Why Avocados are Amazing

By Shannon Morehouse MA, CHHC

Avocados are high in oleic acid (also known as Omega-9), a mono-unsaturated fat that research indicates may help prevent heart disease and even cancer! As if that isn’t enough good news, avocados can actually help increase the absorption of nutrients from other vegetables! This is a concept known as nutrient fusion. For instance, a salad with lettuce, carrots, some spinach, and salsa is rich in carotenoids such as beta carotene, which are extremely health-promoting. Add an avocado in your salad, and you automatically increase your body’s ability to absorb those nutrients! Why? Because these carotenoids are lipophilic (which means they are soluble in fat, not water); if you eat them along with a healthy fat, like avocados, you enhance their bioavailability!

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition proves this point. Adding avocado to a salad increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when an avocado-free salad was eaten. Amazing, isn’t it!?

If you are not a big fan of the avocado texture, try avocado in other forms. Avocado oil is great to use in cooking. If you haven’t the time to cook, try some healthy snacks made with avocado oil. All of the following are available at Natur-Tyme.  I love good health’s Avocado Oil kettle chips! And when I watch a movie at home, it is usually with a bowl of Lesser Evil’s Buddha Bowl Avocado Oil popcorn. Sandwiches are so delicious with a thin spread of Chosen Foods’ Avocado Oil Mayo.

If you are a dessert lover like me, you must try Avocadough cookies. You would never guess that avocado was hiding in these treats! Made locally in Central New York, the cookies are amazing. They are all-natural with a mixture of whole grains, sugar (or cane juice), egg, butter (or healthy oil)…and avocado, of course. In the mood for Oatmeal Raisin, try “Raisin the Bar.” Looking for a chocolate fix, try “Peanut Butter Me Up” or “Choc it Up.”

How will you incorporate avocados into your diet?Avocado_group_shopt

 

 

Address Health Concerns with Apple Cider Vinegar

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

 

Some health trends last forever and Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is one of them! Its benefits are numerous!

Taking a tablespoon of ACV before meals can help stabilize blood-sugar levels, which is very useful for digestion of high-carbohydrate meals, especially for those who have diabetes.

One of the benefits of ACV is that it can ease an upset stomach. Are you feeling bloated? Nauseous? Simply add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a small glass of water to solve your discomfort. The stomach discomfort is typically because of bacteria and the vinegar contains pectin, which has soothing properties.

ACV can also help with a variety of cold symptoms. Gurgling with two ounces of apple cider vinegar mixed with two ounces of warm water will soothe a sore throat. Along with alleviating a sore throat, ACV will clear your nose of congestion and stuffiness. The potassium in the vinegar makes your mucous thinner, while the acid reacts with the bacteria. This can relieve your stuffy feeling almost instantly.

Not only can ACV help with your cold, but also, it can help in the cold months with dry scalp. You may experience dandruff, which can be embarrassing. Mixing the vinegar with water and then with your shampoo will help your dry scalp. Again, the acidity in the vinegar prevents germs from invading your skin and prevents a dry scalp.

You are probably recognizing a trend; ACV helps almost any condition that is bacterial in nature. It can even be helpful in treating acne. It kills the bacteria on the surface of your skin and leaves you with clear, smooth skin that will be sure to make you happy.

Falling asleep during work? Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee, try grabbing some ACV. Having one tablespoon of vinegar gives you the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee.

The most effective ACV is in a glass bottle, organic, and unfiltered, such as Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. Natur-Tyme sells the 32-ounce Bragg’s ACV for 30% off MSRP everyday; it is one of our customers’ favorite L.E.A.N. (Lower Everyday at Natur-Tyme) products!

Natur-Tyme Employee Profiles

 

As a way for you to get to know our friendly staff members, we are going to start posting some profiles of the Natur-Tyme Family on our blog. What better of a person to start with than the owner, Wendy Meyerson.  And what better of a day to post it than the day of Natur-Tyme’s 16th annual health fair at the New York State Fairgrounds. This is CNY’s premier health and wellness event. Come on out and join us! Mention this blog to get in the door for $7.00 (the price of our advanced sale tickets) instead of $10.00 (our “at the door” price).

Here are Wendy’s answers to a variety of thought-provoking questions

Wendy
Wendy Meyerson
Natur-Tyme Store Owner
With the business for 20 Years

Q: Where were you born and raised?
A: Syracuse, New York

Q: If there is one piece of advice that you think applies to most people, what is it?
A: Always follow your gut! It will never fail you!

Q: If you won 10 million dollars, what would you do with the money?
A: Pay off our business loans but still keep doing what we are doing!

Q: What are your favorite local hangouts?
A: Natur-Tyme of course!

Q: If money was no object, what would you do all day?
A: Exactly what I am doing today!

Q: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
A: Of course my family’s health and happiness, but also the wonderful community support we have had for the past 30 years!

Q: Who’s your personal hero?
A: Not one, but all the Natur-Tyme employees who are committed everyday to uphold our mission while juggling his or her own life challenges. They are inspiring!

 

Lifestyle Factors to Keep in Mind for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

Losing Brain FunctionBy Jennifer Morganti, ND, Needs Director of Education

 

As Alzheimer’s disease (AD) rates continue to rise, many of us are wondering what our own risk is of  becoming a statistic. Current data says your chances are one in nine if you are over 65 years old, and if you’re over 85, it’s one in three. With such high risks, wouldn’t it be great to better understand what we can do to prevent it? There isn’t a good treatment to reverse AD and we still are not clear what causes it. Genetics and lifestyle factors seem to play in to the scenario, but the picture is fuzzy at best.

A recent study was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, which may help provide clues as to which lifestyle risk factors can be modified to help decrease the chances of developing this devastating disease.  This study was a meta-analysis of other studies that contained data about AD risks. The diligent researchers initially browsed through almost 17,000 relevant studies, then narrowed it down to 323 which were appropriate to include in the review. There were over 5,000 patients included in the 323 studies.

The review of these 5,000 patients brought to light some interesting findings. They found a strong protective effect from five dietary factors: coffee intake, light to moderate drinking (alcohol), vitamin E, vitamin C, and folic acid. They found a significantly increased risk of developing AD when homocysteine levels were high or if a person was depressed. Risk also increased in the presence of other health conditions such as obesity (in middle age), atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and having type-2 diabetes. Interestingly, the study found a seemingly contradictory risk factor; a “low” BMI (being underweight) also is a hazard. Smoking or having a lower education level increases a person’s risk. Frailty (lacking strength and not exercising) puts a person at risk as well.

Some of the results were surprising and all in all, some were familiar. Although nothing is conclusive from this one review, the information is useful.  I think it does help point us in the right direction to make smart lifestyle choices for AD prevention, and those choices are also generally wise recommendations for overall health and wellness. 

Reference:
Xu W, Tan L, Wang H, et al: Meta-analysis of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2015;August 21, 2015.

Make your Own Antioxidant Tea

By Sam Derbyshire

One thing I love about Natur-Tyme is the bulk department. We carry more high-quality herbs than any other place in CNY.

I rely on the bulk department for ingredients for my immune-boosting tea:
– 1-part hibiscus
– 1-part rosehips
– 1-part red tea

Lay out a tea ball and fill half of one side with red tea and half of that same side with hibiscus, then on the other side, fill half way with cut/sifted rosehips. Hang that tea ball in a gallon pitcher of cold water. Let it steep overnight in the fridge.

The rosehips have lots of vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and carotenoids, making them great antioxidants.

The hibiscus also has a lot of vitamin C, is a diuretic, and is great for high-blood pressure. Studies have also shown it to be helpful in atherosclerosis, reducing triglycerides, LDL, and overall triglycerides.  It is an overall antioxidant, contains phytosterols, and vitamin E.

The red tea (or Rooibos tea, or red bush tea) has the same antioxidant and polyphenol qualities as green tea, but without the caffeine and with much lower tannins.

The combo is a great option as a cold summer tea, which, in my opinion, needs no sweetener.  It is also great as a warm tea with just a dash of honey.

Aging Gracefully: Tips from the Experts

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

In 1946, 3.4 million babies were born in the United States—a 22% increase in the number of babies born the previous year. And so it began, the start of the Baby Boomer generation. Are you one of them? If you are, chances are you have started to notice some signs of aging. Perhaps your joints aren’t as nimble as they once were. You may have a few more wrinkles than you would like. Your memory may be becoming fuzzy. What tools do you need to assure that you age as gracefully as possible?

Come to Natur-Tyme’s all-day Annual Health Fair at the New York State Fairgrounds on Sunday April 10th. At 11:15 AM, you will want to attend the keynote panel on aging and listen to five experts discuss how to take control of your life and age with a positive attitude!

Here are some tips they have to pique your interest.

Pinsky“To quote Jane Fonda, ‘Stay curious, keep learning, and keep growing. And always strive to be more interested than interesting.’”

Marilyn Pinsky, Moderator

 

Heffernan“My advice is to sit less, and move more. Go for a brisk walk. As Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the Cooper Institute says, ‘We do not stop exercising because we grow old – we grow old because we stop exercising.’”

Kevin Heffernan, PhD
Nutrition & Exercise Expert

Keith“Figure out ways to be creative; do what you can to keep your imagination alive. Give the inner artist a chance to be taken seriously, even if your inner artist has not been acknowledged. Artists are energized by other artists.”

David Keith, MD
Families & Chronic Illness Specialist

Beissner“Keeping the mind and body active is the best way to age gracefully. This is the time to take up those deferred hobbies, or try something new. Taking an exercise class is a great way to meet people and have fun. The best programs target four key areas: strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance. “

Katherine Beissner, PT, PhD
Physical Activity Expert

“Studies have shown the importance ofHoltz being social to healthy aging. Social media is today’s tool for reaching that goal.”

Heidi Holtz
Social Engagement Specialist

How to Go Organic Affordably

Excerpt from Jordan Rubin’s book, Planet Heal Thyself

Organic fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products are more expensive, generally anywhere from 20 percent to 100 percent more than conventionally grown and raised groceries. [However], there are ways to get a lot of organic bang for your buck:

  • Stock up at sale time. Yes, even organic products go on sale at health-food grocery stores.
  • Shop at farmers markets. Food that’s grown, produced, and sold locally is a great way to help the planet heal itself, and without middlemen between you and the grower, the prices can be excellent. Farmers market produce tastes better than fruits and vegetables that have traveled thousands of miles from farm to plate.
  • Eat organic food instead of going out to a restaurant. Yes, this means time spent preparing and cooking organic foods, but eating organic food is cheaper than taking the family to a fast-food place or “fast casual” restaurant—and much healthier, of course. A family of four would have to pay a minimum of $20 to $25 for a meal out, but you could pay for a wonderful home-cooked meal, complete with organic, grass-fed beef or wild-caught fish for that amount—even less. [However], if you are interested in eating out, search for local organic restaurants as more and more of them are opening their doors in major and even smaller cities all across the U.S.
  • Eating organic is cheaper than going on a special diet. And there’s a good chance you’ll lose extra pounds that wouldn’t come off with any other diet.
  • If you’re taking nutritional supplements, shop organic as well. Surveys suggest that 40 percent to 70 percent of Americans consume nutritional supplements, so look for products that are certified-organic (Check for the USDA seal) as more and more leading brands are taking the giant leap and producing nutritional formulations using organic ingredients.

When you get down to the nitty-gritty, the decision to eat organic foods boils down to what’s important to you. What you spend your money on shows where your [interests lay] and where your heart is.

Do you want to live a healthier life and leave a smaller footprint on the planet? Do you see organic foods as a down-payment for your future and your health?

Let me leave you with this little saying that puts everything in perspective:
You can pay the farmer now, or you can pay the doctor later.
GetReal_andrew_2If you would like more inspiring healthy-living tips from Jordan Rubin, be sure to attend his April 10th lecture from 2:15-3:45 at Natur-Tyme’s 15th annual health fair, held at the New Your State Fairgrounds. Tickets are available on our website.

The Microbiome: A Key to Your Health

Abigail McShinsky
MegaFood Training and Education Specialist

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the importance of probiotics. Perhaps you even take them, as a supplement, yourself. The research and information demonstrating their vital importance to our health is growing, and it’s remarkable. Probiotics comprise what we refer to as the human microbiome – the vast collection of beneficial bacteria that inhabit, and form a deeply symbiotic relationship with, us.

Our digestive tracts are home to over 5,000 different species of beneficial bacteria, all of whom perform specific functions within our body (LiveScience). In addition to aiding in the digestion of food and nutrient assimilation, they are our biggest defense against illness – over 70% of our immune response resides within our gut!

Beyond this role, however, science continues to link the health of our microbiome to things such as allergies, and even lend credence to the phrase “gut reaction,” demonstrating a link between the health of our friendly crusaders and the brain! It begins to make sense, then, why these helpful bacteria, so important to our health and well-being, are called what they are – probiotic – literally meaning for life!

Unfortunately, modern diet trends and a focus on refined foods do not make for a strong microbiome. The Standard American Diet lacks diversity and an emphasis on fresh, whole, and fermented foods that nourish and grow our probiotic army. In addition, our frequent antibiotic use decimates these good guys and lowers our defenses further.

There is, of course, good news at the end of all of this. There are great ways to get probiotics back into your diet, and of course, into your gut, where they belong!  One thing to consider is foods that are rich in probiotics. Traditionally, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, and pickles are great options to start including in your daily diet. Just be sure they are the real deal – look for the words ‘fermented’ or ‘traditionally fermented’ on the label, and make sure they come from the refrigerated section, as probiotics are living, and many strains require cooler temperatures to stay alive (they can actually be damaged by heat!)

There are, of course, less-familiar options to look into as well – foods such as kimchi, kefir, and kombucha are delicious and healthy ways to get probiotics into your child’s diet, not to mention helping them create healthy eating habits for years to come.

In addition to fortifying the diet with these good-for-the-gut foods, a probiotic supplement is another convenient choice. Seek formulations that deliver a wide-range of flora strains rather than just one or two, and one that requires refrigeration, to ensure you are getting viable, living strains.

Nordic Naturals: Perfecting the Art of Fish Oil Manufacturing

Blog Joar

       Joar Opheim – Founder of Nordic Naturals

Nordic Naturals has been revolutionizing omegas since 1995, pioneering a new definition of fish oil as it relates to purity, freshness, taste, and dosage. Based in California, the company also offers complementary foundational nutrients essential to health.

Nordic Naturals was born in Arctic Norway, where founder, Joar Opheim, grew up and where fish oil is a part of everyday life.

“Growing up, I never knew anyone who didn’t take fish oil to stay healthy,” Joar recalls. “Our fish oil was always really pure and fresh, with high omega-3 levels.”

When he came to the United States to complete his MBA in the 1980s and could not find quality fish oil, he decided to do something about it.

Joar founded Nordic Naturals in 1995. His vision was to manage every step of the manufacturing process in order to guarantee both high-quality fish oil and environmental stewardship.

Nordic Naturals’ award-winning omega oils are manufactured at its state-of-the-art facility in Arctic Norway that was recognized by the Norwegian government with a $1 million grant for its extensive use of green technology.

“In order to continue to bring our vision to fruition, Nordic Naturals will remain family-owned,” Joar states. “The past 20-plus years have required deeply committed work from my family, our dedicated employees, and me. And there is still more to do.”

Nordic Naturals works passionately to see generations of healthier, happier people around the world. Their products are distributed to over 35 countries and includes more than 200 items in a variety of flavors and formulations for adults, kids, athletes, and pets.

Further information is available at nordicnaturals.com.

Go Mediterranean for your Heart

By Shannon Morehouse, MA, CHHC

February marks National Heart Health Month; are you taking your heart health seriously enough? Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack. Of these, 525,000 are a first heart attack and 210,000 happen in people who have already had a heart attack. Choosing a Mediterranean diet is one of the best ways to protect your health.

Let’s take a look at some of the main items consumed by Italians, Greeks, Egyptians,
and others who live near the Mediterranean Sea.

Veggies Galore:

Vegetables are very central to the Mediterranean diet. For example, residents of Greece eat, on average, six or more servings of vegetables a day. Experiment with spices to add flavor and life to those veggies. No mushy broccoli here!

Fish:

The Mediterranean diet includes a lot of fish. Thousands of studies have proven that the Omega-3s present in fish are great at boosting heart health by decreasing triglycerides, lowering blood pressure, reducing blood clotting, and reducing inflammation in general. The research has led to the American Heart Association recommending 2-3 servings of fish a week.

Nuts & Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are heart-healthy snacks and condiments for salads. Several of the largest cohort studies, including the popular Nurses’ Health Study, have shown a consistent 30 percent to 50 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death or cardiovascular disease associated with eating nuts several times a week. In fact, the FDA now allows some nuts and foods made with them to carry this claim: “Eating a diet that includes one ounce of nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease.” Which nuts to choose? Almonds lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Pistachios lower blood pressure and walnuts help keep the arteries clear.

Olive Oil:

The Greeks, Italians, and Spaniards are serious about their olive oil. Abundant evidence supports the role of extra-virgin olive oil in protecting the heart. It lowers LDL cholesterol and may raise your HDL (good cholesterol).

Try substituting your red meat dishes for fish; choose nuts and seeds over cookies and pastries, and experiment cooking with olive oil as opposed to butter in your cooking and you will be doing your heart a super favor!

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