#LivingTo100: Bee Pollen and Bee Propolis Nourish and Protect

Bee pollen and bee propolis are two substances made by bees that have tremendous nutritional value. Bee pollen is a powder-like material that is produced by the anthers of flowering plants and gathered by bees. It is composed of 10 to 15 percent protein and also contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, essential fatty acids, enzymes, carotene, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, sodium, plant sterols, and simple sugars.  This rich supply of nutrients is extremely beneficial to humans, offering protection of the liver from toxins, combating physical fatigue, depression, cancer, and colon disorders. Bee pollen from local sources is helpful for people with allergies because it strengthens the immune system.

Bee propolis is a resinous substance collected from various plants by bees. Bees use propolis along with beeswax in the construction of hives. It is used to seal cracks in hives and act as a protective layer against invading microprobes and other organisms.  As a supplement bee propolis an excellent aid against bacterial infections. Bee propolis is believed to stimulate phagocytosis, the process by which some white blood cells destroy bacteria.  Propolis also contains terpenoids that process antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal, and anti protozoan agents. Like some prescription antibiotics, propolis prevents bacterial cell division and breaks down the invading organism’s cell walls and cytoplasm. Propolis is available in capsules or in propolis-enriched honey.

Did you know the average lifespan of a Western honey bee is 122-152 days? The time frame is different during the winter and summer months, and also depends upon mating patterns. Queen bees live longer, averaging about 3-5 years.

Just a spoonful of sugar…

1 teaspoon of honey = 21 calories
1 teaspoon jelly = 16 calories
1 teaspoon brown sugar = 17 calories
1 teaspoon table sugar = 16 calories
1 teaspoon maple syrup = 17 calories
1 teaspoon corn syrup, light or dark = 19 calories

#LivingTo100: Let Nature Help You Stop Smoking

Unfortunately, once a smoking habit has been acquired, it is difficult to break. Research shows that addiction to tobacco may be harder to overcome than addiction to heroin or cocaine. This is because smoking creates both physical and psychological dependency. For some, it is easier to overcome the physical addiction that the psychological dependency. Acute physical withdrawal, while unpleasant lasts for al limited period of time, usually no more than several weeks. Long-term cravings are more likely a matter of psychological dependency and require an ongoing effort to control.

Your first step on the path to living a smoke-free life be to examine each impulse to reach for a cigarette. Is it habit? Do you smoke while drinking your morning coffee? Is smoking related to stress? Smoking is sometimes used as an excuse for taking a momentary break during times of stress and to help smooth over awkward moments. Is smoking a result of a physical craving? Some people can’t imagine engaging in specific types of activities without a cigarette in hand. Meditation is often helpful to determine the origins of the urge for a cigarette. Our favorite meditation guide is the Headspace app.

When your resolve is strong, cleanse your body of nicotine using a combination of herbal aids that help to rebalance your body chemistry. Gardenia, gotu kola, sarsaparilla, gentian, and licorice root are a few of nature’s botanical supports for your efforts. Herbal blends are available in most health food stores.

Smoking and weight gain?

Have you ever wondered why some people gain weight when they stop smoking? This happens partially because when smokers quit, they often feel hungrier. However, this feeling of hunger lasts only for a few weeks. Another cause of weight gain is an increased desire to snack or consume alcohol. Also, nonsmokers may burn slightly less calories during the day. Smoking makes the body temporarily burn calories faster. For those who do gain weight, the average gain is about 10 pounds. To help keep those 10 pounds off, take a walk instead of a cigarette.

Did you know?

Every time a person smokes, they inhale more than 4,000 different chemicals. Several of these chemicals are carcinogens.

#LivingTo100: Acupuncture. Yea or nay?

Acupuncture is a treatment in which an expert examines your tongue, smells your skin and tries to unblock the flow of life force (Qi) running through your body with needles.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works to balance the body and mind while releasing natural pain fighting endorphins. Acupuncture works to restore the flow of Qi, which is vital to good health. Qi (also called Chi) is thought to move through the body along pathways called meridians, each of which is linked to a specific organ. If the flow of energy is balanced, the individual enjoys good health. If something interrupts the flow of energy, health problems, including pain can occur.

Acupuncture stimulates healing and improves the functioning of the immune system. It also increases the flow of oxygen to all tissues in the body. An increased flow of oxygen promotes healing and helps keep the body resistant to and free from disease. Much like physical therapies, acupuncture helps injuries heal and relieves muscle tension caused by them.

When most people think of acupuncture, they picture someone laying down with lots of thin needles sticking inside of them. Acupuncture involves an entire body experience. Needles are just one aspect of the experience and just part of the story. To support the acupuncture therapy, the practitioner will likely recommend taking herbs in the form of teas and capsules. A traditional acupuncturist should inspect the face and body, and check the condition of the tongue. The tongue is a roadmap to health. Different parts of the tongue are linked to different organs. Acupuncturists listen for wheezing and unusual breathing sounds. They sniff for peculiar odors and check the patient’s pulse for clues about the heart, flow of Qi and state of the organs. Relief may be experienced after only one treatment or after a series of treatments.

#LivingTo100: Boost your memory with vitamin B

Memory is as natural to us as breathing. It is an ability we have, yet rarely think of unless we perceive that we are losing the ability to remember.

It is generally believed that advancing age brings an increasing likelihood of developing memory loss. Occasional memory losses, such as misplacing the car keys or forgetting something at the grocery store are a natural, normal part of life and are not likely to precede serious memory loss.

Why memory loss?

One cause of memory loss is an insufficiency supply of necessary nutrients to the brain, specifically, the B vitamins. If the brain does not have an adequate supply of nutrients to make neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), the brain experiences memory loss.

Other causes of memory loss?

  • Memory loss is also caused by exposure to free radicals.
  • Alcoholics and drug addicts often experience memory loss, even when they are sober.
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) causes memory loss because to function properly, the brain requires that the level of glucose in the blood fall within a very narrow range. Wide swings in blood sugar levels affect brain function and memory.
  • Allergies, candidiasis, stress, thyroid disorders, and poor circulation to the brain can also cause memory loss.

Ginkgo Biloba or Lecithin?

Have you ever wondered if taking a ginkgo biloba or lecithin supplement will help reduce memory loss? It is a common wish, but it has not been scientifically proven to improve memory, thinking or learning. Under a doctor’s supervision, ginkgo biloba may be used to help treat the symptoms of age-related memory loss and dementia. Do not take ginkgo biloba if you have a bleeding disorder, or are scheduled for surgery or a dental procedure.

Sleep helps focus
Be sure to get the proper amount of rest to avoid fatigue, which can have a direct effect on the ability to focus (and remember).

#LivingTo100: Foods to Fight Heart Disease

Too much cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a type of heart disease characterized by a build up of cholesterol and other fat substances within the walls of arteries.

Research shows that eating whole foods over processed foods will decrease your risk. Whole grains and oily fish are very heart-healthy.

Whole Grains
Whole grains are rich in cholesterol-lowering fiber called beta-glucan. Try cooking hot cereal from steel-cut oats. Steel-cut oats are higher in phytochemicals that rolled oats. Brown rice, quinoa, and barley are also excellent grains to add to your diet. Aim for six daily servings of whole grains.

Oily Fish
Canned or fresh, oily fish contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild caught salmon is rich in omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids improve triglyceride levels, stabilize heartbeat, lower blood pressure, decrease heart-harming inflammation, and reduce stroke risk. Aim for 2-3 servings a week.

Fiber
For an added boost against heart disease, consume foods that are high sources of dietary fiber. In the intestines, fiber binds to cholesterol-rich bile acids, passing them out of the body as waste rather than reabsorbing them. Fermentation of soluble fiber in the large intestine to short-chain fatty acids also helps inhibit cholesterol synthesis in the liver. Fiber also may help improve the LDL-HDL ratio. Great sources of fiber include oatmeal, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, beans, and several fruits and vegetables.

Wine
Research suggests that a moderate amount of red wine may help lower the risk of heart disease. Possibly a small amount may help increase HDL (“good”) blood cholesterol and may prevent LDL (“bad”) cholesterol from forming. Phytonutrients such as resveratrol and tannins in wine may offer heart-healthy benefits. Resveratrol, a flavonoid in the skins and seeds of grapes has estrogenlike qualities that may help increase HDLs or increase the oxidation, or breakdown of LDLs. Tannins may also help inhibit platelet clotting.

#LivingTo100: Avoid these beauty-product ingredients

Diethanolamine:
This ingredient appears on shampoo labels as DEA. It is typically added to increase lather, but DEA has been shown to increase liver tumors in lab animals.

Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is a skin and respiratory system irritant and considered a human carcinogen by health agencies. This substance appears in nail polish and hair straightening salon treatments. Look for nail polishes that state they are free of formaldehyde.

Hydroquinone
This substance is used to lighten skin color. It is found in skin creams and under-eye circle treatments. Hydroquinone has been linked to cancer in lab animals.

Parabens
Found in toothpaste, shampoo, makeup, and moisturizer, these are identified by “methyl-“, “ethyl-“, “propyl-“, “butyl-“, and “isobutylparaben” on labels. Animal studies reveal that these parabens have estrogenic effects.

Phenylenediamine
Also called PPD, this substance is found in hair dyes. It causes irritation to the lungs and nervous system.

Petroleum distillates
These often appear on product labels as petroleum or liquid paraffin. The European Union has restricted or banned these ingredients because of their connection to cancer.

Phthalates
Phthalates are plasticizing chemicals strongly suspected endocrine disruptors. This is a common ingredient in nail polishes, shampoos, and fragrances. Phthalates are also called DBP.

Talc
Talk is found in many body powders and some makeup. It is a suspected carcinogen. When purchasing body powder, look for cornstarch-based or talc-free formulas.

#LivingTo100: Manage your Melatonin Level Naturally

Melatonin production rises as the sun sets and continues throughout the night. When daylight hits the retina, neural impulses cause production of melatonin to slow. Light and darkness are major factors for melatonin production. However, there are few simple strategies that can help you control your melatonin levels.

Eat regular meals. The rhythm of melatonin production is strengthened by regular daily routines. Keep your mealtimes as regular as possible to keep your body in sync with the rhythms of the day.

Keep your diet light. When melatonin production begins after nightfall, the digestive process slows down. Heavy foods eaten close to bedtime may lead to digestive interruptions which can make it difficult to sleep. Aim to eat small, light meals late in the evening.

Avoid stimulants. Common stimulants like coffee, tea, soft drinks, and caffeine-containing medications can interfere with melatonin production by interfering with sleep. Eliminate these stimulants from your diet and lifestyle.

Avoid exercising late at night. Vigorous activity delays melatonin secretion. Exercising in the morning will reinforce healthful sleeping habits that lead to melatonin production. For best results, do morning exercises outdoors in the morning light.

Things to consider:

  • Discuss withe an oncologist if undergoing chemotherapy
  • Melatonin from animal pineal gland should be avoided due to potential toxin contamination
  • Avoid if taking blood pressure medication
  • Driving or using machinery for several hours after taking melatonin is not advised

#LivingTo100: What’s on your shelf?

Fifty-nine percent of Americans take supplements on a regular basis. Within this high percentage, college-educated individuals are more likely to take supplements than their counterparts who did not attend college.

Did you know all vitamin supplements work best when taken in combination with food? Unless specified otherwise, oil-soluble vitamins should be taken before meals, and water-soluble vitamins should be taken after meals. This applies when you are taking individual supplements only. Multivitamins often contain oil-soluble and water-soluble vitamins so take these as directed in the prescribed instructions.

Absorbing vitamins at full potency:

If you are concerned about absorbing the full potency of your vitamin, consider using raw food-created vitamins made from a single-cell yeast Sacharomyces cerevisiae. This yeast creates vitamins and minerals that are not isolated or synthesized, but that come from nutrient-dense whole foods. Absorption of vitamins is dependent upon bodily health. Alcohol inhibits absorption of folate and riboflavin. Antibiotics, laxatives, and some cholesterol-lowering drugs interfere with the absorption of vitamin A. Intestinal disorders and liver and gallbladder malfunctions interfere with the absorption of vitamin D.

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