New: My Little Bugs™ Probiotics For Kids

Provided by Probulin®

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Should my child be taking a probiotic? If you’re a parent of a young child, you may have already asked yourself this question. As an adult, we understand the health benefits of taking a daily probiotic – support for digestion and immune health. But do the benefits for adults translate to your child?

The answer is yes, and for reasons that may, but also may not, be so intuitive. Let’s take a look at the benefits of probiotics for young children.

Why Young Children Need Probiotic Bacteria

The reality is even newborns can benefit from probiotics. Often, mothers are given antibiotics during the birth process, sapping both mother and child of healthy bacteria in their bodies. If a child is born via C-section, the child misses out on the benefits of bacterial exposure during a vaginal birth. In either of these situations, providing probiotics to the infant can be beneficial.

The challenge is how to administer probiotics to such a young child. For that reason, the common age recommended for oral probiotics like Probulin’s My Little Bugs™ Total Care Probiotic is 4+. For most probiotics, the risk would be to avoid choking on capsules. My Little Bugs™ are chewables, which significantly reduce choking risk. But for safety, My Little Bugs™ also recommends consumption for ages 4 and up.

Benefits of Probiotics for Children

Children have less developed immune systems than adults. It is not uncommon for children to be on antibiotics multiple times at a young age. Even one-time usage of antibiotics can deplete the good bacteria in a young child’s digestive tract, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and sickness. If a child has been on antibiotics, providing them with probiotics makes good sense to support not just healthy digestion but overall immune health.

Research is showing us that the gut microbiome is not only vital for proper digestion and the dissemination of nutrients through the intestinal lining. We now know that there are important psychological and neurological benefits to a healthy digestive tract as well.

We know even very young children have persistent digestive issues and need immune support. A child’s modern diet consists of more processed foods relative to fruits and leafy greens, wreaking havoc on their developing digestive system. Children of all ages are, in many cases, challenged with increasing motility issues, are more sedentary, and have more stress in their lives than ever before.

For all of these reasons, now more than ever, children need good bacteria in their gut. And they can now get that in the form of a daily probiotic chewable for kids.

Even if everything seems normal, they benefit from daily support of their developing digestive & immune system. And it can be a great habit for the child and parent alike to take a daily probiotic!

Will I See a Difference in My Child?

For children with persistent digestive issues, it is quite possible you will see a difference in their stool and in the comfort associated with their digestive tract. But other indications, just like for an adult, may be less visible. What we do know is that a healthy digestive tract benefits many important areas of our overall health. And taking a daily probiotic, providing beneficial bacteria to the gut, is a proven way to support gut health – in both children and adults.

My Little Bugs™ from Probulin®

Probulin® has been an innovator in digestive health for over a decade, creating the patent-pending MAKTrek® 3-D Delivery System and probiotic skin therapy with Probuskin™ technology.

Now Probulin has introduced My Little Bugs™, a daily probiotic chewable for kids. And as a part of its new Total Care probiotic line, My Little Bugs™ includes the MAKTrek® 3-D technology, and includes beneficial prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics.

What is a Postbiotic? You’ve likely heard of a probiotic and even a prebiotic isn’t foreign to you these days. Postbiotics are key compounds created by the activity of the probiotics and help to support a healthy digestive system.

My Little Bugs™ probiotics are derived from organic fruits and vegetables. And as a part of the Total Care line, they provide a broad-spectrum approach to supporting the microbiome.

The health benefits of a daily probiotic – for kids and for adults – can be significant. Now, with My Little Bugs™, both you and your children can feel good about being proactive about your health. And you can do it together as a parent and child activity!

Why We Choose to Use Mushroom Mycelium

Provided by Host Defense

host-defense.jpgAs a team of growers with decades of experience, we grow all life stages of the mushroom organism at Fungi Perfecti’s farm in Washington State, USA. From mycelium to primordia to mature fruitbodies, our Host Defense product line is formulated with ingredients from across the full mushroom life cycle.

Based on many years of testing and research, Paul Stamets and the Host Defense team have learned how critically important it is to formulate mushroom supplements to include mycelium and its cultured substrate.

Along with the other parts of the life cycle, why do we choose to use mushroom mycelium?

 Mycelium is the immune system of the mushroom.

Mushroom mycelium naturally grows through substrates like soil, plant matter, wood and other materials. Many competitors and pathogens can threaten the mushroom organism in this environment.

To survive and thrive, mushroom mycelium generates many novel compounds which it releases into the surrounding substrate material. Some of these compounds form a protective “shield” for the mycelium and the whole mushroom organism.

Full of Nutrients, Zero Fillers

In addition to defending the mushroom, the enzymes and metabolites from the mycelium change and culture the surrounding substrate. During the growth process, much of the certified organic brown rice substrate is digested and transformed into mushroom mycelium. What rice substrate remains becomes enriched with a complex array of nutrients from the mycelium.

Thanks to the magic of fermentation, barley, rice and soybeans can be transformed into miso using a fungal organism. The barley, rice and soybeans are not fillers, but an integral nutrition source. These grains are food sources for the helpful fungi, which in turn becomes a nutritious superfood for humans.

Similarly, certified organic brown rice is a healthy, nutritious food source for mushroom mycelium. And as the mycelium eats and grows, any remaining rice is cultured and transformed by the mushroom mycelium. The result is a mushroom mycelium superfood, full of nutrition and beneficial compounds.

 Unique Benefits Beyond Beta-Glucans

The dynamic changes during the mycelium life stage create unique compounds not found in mushroom fruitbodies. The mycelium-cultured rice becomes a storehouse of supportive compounds like enzymes, prebiotics and polysaccharides. If mycelium is not included in a supplement formulation, these important, unique compounds will be missing…and the consumer will miss out on their benefits!

Verified by Scientific Studies

The health benefits of mushroom mycelium have been clearly demonstrated by scientific research. An easy search on www.pubmed.gov or Google Scholar will yield a large body of scientific studies that demonstrate the health supportive properties of mushroom mycelium, especially from the last five years.

The National Institutes of Health funded a study that determined significant immune support from Fungi Perfecti’s Host Defense Turkey Tail capsules, made with mushroom mycelium and cultured substrate.*

Testing by a 3rd party immunology lab has confirmed that Host Defense mushroom mycelium products can increase innate immune cells, activate white blood cells, and regulate immune cell compounds for a healthy, balanced immune response.* This series of testing also confirmed that cultured rice substrate, even when separated from mushroom mycelium, creates a uniquely beneficial and complimentary immune response.*

Extracts made from mushroom mycelium are also showing great promise in helping to promote immunity and extend the lifespan of both wild bees and honey bees facing Colony Collapse Disorder. To learn more about our BeeFriendly™ mushroom mycelium research, see http://www.beefriendlyinitiative.org.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

HOW TO HEAL YOUR GUT AND LOSE WEIGHT FAST!

“Happiness: a good bank account, a good cook and a good digestion” —Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Turns out that your digestive health has a lot to do with your happiness perhaps even more than a good bank account and a good cook.  Your gut plays a major role in obesity and your overall health.  This is becoming more and more clear.  We now know that about 70% of your immune system lives in your gut. It is not hard to see that to have a healthy immune system, you must have a healthy gut.  Your gut is a very complex system that includes the mouth, esophagus, the small intestine, the large intestine and the anus.  The system does not end there. It also includes the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, nerves and trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms such as fungi and viruses.  The gut is well known as the system that aids the digestion of the food we eat.  But did you know that the gut is the gateway to your immune system?  The immune system’s main job is to fight off anything that invades or threatens your health.  It is your body’s defense department with the responsibility to protect you from enemies foreign and domestic.  If your immune system is weak, you are likely to be overrun by disease and poor health. That is why it is so critical to have a healthy gut. When the gut is healthy, the lining of the gut is held together nicely by what are called tight junctions.  These ensure that only very small properly digested food particles are allowed through into the bloodstream to nourish your body.  But when the gut health is compromised, these tight junctions become loose and more permeable leading to a condition called leaky gut syndrome.  This allows partially digested food and bacteria to get through into the bloodstream where they are recognized as foreign.  The immune system then springs into action releasing proteins called antibodies to destroy the perceived invaders. This causes a chain reaction which ultimately leads to inflammation.  Unchecked long standing inflammation has been linked to most of the chronic diseases we are dealing with today.  These include obesity, heart disease, dementia, cancer, autoimmune diseases, arthritis and chronic fatigue. Your gut also plays a major role in your mood and how you feel.   About 95% of your body’s serotonin is made in the gut.  Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical that your brain uses to regulate your mood.   If your gut is not healthy you may suffer anxiety, depression and irritability.

What are some of the causes of leaky gut?

Leaky gut can be caused by many things. Some of these are:

  • Imbalances between good bacteria and bad bacteria
  • Certain foods such as excessive sugar, processed food, gluten to mention a few
  • Medications including antibiotics, acid blockers, anti-inflammatory painkillers, steroids
  • Stress either psychological or physiological stress from things like surgery, chemotherapy and illness
  • Environmental toxins

How can heal leaky gut?

There are four principles for healing leaky gut and restoring gut health

  1. Remove the bad. The first thing to do is to remove anything that is damaging to the gut. This includes avoiding or limiting intake of foods such as sugar, gluten, processed foods, food additives and preservatives.  Some people have also advocated eliminating dairy at least for a limited time to allow your gut to heal.
  2. Restore the good. Restoring the population of the good bacteria by nourishing them with good food such as natural whole foods, high fiber intake, healthy fats and lean protein.  Fiber is especially good food for the healthy bacteria. If you have significant digestive issues, adding digestive enzymes may be helpful
  3. Re-inoculate. Add the good bacteria by taking probiotics. This is very important for gut health, weight loss and general well-being. You need the good bacteria to crowd out the bad bacteria which has been shown to cause fat storage and obesity
  4. Repair. Repairing the gut lining is also a key component of restoring gut health. This can be done through supplements that have been shown to support a healthy gut. Some of these include L-glutamine, omega 3 and vitamin d.

To learn more, join us for a free seminar at Natur-Tyme on April 27. 2019.              Call 315-559-1959 for more information. 

Tips to heal your gut:

  1. Ditch sugar, gluten, processed foods
  2. Increase your fiber intake
  3. Take a probiotic. All probiotics are not equal. I recommend Ultra Flora Control by Metagenics.  Check it out at Metagenic.com.  Use provider code kudos
  4. Micronutrient support with sensible supplements. Try Metagenics Wellness Essential
  5. Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep
  6. Develop a daily program to reduce your stress such as deep breathing exercises and meditation

 Ife Ojugbeli, MD, MBA.

High-Quality, Great-Tasting Fish Oils That Provide the Most Beneficial Omega-3s, EPA and DHA

Provided by Carlson

Fish oils, in particular omega-3 fatty acids, are great for the entire family for a variety of reasons! They are very well known, researched, and documented for supporting cardiovascular health, brain and nerve health, vision, the immune system, and joint health. In children, in particular, omega-3s have been seen to promote brain development, impact behavior and learning abilities, support comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and reading skills.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studied 11 years’ worth of data on the dietary habits and health of 20,551 male physicians aged 40-84 years. It was found that those who ate seafood containing omega-3 fatty acid at least once a week had a 52% lower risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) compared to those who ate fish less than once a month. The Omega 3 Index for risk of SCD is based on measuring the fatty acids in red blood cells, and is expressed as a percentage of EPA + DHA of total fatty acids. An omega-3 index of >8% is associated with 90% less risk for sudden cardiac death, as compared to an omega-3 index of <4%. Taking EPA and DHA can reduce the incidence of SCD by anywhere from 45 to 90%. Just 1000 mg per day of combined EPA and DHA has been found to be enough to do the trick!

The study that really changed the acceptance of EPA and DHA supplements for people with heart issues and for prevention of heart issues was the Gissi Prevenzione trial. This was a study of 11,000 myocardial infarction survivors. One group was taking a placebo, and the other group that took 1 gram daily of omega-3 EFAs (EPA/DHA) had a 20% decrease in total deaths, a 30% decrease in cardiovascular deaths, and a 45% decrease in sudden deaths over a 4-year period versus the placebo group. This led to widespread recommendation of EPA and DHA by organizations like GOED. GOED, which is the Global Organization of EPA and DHA has established omega-3 daily intake recommendations based on scientific research. For the general healthy adult population, to lower the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) 500mg is recommended. For pregnancy and lactation, 200 additional mg/day of DHA over recommendation for healthy adults. For secondary prevention of CHD 1000mg/day of EPA + DHA is recommended. Over 1g/d is supported for a range of additional health conditions like elevated blood pressure and elevated triglycerides. Some great options to get in the amount of fish oil in you need daily include Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil at 1 tsp/day which yields 1,600mg of omega-3s. If you prefer a softgel, you can take 1-2 of Elite Omega 3 Gems or Maximum Omega with a meal. Super DHA Gems, which yields 500mg of DHA in 1 softgel, is ideal for the pregnant or breastfeeding mom.

Fish oil provides important omega-3 fatty acids that are crucial for supporting and maintaining healthy cells, and medical studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are key components to the structure of our nervous system. EPA and DHA, the most important omega-3s, promote healthy cardiovascular, brain, nerve, vision, joint, skin, and immune function for the entire family. So try adding some into your daily routine!

From Farming to Healing a Community: Head & Heal CBD Oil

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CBD Healing the Mind, Body, and Spirit

In the scenic hills of Cortland, New York lies a small organic vegetable farm by the name of Main Street Farms. Within the farm, you’ll find passionate growers and educators that are dedicated to natural, holistic healing. Main Street Farms started growing industrial hemp in 2018 under the Industrial Hemp Research Initiative through New York State. Head + Heal was started as a sister company to Main Street Farms by Main Street Farms owner Allan Gandelman and his business partner Karli Miller-Hornick after personally experiencing the uplifting effects of CBD. Head+Heal ‘s mission is to craft the highest quality, organically-grown CBD at an affordable price.

Karli and Allan met during an agriculture class in 2015 and share a passion for sustainable farming. Now, they bring the healing to communities across New York and the country. How do they offer healing to those in need? The answer is organic and ethically-produced full-spectrum CBD Oil. Head + Heal offers a line of healing products including tinctures, salves, and lotions. These products are designed to help relieve stress, soothe pain, and attain a greater sense of wellbeing. If you’re looking for an alternative form of healing, Head + Heal full-spectrum CBD oil is the perfect holistic remedy to add to your routine.

Often people report that CBD oil helps them with the daily stress while in the workplace. Craig, an academic counselor for 15 years, has been working with college students in a program that is dedicated to helping young students achieve higher education. “Working behind a desk and attending to the needs of over 500 students can be stressful yet rewarding” said Craig. So how does Craig manage his physical and mental health? He uses Head + Heal CBD oil by adding it to his coffee. After he takes the CBD oil, he feels that his mind is more present and his body pains drift away. He finds relief from his everyday back pain and he feels balanced and ready to take on challenges presented during the work day.

To learn more about the seed-to-bottle process that Head + Heal uses to make organic, local CBD, go to http://www.headandheal.com or email them at orders@headandheal.com.

Want To Improve Your Teeth? Start With Your Gut!

Provided by HimalayaWant-To-Improve-Your-Teeth-Start-With-Your-Gut.jpgAlong with the basic dental hygiene habits you should perform each day, your diet actually has a huge impact on the health of your teeth. After all, every piece of crunchy food you eat and every sugary beverage you drink will come into contact with your teeth, for better or worse.

It’s estimated that as many as 92% of adults have cavities, many of which are caused, in part, by their diet. Here’s how you can improve your diet to improve your dental health.

Avoid sugary foods

We’ve been told this since our earliest days in childhood, but sugary foods and drinks can be detrimental to your oral health. This is because sugar reacts with the plaque in your mouth, resulting in tooth decay, cavities, and worse.

Sticky sweets are another no-no when it comes to improving your dental health. This is because sticky or tacky foods, like caramel and fruit chews, are hard to wash out of your mouth and will cling to your teeth for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, even “healthy” sugary foods like raisins can create the perfect environment for tooth decay. Sideline the sweets and be sure to brush after indulging now and then.

Cut down on coffee

Coffee is an acidic beverage that also has the propensity to stain your teeth when you drink too much. Acidic foods and beverages can wear down the enamel on your teeth, resulting in weaker teeth that are more prone to future damage. Paired with sugary syrups and additives, coffee offers a two-punch combination of acid and sugar that becomes a particularly harmful drink for your sensitive teeth.

Be sure to cut down on your coffee intake and drink plenty of water to wash out the sugar and acid in your mouth

Take organic supplements

Along with improving your diet, you can also take plenty of organic supplements and herbal formulas to improve your health. Nutrient-rich, herbal supplements can improve your health throughout your body. Even liver supplements can help aid in your digestive process. When your body has the necessary nutrients to run at peak levels of efficiency, health benefits are sure to keep you smiling.

Do you need the best in whitening toothpaste without fluoride, and plant-based supplements to support your overall wellness? Try out the herbal products offered by Himalaya. Our Neem & Pomegranate Toothpastes and healthy digestive and liver supplements can help promote health and well-being.

FROM FARM TO SUPPLEMENT

Whole Earth & Sea®: Capturing the Vibrant Energy and Goodness of Nature

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Factors Farms: A Very Special Place 

From a simple seed, planted in the ground with a little water, nutrients from the soil, and a whole lot of energy from the sun, comes the wholesome nutrition that sustains our lives. On our certified organic Factors Farms in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, we’ve been growing vegetables, grasses, and herbs for over a quarter century.

One of the advantages of doing our own organic farming is having complete control over seed selection. We make sure to choose true “species,” non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds. We also have full control over the harvest. For example, we selectively handpick the echinacea flowers, picking only the mature flower heads, because they contain the highest levels and best ratios of active ingredients.

EnviroSimplex®: Preserving the Vibrant Goodness of Whole Foods

After harvesting, we immediately process the plants at our facilities using our proprietary EnviroSimplex process. Using gentle agitation with just the right amount of heat (never exceeding 118 °F) under high vacuum, the EnviroSimplex method protects and concentrates the vital bioenergetic vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

These fresh, organic, non-GMO ingredients from Factors Farms are featured in our Natural Factors Whole Earth & Sea Multivitamin & Mineral whole food supplements, as well as the 100% Fermented Organic Greens and Protein & Greens powders.

Multivitamin & Mineral Supplements

Whole Earth & Sea provides age- and gender-specific multivitamin and mineral supplements: Women’s, Women’s 50+, Men’s and Men’s 50+. The vitamins and minerals come primarily from Farm Fresh Factors™ and other plant sources. Farm Fresh Factors is a concentrated source of active vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, whole fruit ultra polyphenols, herbals and plants, and whole plant sea vegetables – many of these nutrient-rich plants are grown on Natural Factors Farms.

100% Fermented Organic Greens and Protein & Greens

Using traditional methods of fermentation in a carefully controlled process, the whole foods from Factors Farms are combined with clinically studied probiotic strains and organic molasses. This transforms the plants into easily digested, nutrient-packed powders that release the whole foods’ full nutrient power! Fermentation has many benefits including:

  • Releasing the plant’s full nutrient power, as well as producing unique metabolites, for deep nourishment
  • Helping reduce occasional gas and bloating by predigesting complex foods
  • Eliminating antinutrients, such as phytates, which inhibit mineral absorption
  • Promoting gut health
  • Enhancing protein quality and absorption by up to 40%!

When you want the best of nutrition, choose Natural Factors!

 

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Black Vinegar: What’s the Difference?

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Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has taken over the supplement industry, It has a cult following for a lot of applications. Less-known in the western world is black vinegar (BV). Keep reading to Learn about the scientific support for their uses, how they’re different and what’s important to know for health benefits.

Support for Apple Cider Vinegar

For years apple cider vinegar has been used as a general intestinal tonic to improve digestion, relieve gas and bloating, help with occasional heartburn and balance pH levels. ACV promotes alkalinity in the body. Recently, its uses have expanded into healthy blood sugar control and weight loss support.

Research has shown ACV can help improve carbohydrate metabolism in several ways. ACV also can help increase the body’s uptake of glucose, particularly in skeletal muscle. This may also be helpful for promoting weight loss.

ACV & Weight Loss Benefits

In one double-blind study, subjects were randomly assigned to three groups of similar body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference. During the 12-week treatment period, the subjects in each group ingested 500 ml of a beverage containing either one tablespoon of ACV, two tablespoons of ACV, or a placebo each day. Body weight, BMI, visceral fat area, waist circumference, and serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower in both vinegar intake groups than in the placebo group, adding up to an average weight loss of 2-4 pounds in the subjects taking the vinegar.

Subjects were instructed to make no major changes to diet or activity levels. Therefore, as part of a concerted effort including dietary changes and exercise, weight loss benefits may increase.

Why “The Mother” Is Important

Studies indicate that the “mother” components found in unfiltered ACV create additional benefits. Findings show that ACV can help support naturally healthy blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These later effects are not likely due to the acetic acid content, but rather the presence of mother compounds.

There are many ACV products available, but only Enzymedica Apple Cider Vinegar capsules contain the nutritious “mother”. This means you get all the benefits of liquid ACV without the bad taste or damage to tooth enamel.

Is Black Vinegar Superior?

Black vinegar is an inky-black vinegar derived from fermented unpolished black or brown rice. While apple cider vinegar is more popular in the United States, black vinegar also has great health-promoting properties, as it contains considerably higher amounts of amino acids, polyphenols, trace minerals, and organic acids than other vinegars including balsamic and ACV. Not surprisingly, BV has been shown to possess the same high antioxidant activity as ACV and other forms of vinegar.

Just as with apple cider vinegar, a black vinegar product should contain the full spectrum of mother compounds to ensure the maximum benefit.

If you’re interested in trying Black Rice Vinegar, this product is available to the American market for the first time with Enzymedica Black Vinegar capsules.

Dosage Recommendations

To get the greatest benefit from ACV or BV, it appears that it must not only contain acetic acid, but all the other compounds typically found in the mother. That recommendation is true whether the product is in liquid or pill form. The dosage is typically one tablespoon, or its equivalent as a dried powdered extract in capsule form, with a glass of water.

Did you know that Enzymedica offers both Apple Cider Vinegar and Black Vinegar capsules? They both contain the nutritious “mother” and offer all of the health benefits discussed in this blog!

Mushroom Coffee Benefits: Why This Combo Is the Next Big Health Movement

cover-mushroom-coffee-four-sigmatic-medicinal-mushrooms.jpgAuthor: Tero Isokauppila

Coffee has earned itself quite the reputation over the years — and not always in a good way.

Beginning in the 1500s, headlines decried the potential pitfalls of java. First, there were concerns that drinking coffee would lead to having “illegal coitus.” (Yes, really.) The pendulum swung the other way in the 1600s, when conventional wisdom stated that coffee might cause impotence.

Headlines of the early 1900s declared coffee would stunt people’s growth and make children get bad grades in school, while the 1970s and 1980s saw people fretting that coffee could cause heart attacks. The humble cup of joe didn’t fare any better in the early 2000s, during which headlines suggested coffee could increase the risk of certain cancers.

And then, around 2010, things began to change. Suddenly the headlines weren’t damning coffee — they were celebrating it. Thanks to a variety of large-scale meta-analyses, newspapers and health publications (and scientific research) began to declare that coffee could do everything from improving cognitive performance to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular issues, reducing the risk of certain cancers, and increasing longevity.

The evidence in favor of coffee came so quickly and in such large quantities that by 2015, the USDA’s dietary guidelines recognized daily coffee consumption as a means of sustaining overall health and mitigating disease risk. Meanwhile, a number of studies have concluded that for most people, coffee’s health perks far outweigh any potential harms.

Today, a whopping 64 percent of American adults consume at least one cup of coffee each day. While many of these people are probably reaching for coffee to obtain the caffeinated jolt it provides, it appears they’re getting a dose of wellness in the process.

But that’s not where the story ends. While coffee is being lauded for its various health benefits — and for good reason — that doesn’t mean it’s entirely without downsides. It’s certainly not true that coffee will make you blind, or impotent, or a terrible student. But in some people, coffee can have an effect on the body when it comes to acidity, digestion, sleep patterns, and several other factors.

As it turns out, adding mushrooms to coffee has the potential to offset the potential downsides.

We know — mushroom coffee sounds like a random (and, at first glance, maybe even unappealing) combination. But in truth, switching to mushroom coffee is one of the smartest things you can do if you’re a coffee drinker.

Incorporating mushrooms into coffee mitigates the potential strains that coffee can place on the body while elevating coffee’s benefits and contributing several additional benefits as well.

4 Benefits of Coffee

You probably know coffee can provide a substantial energy boost, especially on those days when you’re feeling fuzzy-brained or sluggish. In fact, this is arguably the reason why coffee became popular in the first place. But coffee is good for much more than powering through all-nighters or perking up in the morning. Here are just some of coffee’s many benefits.

  1. Coffee Contains Essential Nutrients

One cup of regular coffee contains a number of essential nutrients, including:

  • Niacin (vitamin B3)
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus

While these nutrients exist in coffee in varying amounts, they’ll add up quickly if you drink multiple cups of coffee a day.

  1. Coffee Has Antioxidant Properties

When it comes to antioxidants, fruits and vegetables typically get all the attention. While these accolades are well-deserved, it turns out there’s an even bigger antioxidant powerhouse on the block — and its name is coffee.

In fact, Americans consume more antioxidants from coffee than any other source. Study after study confirms the brew is packed full of antioxidant properties including hydrocinnamic acids and polyphenols. These phytochemicals may help protect cells from otherwise damaging free radicals, which can harm cellular proteins and DNA if left unchecked.

  1. Coffee Fires Up Your Nervous System

Caffeinated coffee has been shown to stimulate the central nervous system in a number of ways. When caffeine hits the brain, it temporarily blocks the production of an inhibitory neurotransmitter (it’s called adenosine).

That sounds very complex, but what it amounts to is that caffeine “tricks” the body into thinking it’s releasing adenosine when it really isn’t. With adenosine largely out of the picture, several things can happen:

  • It allows for the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate, which have an uplifting effect on the nervous system.
  • It blocks certain pathways for inflammation-causing molecules.
  • It temporarily shuts down the production of chemicals that would normally tell us it’s time to go to sleep.

Together, these actions yield the caffeine-induced effects we all know and love: We feel more awake and alert, think more clearly, have an easier time concentrating, and feel more physically coordinated.

  1. Coffee May Provide Cognitive Benefits

A variety of studies have found that coffee consumption can give our brains a helping hand. In particular, studies suggest that coffee may have a positive effect on memory, mood, reaction time, focus and alertness, and overall cognitive function.

Are you beginning to see why the media has changed its tune on coffee? Contemporary, peer-reviewed research finds that the bitter brew is packed with tons of sweet benefits and has the potential to boost both our physical and mental well-being.

3 Potential Downsides of Coffee Consumption

The benefits of coffee are now virtually undeniable. But, coffee isn’t entirely without downsides. Here are a few potential pitfalls of the brew.

  1. Coffee Can Contribute to Indigestion

Coffee consumption has been shown to trigger the production of hydrochloric acid[*]. This acid is typically used by the body to digest meals — but if the body is tapping into its reserves every time you drink a cup of joe, then it won’t have as much left over for digesting actual food. Additionally, the high acidity of coffee itself may irritate the lining of the stomach and small intestine. Depending on your body, coffee can contribute to a number of issues pertaining to acidity, including acid reflux and ulcers.

  1. Coffee May Aggravate Sleep Problems

People who have difficulty falling or staying asleep may experience even more trouble if they drink caffeinated coffee. There’s some evidence that high levels of caffeine disrupts your circadian rhythms, which are normally responsible for regulating healthy sleep-wake cycles.

  1. Coffee May Escalate Anxiety

Individuals who are already prone to anxiety may find that drinking coffee can increase their feelings of anxiety, nervousness, irritability, and jitteriness.

Of course, many people can consume coffee on a regular basis and never suffer these ill effects. That’s because different bodies metabolize the caffeine in coffee differently depending on a range of genetic and lifestyle factors. While these downsides aren’t a sure thing, they can have a potential impact on certain coffee drinkers.

Why Mushroom Coffee Makes for an Ideal Combination

Now that we understand the benefits and potential downsides of coffee, it’s time to look at what happens when we add mushrooms into the mix. This sounds like an unlikely combination, I know.

I’m from Finland, the country with the world’s highest coffee consumption. We love our coffee. But during World War II, there were serious coffee rations. So our grandparents turned to another one of our food traditions: brewing chaga tea. Chaga is a mushroom that grows in cold climates around the world, especially throughout Scandinavia. When brewed it tastes quite like coffee, but with way more antioxidant properties.

I grew up foraging for chaga and other mushrooms and I’ve known about their benefits for a long time. But people often don’t like the way mushrooms taste. So at Four Sigmatic we pair them with other bitter drinks, like coffee, for the perfect brew.

The Benefits Mushrooms Add to Coffee

For starters, functional mushrooms proffer many of the same benefits as coffee. They’ve been linked to focus, energy, and overall wellness, and they’re packed with antioxidant properties that have been found to support your immune system. When you combine coffee and mushrooms, they work together to amplify these mutual benefits, while tasting amazingly smooth.

But what really makes coffee and mushrooms a match made in heaven is that functional mushrooms can help buffer the body against every one of coffee’s downsides outlined above. This means drinking mushroom coffee may allow coffee drinkers to enjoy all the benefits of coffee (and mushrooms) without suffering the downsides. Here’s how mushrooms can counteract the potential pitfalls of coffee.

  1. Mushrooms Can Support Digestion

Studies have found that prebiotics and polysaccharides in mushrooms may contribute to the production of healthy bacteria in the gut. These beneficial bacteria are responsible for helping to digest food, absorb nutrients, normalize bowel movements, and maintain smoother and more effective digestion overall.

  1. Mushrooms Can Support Sleep Cycles

Mushroom coffee generally contains much less caffeine than the regular stuff, which means you can enjoy an energy boost without the sleep disturbances that may come from drinking regular black coffee. Our cup of mushroom coffee has only 50 milligrams of caffeine, while a brewed cup of coffee has almost 100 milligrams. Reishi mushroom is an adaptogen that can actually facilitate falling asleep and improve sleep quality overall.

  1. Mushrooms May Help With Stress Management

Functional mushrooms are adaptogens that support the adrenal glands, thereby helping to mitigate caffeine’s jittery side effects. These adaptogenic properties of functional mushrooms help your body to fight occasional stress.

Both coffee and mushrooms are packed with functional benefits that can help sustain your overall wellness. Put the two together, and the benefits of mushroom coffee are outstanding. At Four Sigmatic we’ve been making drinking mushrooms a thing since 2012, and I hope you’ll join us! Try it for a month and let me know what you think of your new mushroom coffee habit.

Try These 3 Mushrooms In Coffee First

There are thousands of edible mushrooms in the world, but there are specific functional mushrooms I recommend you try in coffee first. These aren’t your average culinary mushrooms and have been used by cultures around the world for many centuries.

  1. Lion’s Mane

If you’re looking to focus in on your to-do list, lion’s mane is your brain’s BFF. Preliminary research in vitro and in mice suggests that consuming lion’s mane mushroom can stimulate “neurite outgrowth,” parts of the brain that convey electrical impulses from neuron to neuron. By doing so, lion’s mane may support cognition and focus.

You can take a pick-me-up with you on-the-go with our instant Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane & Chaga that dissolves instantly in hot water. Prefer a slow French press or pour-over? Try our Ground Mushroom Coffee with Honduras coffee beans.

  1. Cordyceps

If you’re a fan of the pre-workout coffee, take it to the next level by adding cordyceps mushroom. Preliminary research on cordyceps suggests they help increase resistance to muscle fatigue, improve cardiovascular response, and improve VO2Max. Cordyceps is the go-to mushroom for endurance lovers.

Try it first in Mushroom Coffee with Cordyceps & Chaga made with instant coffee, or if you have a Keurig, Mushroom Coffee with Cordyceps & Chaga in Eco-friendly Pods.

  1. Chaga

A Finnish favorite, chaga doesn’t get the same spotlight that lion’s mane and cordyceps do. But it’s one of my favorites. Chaga has powerful antioxidant properties that may help support your immune function. For heavy travelers like myself, this is essential. Chaga mushroom is in Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane & ChagaMushroom Coffee with Cordyceps & Chaga, and Mushroom Mocha with Chaga.

We use only high-quality mushroom extracts, and every batch is tested in a third-party lab for heavy metals, allergens, bad bacteria, yeasts, molds, mycotoxins, pesticides, and irradiation before they get in your hands.

6 Steps to Keep Your Skin Hydrated and Healthy This Winter

Provided by MyChelleMYCH_Winter-Skin_Landing.jpg

There are so many ways to celebrate the arrival of winter. Walks down quiet, snowy streets, weekends spent skiing and snowshoeing, enjoying hot chocolate inside by the fire…the list goes on! One thing we’re not celebrating? Dry, dehydrated skin. Indoor heat, harsh winds, and cold weather all join forces during winter to leave your skin feeling flaky, itchy, and tight. We’re here to tell you that glowing skin and the winter season can coexist! We’ve pulled together an ultra-nourishing routine filled with our top hydrators and moisturizers to help bring your skin back into hydrated, healthy balance.

Refining Sugar Cleanser

All good routines start with a cleanse. Our vanilla-infused, natural sugar cleanser gently exfoliates and leaves skin feeling baby-soft and hydrated. This cleanser smells so good, you won’t want to rinse it off!

Ultra Hyaluronic Water Mask

One or two times per week, give your skin a boost of hydration with Ultra Hyaluronic Water Mask. This refreshing mask restores moisture balance, and you can even use it overnight! Massage the mask in until it’s absorbed, and leave on while you sleep to wake up to refreshed, moisturized skin.

Ultra Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum

One of our favorite ways to beat winter dryness is by adding a pump of Ultra Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum to our moisturizer, morning and night. This nourishing, active blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Squalane, and organic Rosehip Oil helps boost moisture levels and soothes skin.

Deep Repair Cream

Seal in all of that fresh hydration with our most luxurious moisturizer. Enriched with organic Rosehip Oil and Black Current Oil to provide ultimate nourishment and hydration, and a powerful blend of antioxidants—including Kombucha Tea and Vitamin B—help revive and rejuvenate skin’s appearance.

Remarkable Retinal™ Eye Cream

For youthful, hydrated skin around the delicate eye area, look no further than Remarkable Retinal™ Eye Cream. Apply this advanced, high-performance cream with Vitamin A (patented-process Retinal), Orange Plant Stem Cells, and Ceramide 3 to promote healthy skin renewal and help to reduce the visible signs of aging.

Replenishing Solar Defense SPF 30

Sun protection is a year-round priority, and especially important during winter when you may least expect sun damage. Replenishing Solar Defense SPF 30 not only protects you from the sun’s harmful rays with broad spectrum, mineral-based protection, but is also formulated with Kukui and Macadamia Nut Oils to restore moisture balance to the skin.

We hope this routine helps you head into 2019 with happy, hydrated skin! May the new year bring you peace, love, and happiness.

Visit Natur-Tyme.com

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