the pool only to end up experiencing traveller's constipation. 

Because everyone’s microbiome is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all trick for preventing traveller’s constipation, but there are a few methods that typically prove helpful. Drinking plenty of water and eating high-fibre foods makes it easier for stool to pass through the intestines. Also it’s important to move around regularly, this helps overall circulation and your bowels will be happier for it.

Laxatives may come to mind when needing a quick fix for constipation. These can cause cramping with urgent, explosive movements and can lead to a lazy or dependent bowel. A gentle, natural option is Nature’s Sunshine LBSII. It can be taken every day to support bowel regularity, elimination of toxins, comfortable digestion and healthy liver function. This is an ideal addition for any traveller or for those who are inactive or spend a lot of time sitting.

Diarrhoea and parasites are another traveller’s nightmare.  Drinking contaminated water, eating rich delicacies, exotic street food, contact with animals and questionable hygiene can leave even the seasoned traveller running for the nearest loo.

Nature’s Sunshine Activated Charcoal is your first aid must have. Charcoal is a well-known remedy for food poisoning, diarrhoea, intestinal gas, nausea, and vomiting. This fast acting remedy absorbs and removes harmful toxins, cleansing and detoxifying irritants from the gastrointestinal system.

Parasites can also be picked up home or abroad, with many of us not even knowing we have them. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and cramps, bloating and gas, constipation, nausea, fever, fatigue, weight-loss, food allergies, hives, yeast infection, irritability and immune dysfunction.

This is where Nature’s Sunshine Para-Cleanse is a must for travellers. Broad spectrum ingredients help kill off and expel parasites and their eggs, whilst soothing the gastrointestinal tract and boosting the immunity.  Parasite cleansing is designed to rebalance disturbed intestinal bacteria, restore poor digestion, prevent allergic exposure, and repair the gut.

 

Posted in: Digestion, Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[CoQ10]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/coq10 https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/coq10 Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:00:00 GMT There are a lot of wonderful things about turning 40. You enter a new age of confidence and often have more free time and money to spend as family and careers are bedded down. But, heading towards middle age can come with a new list of health concerns, aswell.

Entering middle age shouldn’t throw you into a health crisis, but it should make you more aware of what your body needs. As you age, your body’s ability to naturally heal and produce necessary elements weakens, and you will need to start helping your body along through healthy eating, regular exercise, nutritional supplements and a balanced lifestyle.

Although adding supplements to your routine will most likely become a necessity, you don’t want to start mixing a large vitamin cocktail just yet. In fact, single supplements can have numerous positive effects on the body. Coenzyme Q10  is one example of a multi-functional supplement that can help your body in multiple ways. Here are a few reasons to use CoQ10 after you turn 40.

Repair Mitochondria

Inside our cells is mitochondria, the cell’s energy center. The mitochondria is essential to cell life, and it is where CoQ10 is produced. CoQ10 is a vitamin-like coenzyme that feeds the mitochondria with energy and acts as an antioxidant to fight damaging free radicals.

As we age, our mitochondria weakens. Some studies have related this decline to reduced physical activity as we age, but others suggest it is simply reduced production of important molecules like Coenzyme Q10. Both occur as we enter middle age making our cells weaker and more vulnerable to abuse, leading to visible signs of aging and disease.

Luckily, CoQ10 can be taken in a natural daily supplement, which feeds your cells with the energy necessary to continue to fight aging and illness, even as your body stops producing the coenzyme on its own.

Excellent Antioxidant

Although the mitochondria is essential to cell life, and consequentially life itself, it also produces free radicals, which are uncharged molecules that roam the body for extra electrons to balance themselves. Free radicals steal electrons from cells, damaging cells and causing degeneration and disease.

Antioxidants are the body’s main defence against free radicals, they seek them out and gobble them up before free radicals can destroy cells. CoQ10 has proved to be somewhat of a super antioxidant. CoQ10 iis a fat-soluble antioxidant capable of regeneration, making it extra powerful. 

Antioxidants are naturally found in foods, but as you age your body loses its natural ability to produce antioxidants while increasing production of free radicals, so food eventually isn’t enough to defend your body against damage. CoQ10 is a natural supplement that feeds your body this super antioxidant with ease.

Aid Heart Health

CoQ10 is an energy producer for cells, and because of that it is most prevalent and most used by the organs that use the most energy–the liver, kidneys, pancreas and heart.

Our hearts require more energy to run efficiently as we age, but studies show using a CoQ10 supplement can help give your heart the energy it needs. 

Reduce Oxidative Stress

Research has shown that middle age is a particularly stressful time in our lives. Coping with leaving (or returning) children and caring for elderly parents, among other stressors, can be difficult. External pressures combined with internal damage causes oxidative stress, what scientists are finding to be the leading cause in aging.

Oxidative stress happens to cells naturally as we age, but is sped up by excessive damage from free radicals. The evidence often appears on our skin, as it becomes loose, wrinkled and pale, but also may affect our immune system.

One of the best ways that we know of to combat oxidative stress is increasing antioxidants to fight free radicals, and CoQ10 is an excellent free radical defender that has proven to aid in reducing oxidative stress in cells.

Boost Skin Health

Skin becomes a major concern entering middle age. All those years of ignoring your parents’ advice to use sunscreen and wash your face is finally starting to show. When we age our skin loses hydration, making more prone to wrinkling, age spots and thinning.

Now is the time to start taking that advice into full effect. Always wear sunscreen and hydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water and using a daily moisturizer. You can also protect your skin by keeping your cells healthy, and that means fighting oxidative stress and boosting your antioxidants, both of which can be done seamlessly with CoQ10.

Energy Production

We’ve learned a bit about CoQ10’s energy producing qualities, but why is that important in middle age? The energy our cells need is called ATP, which is created in the mitochondria using CoQ10 to convert carbohydrates and fatty acids into energy. Glucose, in addition to CoQ10, is an essential part of the ATP process.

Although the studies about CoQ10 and glucose are unsure (some say it helps with glucose production, others say the opposite), the coenzyme is undeniably necessary for ATP creation. As your body’s ability to create ATP naturally diminishes, you may want to use a supplement such as CoQ10 to help give your cells energy.

Manage Healthy Cholesterol

It’s important to carefully monitor cholesterol as we move through middle age. Studies have shown that CoQ10 could support cholesterol levels already in the normal range through its powerful antioxidant properties, which have been shown to keep LDL cholesterol from oxidation while re-energizing the mitochondria in the heart cells.

Conclusion

Optimal health can be achieved with a balanced, healtyhy lifestyle  - don’t wait until it’s too late or simply give up. Supplements, such as CoQ10, can have numerous positive effects on your body, just remember to choose a reputable quality brand, not lead by price.

Nature’s Sunshine CoQ10 supplements use a patented lipid blend to keep CoQ10 from crystallizing and becoming less absorbable, yielding maximum bioavailability. When it comes to your health, never settle for anything less than Nature’s Sunshine.

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Prostate Health]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/prostate-health https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/prostate-health Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 GMT The prostate is one of the male sex glands. A normal prostate is about the size of a walnut and lies just below the bladder and surrounds the beginning of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that runs through the penis and carries urine from the bladder and semen from the sex glands.

 As the prostate is a sex gland, its growth is influenced by male sex hormones. The chief male hormone is testosterone, which is produced mostly by the testicle.

For most men (at least at some point in their lives) prostate health, thinking about it, talking about it, and seeing the doctor about it, is an uncomfortable subject avoided like the plague. But prostate health it is not something that can be ignored. That small gland can grow, and when it does, it can create some unpleasant symptoms.

  • Frequent urination
  • Discomfort while urinating
  • Uneven flow
  • Pressure to urinate frequently and feeling like you can not fully empty your bladder


Enlargement of the prostate is one of the most common disorders occurring in men over 50 years of age. If left untreated, continued enlargement of the prostate eventually obstructs the bladder completely and emergency measures become necessary.

To keep the prostate healthy it is important to maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and stop smoking. Include antioxidant rich fruits and nutrient rich supergreens in to the diet.  Also let your doctor know if you have a family history of prostate cancer. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man's risk of developing this disease.

Using a daily supplement such as Nature's Sunshine Saw Palmetto is also a great option. Scientific research validates the use the use of Saw Palmetto for supporting prostate health. Itcontains a compound used by the body to manufacture cortisone. Cortisone is an adrenal hormone that helps regulate the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, sodium, potassium and proteins. It is used primarily to support glandular tissues (especially the prostate gland) and to maintain optimal balance in hormone levels.  It also contains polysaccharides that may have immune-boosting properties.

 

 

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Nervous System Health]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/nervous-system-health https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/nervous-system-health Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 GMT You are electric! Everything in your body is connected through nerve cells, electrical impulses, and chemical messengers. You could say that the nervous system “wires” us together. The nervous system consists of conscious and unconscious areas of the Brain, Spinal column and Peripheral Nerves

Conscious/Voluntary

  • Perceive through senses
  • Move skeletal muscles
  • Regulate conscious actions

Unconscious/Involuntary

  • Known as “Autonomic”
  • Keeps your heart beating
  • Digests your food
  • Regulates temperature
  • Makes sure you breathe
  • Takes care of everything you don’t have to think about!

Autonomic Nervous System 

This is divided into the Sympathetic , which gets us charged or “wired up” and the Parasympathetic, which helps us wind down and relax.

The Sympathetic Nervous System
When we’re excited, stressed or scared, the sympathetic nervous system:

  • Tenses our muscles
  • Makes our heart beat faster
  • Moves blood away from digestive organs
  • Shuts down elimination

The Parasympathetic Nervous System 
As we relax and unwind, the parasympathetic nervous system:

  • Moves blood to the digestive organs
  • relaxes muscles
  • Aids elimination
  • Initiates healing and self repair

Your brain is complex:

  • Houses 98% of your body’s neurons
  • Makes up only 2% of your body weight
  • Consumes 25% of your oxygen
  • Consumes as much as 20% of your sugar

You are What You Eat

This phrase particularly applies to the brain. A “junk food” diet short-circuits your mental attitude and your emotional responses creating a “trashy” brain. With todays poor diet, nervous system disorders like stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia are on the rise.

Care For Your Brain and Nerves

The nervous system is probably the most nutritionally sensitive system in the body. Long before you feel physical conditions, you’ll notice mental and emotional conditions from poor nutrition, such as:

  • Fuzzy thinking (brain fog)
  • Absent mindedness
  • Mental confusion
  • Nervousness

These can lead to chronic insomnia, anxiety, depression and memory loss.

Other Facts about the brain:

  • The brain is 70% water,  so it is sensitive to dehydration
  • 50-60% of the “dry” weight of your brain is fat, 35% being omega 3
  • DHA is most abundant type of omega 3 in the brain
  • B-vitamins are essential to lower risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia

The Brain and Blood Sugar
Your brain consumes the most glucose of any organ. But, if you get too much sugar, you might experience:

  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness

If you don’t get enough sugar, you may experience:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Mental confusion
  • Shakiness
  • Fatigue

But just because your brain needs sugar, doesn’t mean you should fill it with candy. Simple sugars contribute to brain fog. Complex sugars found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains stabilise blood sugar and nourish the brain. And try to include protein and good fats with your meals.

Age Related Memory Loss

  • Mostly associated with oxidative stress
  • The brain is sensitive to inflammation and free radicals
  • Feed the brain with antioxidant-rich foods
  • Nature's Sunshine Grapine Combination is a great way to get antioxidants into your diet

Toxins and the Nervous System

Toxins pose a significant threat to the nervous system. Some of the toxins we’re exposed to frequently include:

  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Chemical solvents
  • Pesticides & herbicides
  • Excessive caffeine
  • Refined sugar
  • White flour
  • Hydrogenated oils

How Stress and Anxiety Affects the Brain

  • Stress response is healthy and normal – too much is hurtful
  • Sympathetic nerves are activated (wind-up)
  • Parasympathetic are inhibited (relax)
  • Blood shifted from digestive organs to muscles

Consequences of Long-term Stress

  • Most dangers aren’t physical, but feel like a threat to our survival
  • Continuous activation of the stress response can lead to “burn out”
  • Many people live with emotional and nervous exhaustion

5 Helpful Ways to Manage Our Stress

  1. Stop and Take a Deep breath — Fastest way to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This can restore calm and clear thinking. Breathing slow and deep counteracts the effects of stress.
  2. Use Adaptogenic Herbs (Nature's Sunshine Adaptamax) — Adaptogens mediate the output of stress hormones, which gives you clearer thinking and helps you feel calmer and more relaxed.
  3. B-Vitamins help you be calm — B-vitamins are vital for the nervous system. When depleted, refined carbohydrates increase anxiety and nervousness. Look to whole grains and take a good anti-stress vitamin and mineral supplement like Nature's Sunshine NutriCalm
  4. Get Physical and Active — Stress hormones prime the body for action. Even taking a walk when stressed clears your head.
  5. Pamper Yourself — Pleasurable experience does more good for the body than a stressful one does harm. Pleasure enhances health, energy, and emotional well being. Get a massage, engage in a hobby or activity. Take a relaxing bath, listen to beautiful music, and surround yourself with pleasant fragrances.

 

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Cholesterol – Friend or Foe?]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/cholesterol-friend-or-foe https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/cholesterol-friend-or-foe Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:00:00 GMT Cholesterol is a fat carried in the bloodstream. It comes from the foods we eat but made mostly by your liver. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, but having too much can create a fatty build up in your artery walls, narrowing the arteries and restricting blood flow.

Your risk for heart disease and heart attack goes up as your LDL cholesterol level rises. The goal is to lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels enough to reduce your risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and other related health problems.

High cholesterol is best addressed with lifestyle changes such as exercising and a healthy diet, but if you've made these changes and your cholesterol levels remain high, your doctor may recommend medication.

Dietary changes include:

·         Reducing  fat in the diet, especially saturated fats

·         Increasing fruit, vegetables and fibre

·         Eating complex carbohydrates

 

Lifestyle changes include:

·         Regular exercise

·         Stop smoking

·         Maintaining a healthy body weight

·         Limiting alcohol 

Medicines can help control high blood cholesterol, but they don’t cure it. Two common types of cholesterol lowering medications are “statins” and “fibrates”.  Statins can reduce total cholesterol levels by 30-50%. Fibrates work by lowering LDL and increasing HDL.

Unfortunately statin drugs can cause a variety of side effects, including abdominal discomfort, constipation or diarrhoea, indigestion, flatulence, nausea, dizziness, headaches and sleep disturbance.

Fortunately, red yeast rice has been shown to be a natural alternative. It not only is said to help lower total cholesterol, but also raise HDL (high-density lipoprotein) levels and lower lipoprotein (a) - a damaging blood fat similar to LDL cholesterol. Individuals with high plasma levels of lipoprotein (a) have a 10 times greater risk for heart disease than individuals with elevated LDL levels.

Red Yeast Rice has been used for centuries. It is produced by fermenting rice with red yeast (Monascus purpureus). The finished product, red yeast rice, contains important substances known as monacolins, which have the ability to inhibit HMG-CoA reductase—an enzyme responsible for cholesterol synthesis in the liver. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors help regulate the body’s cholesterol production and increase the liver’s removal of LDL cholesterol from the blood.

Numerous studies have confirmed that red yeast rice demonstrates a direct inhibitory effect on HMG-CoA reductase activity and cholesterol synthesis. Red yeast rice also contains sterols (beta-sitosterol, campesterol, stigmasterol, sapogenin), isoflavones, monounsaturated fatty acids and trace elements that likely assist in lowering serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Managing anxiety]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/managing-anxiety https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/managing-anxiety Thu, 09 Mar 2017 00:00:00 GMT Worries will happen in life. However, worry is not productive, according to Jason Moser, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Michigan State University. “It’s something we do over and over again, without much resolution.” 

Anxiety can lead to debilitating results if it gets out of hand. If you find yourself regularly suffering from occasional anxiety, it is time to make a change, and consider these 10 habits of anxiety-free people:


Habit One: Goal Setting

Setting goals helps you have direction and vision, as well as hope. Hope is very important for those who are prone to anxiety. Think of goals as blueprints for your life. Not only will having goals reduce anxiety but they can also help increase success. According to the Harvard’s MBA Statistics Page 3% of Harvard MBAs make ten times as much as the other 97% combined, and this is attributed to setting written goals for the future.


Habit Two: Focus on Good

If you want to be anxiety free, you need to stop feeding the anxiety. No more complaining about it, as that makes it your focus, and increases anxiety instead of the other way around. Many with anxiety make themselves the victim. When we complain about a problem we focus on the problem instead of the solution, and thus increase anxiety.


Habit Three: Taking Action

Many people “educate” themselves about the best things they can do, but never implement those things. Those with anxiety may spend hours learning about how to reduce it, when that time could be better spent implementing some of those ideas. Choose a path and take action, be productive, and stick with what is working for you. Anxiety-free people don’t just think about what they could do, they actually do it.
 

Habit Four: Focus on the Present

“One of the biggest differences between worriers and non-worriers is the ability to stay in the present, and not get bogged down by things that have yet to happen” says licensed psychologist, professor and executive director of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the University of Waterloo Christine Purdon, Ph.D. She goes on to explain that when worriers become anxious, their “intentional focus narrows to threat cues. They can get themselves very anxious very quickly.”

Focus on the present, instead of worrying about the future, or living in regrets over the past, deal with what is happening now instead. 
 

Habit Five: Practice Perspective

Anxiety free people are able to get perspective of situations quickly, and thus stop the tendency to worry quickly. How is this done? By distancing yourself from the situation, thinking of all the worst possible scenarios and evaluating the likelihood of them actually happening. 
 

Habit Six: Identify Why They Worry

Anxiety-free people are good at getting to the root of their worries. The problem with worrying is it is not controlled; pretty soon you are worrying about things that are a million steps removed from the actual problem at hand. Anxiety free people know how to stop the worry cycle and get to the solution. This is best achieved by identifying why the worry exists, and then practicing getting perspective about that problem.
 

Habit Seven: Focus on Solutions

Anxiety free people know how to focus on problem solving rather than problem generation. Anticipating future problems can be helpful to a degree, but not when you can’t stop. Anticipate and plan against these outcomes, but rather than focusing on the “what if’s” and taking that down the never-ending fear cycle, work on coming up with solutions. Those who do not worry aren’t oblivious to possible problems, rather they focus less on the problems themselves, and more about what they can do about them.
 

Habit Eight: Practice Confidence

Anxiety free people have confidence in themselves, confidence to try new things, and to overcome fears. Building confidence is important for those with anxiety. Studies show that those who believe in themselves are less likely to suffer from anxiety because they do not let their fears limit their actions. Build confidence by putting yourself in situations where you will succeed, and by practicing for situations that intimidate you.
 

Habit Nine: Take Risks

Anxiety-free people are not afraid to try new things, to take risks, and let their guard down. Rather than worrying about the potential negative outcomes of these risks, they focus on the potential rewards. To reduce anxiety, take some risks. Don’t live in protect yourself mode, but instead try new things, and practice the habit of letting your guard down and putting yourself out there. The more you do it, the more you will see that the “worst” that can happen rarely does.
 

Habit Ten: Service, Compassion, Gratitude

Anxiety-free people know how to look beyond themselves and give serve to others, show compassion, and gratitude to others. If you want to reduce anxiety, give service and show compassion, consider what you have, and show gratitude for it. Stop the “me-thinking” and get outside yourself, help others, show sympathy and empathy.
 

Bonus Habit: Exercise Regularly

When we feel anxiety our bodies fill with adrenaline, putting it to good use through activity can help to improve the symptoms, and burn off the stress hormones that anxiety produces. Regular exercise can help to reduce anxiety, so go for a brisk walk, a jog, or play a sport.


Stress and anxiety at times can be debilitating and cause unwanted and uncomfortable side effects. If you feel you need some added support you could also look at including natural supplementation.
www.naturessunshine.co.nz/store/category/mood-stress-and-sleep

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Protein]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/protein https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/protein Mon, 09 Jan 2017 00:00:00 GMT Most people think of meat when we talk about consuming adequate amounts of protein. Meat does provide a good source of protein, and we all need protein in our diets, but there are also other options available to keep the protein levels up.

Why is Protein Important?

Protein is a building block of many parts of our bodies: muscle tissue, hair, skin, nails, blood, hormones and enzymes to name a few. Anytime you exercise, you break down muscle tissue, which needs to be rebuilt.

Dietary protein helps with that process. Additionally, muscle mass powers the body’s metabolism, or the rate at which your body burns calories for energy. Increasing dietary protein can help build lean muscle mass and thereby promote an increase in metabolic rate, which can lead to greater fat burning and fat loss.

Protein is composed of amino acids. The body cannot store amino acids or protein, so we need to get this nutrient from the diet on a regular basis for ongoing health and body structure. Pregnant and nursing women require extra protein in their diets to support the growth and nourishment of their babies. Adolescents also need about as much protein as full-grown adults.

Protein Sources

Protein is readily available from animal sources, including meat, eggs and, to a lesser extent, dairy products. But some people do not like animal protein or the cardiovascular risks associated with the consumption of meat and dairy products. Fortunately, protein is also found in foods such as legumes (peas, beans, peanuts, etc.), seeds, unrefined grains and certain vegetables. It is even found in some algae.

Nature’s Sunshine offers a tasty, nutritious choice for getting more protein into your diet without compromise. Love and Peas is a blend of pea protein powder from split yellow peas with a host of other nourishing whole foods. Pea protein offers a natural, plant-based protein source. It also supports the urinary system and helps to maintain blood pressure levels already within the normal range.

Nature's Sunshine Love and Peas contains no common allergens, dairy, lactose or gluten. It is Vegan-Certified. Each serving of Love and Peas provides 20 grams of pea protein isolate, 1 gram prebiotic fiber (short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides) and 3 grams total fiber in a blend of naturally occurring amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, plus beneficial fats from flax seed and borage oil. Love and Peas has a wonderful vanilla flavor.

Posted in: Weight Management, Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Superfoods]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/superfoods https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/superfoods Sun, 06 Nov 2016 00:00:00 GMT You may have heard this buzz word being used more and more, but what are they, and why are they good for us?

A superfood will usually contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They are typically whole food sources that contain little or no artificial additives or added nasties.

Many cultures across the world have utilised their local superfoods for centuries. The abundance of health benefits and medicinal qualities obtained through these berries, fruits and greens have been passed down from generation to generation.  Science is now following up these historic claims and bringing more and more of these superfood discoveries into the mainstream media.

The 5+, or is it no w7+ a day guidelines are something most of us have grown up with. Daily inclusion of fruit and veggies are necessary for all of the powerful nutrients they provide.  Fruit and veggies also provide a great source of fibre. Fibre helps to keep our digestive system regular, and support efficient elimination. Irregular bowel movements can lead to skin breakouts, headaches, fatigue, bad breath, excess gas, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, irritability and cramps.

Some “super-berries” include acerola berries, acai, elderberries and blueberries; these contain compounds that support immunity, contain powerful antioxidants and support healthy cholesterol levels among other health benefits. 

There are also a large numbers of “super-greens” available too. Some popular greens include: Spirulina, Chlorella, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Kelp and Alfalfa. These power packed green gems provide essentials amino acids, minerals, vitamins and cleansing,  detoxifying, digestive and bowel support.

Unfortunately people are often eating diets that move their body from being alkaline to being more acidic. When the body is overly acidic it may lead to conditions such as sore joints, poor skin, reflux and bowel irregularity. Common foods that are acid forming are caffeine, alcohol, meat, white bread, sugar, fried and processed foods.  Foods that lend themselves to being alkaline are fruits and veggies; these foods help to restore the body pH balance. Nature's Sunshine Liquid Chloropyll can also have a positive effect for helping with alkalising.

Adding superfoods into your diet doesn’t need to be cumbersome and time consuming. Start with small additions of seasonal  fruit and vegetables to your existing diet and look out for ready to shake/mix superfood blends like Nature's Sunshine Love and Peas.  Nature's Sunshine Super Supplemental tablets provide a convenient all in one option. These are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, herbs, aminos, fruits and veggies.

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Antibiotics]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/antibiotics https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/antibiotics Wed, 07 Sept 2016 00:00:00 GMT You feel that tickle in the back of your throat. You’re fever is spiking. You’re exhausted and ache all over. Streptococcal pharyngitis (more commonly known as strep throat) has infected your body. The pain is intolerable, so you head to the doctor to get a dose of antibiotics to send that infection away.

Antibiotics are a natural part of modern life, and most people will find themselves in a situation where antibiotics can do more than cure your aching throat, they can be lifesaving. But, with all of the benefits of antibiotics, they come with their own set of negatives. Antibiotics don’t know how to differentiate the bad bacteria from the good bacteria, and they end up clearing your body of everything, even though you desperately need bacteria to be healthy.


How Antibiotics Work
Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. Each antibiotic drug works differently and acts on different types of bacteria. They are used to treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat, ear infections, urinary tract infections, and sinus infections.

Antibiotics don’t cure illnesses caused by viruses (such as common colds or influenza). Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can cause all sorts of unpleasant side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, and stomach pain.

When you take antibiotics, they effectively remove all of the bacteria inside your body, which is great for getting rid of the infection, but not good for the parts of your body that require bacteria to function properly. Because of this, side effects can include yeast infections for women and irritation of the large intestine, or colon. 


Things to Do While Taking Antibiotics
Although most of your efforts will be done after you’ve finished your antibiotic program, there are a few things you can do during (and even before) taking antibiotics to help reduce the damage done to your natural microbiome.

Probiotics
If you’re able to prepare for antibiotics before taking them, consider taking probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that our guts need. It might seem like taking antibiotics and probiotics at the same time is counter-productive, but keep in mind that probiotics don’t need to colonize in the gut to be beneficial. Even introducing various strains while on antibiotics can be helpful for maintaining gut health.

Soluble Fibre
When taking antibiotics, it’s important to help your gut out. You don’t want to consume foods and beverages that require your intestines to work too hard. Cut down on processed foods, sugar, and simple carbs - bad bacteria thrives on these foods. Instead, eat plenty of soluble fibre, which can be found in foods like beans, oats, and peeled fruits or add in a fibre supplement like psyllium.

Prebiotics
Prebiotics help protect and rebuild a healthy microbiome and should be taken before, during, and after using antibiotics. Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not bacteria themselves, but are non-digestible food ingredients that make it easier for beneficial bacteria to thrive within your digestive system. 
 

Things to Do After Taking Antibiotics
After taking antibiotics, you need to first repair your gut and liver, and then reintroduce a variety of good bacteria (probiotics and prebiotics) to your body.

The Gut
The digestive system and colon goes through a lot when taking antibiotics, so it’s important to promote healing after your antibiotic program has ended. More than 1000 trillion bacteria live in our digestive system, and although that seems like a lot, the microbiome is always in a delicate balance that’s needed to maintain health. Natural bowel supporting supplements such as CLT-X and Bowel Build can help cleanse, sooth and nourish the gastrointestinal system.

The Liver
Antibiotics can also take quite a toll on your liver. The liver is responsible for processing and detoxifying medications, as well as dealing with extra circulating lipopolysaccharides from the increased bacterial death and intestinal permeability that occurs over the use of antibiotics. This is especially detrimental if you’re on antibiotics for a long period of time.

A common remedy is milk thistle, which helps detoxify and repair the liver. On top of stabilizing liver cell membranes and supporting the hepatic system, milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant, which helps fight free radicals and oxidative stress.


Conclusion
Antibiotics can’t always be avoided, but there are recommended protocols that can be followed to keep microbiome damage to a minimum.  When looking for natural ways to take care of your gut, look no further than Nature’s Sunshine. We have a number of gut- and liver-related products that are designed to fit your gut needs and help one of your body’s largest and most important organs function at optimum levels.

 

Posted in: Immunity

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<![CDATA[Licorice Root]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/licorice-root https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/licorice-root Sun, 31 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT No one likes feeling sick. Coughs and colds can spread through workplaces and schools and into the family home. Even more sinister is influenza – the flu – a contagious virus that infects 3-5 million people worldwide every year. It can cause fever, chills, aches, runny nose, coughs and stomach upsets. It can affect anyone, no matter how fit, active and healthy they may be.

When those dreaded ills and chills come on we often reach for pharmaceutical medicines such as day and night analgesics, antihistamines or antibiotics but there are natural supplements available that can provide powerful holistic support without any nasty side effects.

Licorice root has been used since ancient times for colds, coughs and sore throats. It provides soothing, healing qualities found helpful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, respiratory congestion, and a sore throat. It is also particularly beneficial for gastrointestinal problems such as gastritis, peptic ulceration, and excessive stomach acid.

Several ancient cultures used licorice to increase endurance, strength and sexual energy. According to folk medicine in North America, licorice was used as a cough suppressant, expectorant and as a laxative. In China, licorice is known as “The Great Detoxifier,” and has been used primarily for the kidneys, liver, spleen and stomach. Chinese doctors use licorice for treating a variety of ailments including bronchial asthma, dermatitis, diabetes, gastric ulcers, hepatitis, and malaria.

Although licorice might not be your favourite candy, it should be your favourite cold and flu remedy. Licorice root has soothing features that help reduce irritation and inflammation, while also releasing mucus for a more productive cough. This has made licorice popular in supporting asthma, chest infections, and allergies.

Licorice enhances your body’s levels of interferon, a chemical in the immune system essential for fighting off viruses. It also has antioxidants and phytoestrogens, which seem to help reduce the growth of bacteria and viruses.

While taking herbs for acute conditions, remember to follow the label directions, so you achieve optimum results. They are your “natural antibiotic” so often to be taken 3 times per day as you would with prescribed medicines.

Posted in: Immunity

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<![CDATA[B12 Deficiency and Dementia]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/b12-deficiency-and-dementia https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/b12-deficiency-and-dementia Tue, 05 Jul 2016 00:00:00 GMT Some interesting research has come out of the University of Waterloo in Canada on the use of B12 for dementia

A high proportion of older adults entering long-term care homes in Ontario are B12 deficient, with more developing deficiencies over the course of their first year in residence, according to research from the University of Waterloo. There is a connection between B12 deficiency and several serious health conditions.

Researchers found that almost 14 per cent of study participants were B12 deficient at the time of admission to a long-term care home, while another 38 per cent had only slightly better levels. Over the course of one year, an additional four per cent developed B12 deficiencies. However, those receiving supplements had better B12 levels.

The study, conducted in partnership with the Schlegel-University of Waterloo Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, suggests a simple, yearly blood test could be the key to eliminating B12 deficiencies among elderly living in long-term care homes.

“The negative effects of a B12 deficiency are considerable,” said Heather Keller, a professor of kinesiology at Waterloo and Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition and Aging. “This is of particular importance in the context of our aging population with more Canadians requiring long-term care.”

Untreated B12 deficiency will eventually lead to anaemia and neurologic complications such as unsteady gait and paralysis. Low levels of the vitamin have been associated with depression and dementia, increased confusion, lethargy and even osteoporosis.

“In spending time in long-term care homes, you often see depression and loneliness. This is why we need to do everything in our power to enhance quality of life and quality of care in this setting,” said Kaylen Pfisterer, lead author on the paper and assistant research coordinator at the RIA. “Screening for B12 deficiency is a first step to targeting B12 treatment to those who may benefit most.”

B12 deficiency is highly preventable and easily treatable with improved food choice and supplements. Foods rich in B12 include meat and dairy products or choose a high quality B12 natural health supplement.

 

Posted in: Wellbeing

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<![CDATA[Cats Claw]]> https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/cats-claw https://www.naturessunshine.co.nz/blog-post/cats-claw Wed, 01 Jun 2016 00:00:00 GMT It might have an odd sounding name but this amazing herb packs a mighty punch. In this blog you will find some very interesting research that we wanted to share.

What is Cats Claw?
Cat's claw is a large, woody vine that derives its name from hook-like thorns that grow along the vine and resemble the claws of a cat. Cat's claw is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and other tropical areas of South and Central America, including Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Trinidad, Venezuela, Suriname, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama. 
 
Tribal and Herbal Medicine Uses
Cats Claw has been used medicinally by the Aguaruna, Asháninka, Cashibo, Conibo, and Shipibo tribes of Peru for at least 2,000 years. The Asháninka Indian tribe in central Peru has the longest recorded history of use of the plant. They are also the largest commercial source of cat's claw from Peru today.

The Asháninka use cat's claw to treat asthma, inflammations of the urinary tract, arthritis, rheumatism, and bone pain; to recover from childbirth; as a kidney cleanser; to cure deep wounds; to control inflammation and gastric ulcers; and for cancer. Indigenous tribes in Piura use cat's claw to treat tumors, inflammations, rheumatism, and gastric ulcers.

Other Peruvian indigenous tribes use cat's claw to treat diabetes, urinary tract cancer in women, hemorrhages, menstrual irregularity, cirrhosis, fevers, abscesses, gastritis, rheumatism, tumors, and inflammations as well as for internal cleansing and to "normalize the body." 

With so many documented traditional uses of this important rainforest plant, it is not surprising that it came to the attention of Western researchers and scientists. Studies began in the early 1970s when Klaus Keplinger, a journalist and self-taught ethnologist from Innsbruck, Austria, organized the first definitive work on cat's claw. Keplinger's work in the 1970s and 1980s led to several extracts of cat's claw being sold in Austria and Germany as herbal drugs, as well as the filing of four U.S. patents describing extraction procedures for the immune-stimulating oxindole alkaloids. 
 

Biological Activities and Clinical Research
In herbal medicine today, cat's claw is employed around the world for many different conditions, including immune disorders, gastritis, ulcers, cancer, arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatic disorders, neuralgias, chronic inflammation of all kinds, and such viral diseases as herpes zoster (shingles).

Dr. Brent Davis, D.C. has written several articles on cat's claw and refers to it as the "opener of the way" for its ability to cleanse the entire intestinal tract and its effectiveness in treating stomach and bowel disorders (such as Crohn's disease, leaky bowel syndrome, ulcers, gastritis, diverticulitis, and other inflammatory conditions of the bowel, stomach, and intestines).

Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D. reports using cat's claw for its immune-stimulating effects, for cancer, to help prevent strokes and heart attacks, to reduce blood clots, and for diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Current Practical Applications
Cat's claw has grown quite popular in the natural products industry and is mostly taken today to boost immune function, as an all over tonic and preventative to stay healthy, for arthritis and inflammation, for bowel and colon problems, and as an complementary therapy for cancer. The most common forms used today are cat's claw capsules and tablets, both of which have become widely available in most health food stores at reasonable prices. There are also newer (and more expensive) proprietary extracts of cat's claw in tablets and capsules, some backed by research-albeit paid-for research. 


Conclusion
The health-promoting properties of cat’s claw extracts exemplify why scientists believe the rich plant life of the Amazon rain forest may contain countless undiscovered medicinal agents with applications for human health.

Cat’s Claw demonstrates powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, as well as immune-modulating capabilities. As such, cat’s claw is emerging as an important new agent for relieving joint discomfort, protecting the integrity of DNA and staving off infection.

Posted in: Immunity

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