How the Nervous System Works and Affects Everything in the Body

The human nervous system is an amazing network of organs, nerve cells (neurons) and neurotransmitters, connecting the brain and spinal cord to the entire body.

The nervous truly helps regulate everything happening in your body, whether it’s occurring consciously or unconsciously.

  • Conscious/voluntary — controls perception, analysis, memory, movement
  • Unconscious/involuntary (also called Autonomic) — takes care of all of the things you don’t think about, such as your heartbeat, digestion, regulating body temperature, breathing, etc.

Your Autonomic branch is further divided into two smaller branches:

  •  Sympathetic
  • Parasympathetic

The Sympathetic nervous system gets you prepared for activity. It increases mental activity, heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the bronchials, slows or halts digestion, stimulates the release of stress hormones, makes goose bumps on the skin and more. When we’re excited, stressed or scared, the sympathetic nervous system gears us up for action (fight or flight) but shuts down digestion and elimination.

The Parasympathetic nervous system helps you wind down, relax and digest your food. It relaxes mental activity, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, increases the flow of blood to the extremities, constricts bronchials and stimulates digestion. As we relax and unwind, the parasympathetic nervous system moves blood to the digestive organs, relaxes muscles and allows elimination.

Nervous System Sending Messages

A stimulated nerve cell fires an electrical impulse that moves across the cell. At the end of the cell, this electricity triggers the nerve to squirt neurotransmitters (specialized chemicals) into the gap between this cell and the next one. These chemicals fill the space and either stimulate the next cell or prevent it from firing another electrical impulse, depending on what is needed.

Neurotransmitters control or regulate all kinds of things, including depression, addictions, mood, appetite, sleep, certain diseases of the brain and nervous system, and ADHD. Key neurotransmitters include:

  • Serotonin helps control mood, hunger, sleep, pain response and more.
  • Acetylcholine aids in memory and muscle movement. When the brain is short on acetylcholine, memory suffers.
  • Dopamine is responsible for sexual arousal and muscle coordination. Parkinson’s disease sufferers lack this neurotransmitter.
  • GABA helps prevent anxiety and increases mental clarity.
  • Epinephrine is released during times of stress. It can raise blood pressure and heart rate. It also opens the bronchioles to help restore normal breathing.
  • Norepinephrine helps maintain constant blood pressure when levels get too low.

As you can see, the vast network of the human nervous system affects or controls EVERYTHING in the body. It pays to take great care of your nervous system with a healthful diet, the right supplements and plenty of rest.


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Boost Your Immune System With These 5 Common Foods

Immune Support

You might be surprised to find that many immune boosting foods are already in your kitchen. While some immunity boosting ingredients are difficult to come by, there are plenty of dishes that are already household favorites.

Don’t forget to always stock your cupboards with these staples. Here are a few foods you should never be without and how to use them for maximum benefits.

1. Garlic   Close-up of garlic clove on white background

Close-up of garlic clove on white backgroundGarlic could really be in your meals every day. This superfood is a cousin of the onion and has three immunity boosting qualities you need in your diet: antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. The main component in garlic is allicin, which fights bacteria and infection with a packed punch. And as a bonus, bugs don’t develop an immunity to garlic like they can with antibiotics, so it works every time, no matter how much garlic you eat.

The active ingredient in garlic is destroyed after an hour of smashing the cloves, so make sure you always eat it fresh. To truly see the benefits of garlic, eat two raw cloves a day and add crushed garlic to your meals a few times throughout the week.

2. Chicken Soup

Turns out that chicken soup is more than simply soothing when you’re under the weather. In fact, the University of Nebraska found that almost all brands of chicken soup block the migration of inflammatory white cells, which is what causes cold symptoms to manifest. Cooked chicken also contains the amino acid cysteine, the same chemical found in some bronchitis medications. And the warm broth does more than sooth sore throats. The salt in chicken broth helps to thin mucus the same way most drugs do.

To really get the best benefit out of your chicken soup, add immune boosting spices such as garlic, oregano and black pepper. Eat a whole bowl any time you feel a cold coming on.

3. Tea  Green tea.

Green tea.Tea doesn’t just feel good on sore throats, it also fights viruses and contains free-radical destroying antioxidants. In both black and green teas is a compound called interferon, which contains the amino acid L-theanine. This amino acid rages war on viruses, killing them twice as fast. Teas also contain antioxidants, which repair and maintain cell health, helping you get back to normal faster than ever.

Black and green teas are the best for immune system support, caffeinated or not. To get the most out of your tea bag, dip it in and out of your hot water at least five times before letting your tea steep. This releases the antioxidants and helps the flavor spread.

4. Beef

Beef has a lot of immunity boosting vitamins, such as vitamin A and E, omega-3 fatty acids and beta carotene. But most importantly, beef contains a high amount of zinc, which helps develop white blood cells. When your body gets a virus, white blood cells are the defenders sent to destroy it.

Not all beef is created equal. Cows that are fed corn instead of grass lose a lot of their natural vitamins and minerals, and that depletion is transferred into your food. Instead, opt for grass-fed beef whenever you can, and finding organic meat doesn’t hurt as well.

5. Mushrooms  jolt your immune system


Another white blood cell booster, mushrooms help to produce and keep white blood cells active. This is because mushrooms contain strong compounds called beta-glucans, which increase immunity by binding to macrophages and other scavenger white blood cells, activating their anti-infection properties. On top of supercharging your virus-fighters, mushrooms contain protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin C, and B vitamins.

Mushrooms that pack the most punch are shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms. Just like garlic, these immunity supporters should be added to every meal and eaten on a daily basis. If you’re not a mushroom person, there are lots of ways to throw them into dishes without making them the star, like adding them to marinara sauce, omelettes and pizza.


Natural immunity boosters are powerful tools you should keep in your kitchen year-round. Besides adding these delectable foods to your daily diet, you should keep them on hand in case you feel the sniffles coming on.

If you’re prone to coming down with colds, learn a few recipes that contain a handful of these ingredients. Create your own magical cure through the power of nutritious foods. You’ll have neighbors knocking down your door for the secret recipe in no time!

In addition to using the foods mentioned in this article, we’d like to introduce you to our immune system supplements.


Green Teahealthy foodsImmune Systemmushrooms

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12 Habits of Heart Healthy People

There might not be anything more important than taking care of your heart. And doing so can be simple.

At least simple in theory.

It takes dedication and consistent habits to keep your heart healthy throughout your life. Here are some of the habits of those living a heart healthy life:

For heart supplements, go here.

heart health stethascope

Manage your health

It may seem like a broken record but maintaining all of those pesky statistics measured at your annual health fair and checkup will help maintain a happy and healthy heart. Proper management of items such as blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and BMI are paramount in lowering your risk of heart issues. Knowing these numbers for yourself will allow you to establish a baseline to know if you are at risk; from there you can work to establish a plan to bring any risk factor into alignment.

Make smart, nutrient-dense food choices

Making smart choices at the grocery store will help ensure success in maintaining optimal heart health. If you have the tendency to be a little more carnivorous, try steering yourself towards leaner and alternative protein sources. Opt for fish first, then skinless poultry, choosing red meat sparingly. And there are plenty of vegetarian sources of protein packed with heart-healthy fats, like avocado, nuts and seeds. When deciding which fruits and vegetables make the most sense bulk up on colorful plant foods. Those that are rich in color are also rich in vital heart-healthy nutrients. Making smart carbohydrate choices are also key to maintaining a healthy ticker.

Eliminate unhealthy foods and ingredients

“Anything with more than two grams of saturated fat per serving will do the heart more harm than good. You should also avoid any foods that have more than 1 gram of trans fat per 100 calories”, according to Minimizing your intake of other ingredients like sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure, will also help. The Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adults have no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, (equivalent to about a teaspoon).

Watch your stress level

When you feel stress do you find yourself eating and speaking quickly? Do you tend to work too much or do you put off doing things that need to be done? It’s important to know what triggers those palpitations and prepare your response. Learn to manage your stress through relaxation techniques and take a little time for yourself. Even if it’s only 20 minutes, sit quietly without an agenda and take a few deep breaths.

Exercise regularly (30 minutes/day)

Inactivity is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. The key to making sure you are keeping your heart healthy is consistency. Your heart is a muscle so it’s easy to reason that a muscle needs to be worked regularly to stay fit. Strive to get a minimum of 150 minutes of heart-pumping exercise in each week.

Get enough sleep

The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. As with exercise, consistency is the key to making this habit work. Several recent studies show links between shortened sleep duration, defined as less than six hours of sleep, and increased risk of heart disease.

Stress less and don’t take on too much

Being predisposed to being over committed and over scheduled is no longer the exception, it’s the rule. In order to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle, it is recommended you make it a habit to focus on one thing at a time. Try dividing your day into buckets such as; sleep time, family time, exercise time, work and mediation time. Do only one thing during the time allotted for each of these activities and move on.

Take an Omega 3 supplement

According to, most Americans are deficient in essential omega-3 fatty acids. If you aren’t eating oily fish at least once a week you should consider supplementing your diet with high-quality fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of four basic fats that the body derives from foods. While many of the other fats are harmful, omega-3s benefit the body and are especially good for the heart. Super Omega-3 EPA is a source of two fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Supportive but not conclusive research shows that the consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The body uses omega-3 fatty acids as one of the primary components of cell membranes. Omega-3s are also beneficial to the structural system and to the skin.

Drink responsibly

Evidence suggests that one drink a day for women and two for men can raise HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and possibly reduce inflammation and help ward off diabetes. However, be warned that even a little too much alcohol can undermine the heart.

Stop Smoking

This is probably old, worn-out news. But any smoking at all significantly increases chance of heart disease and stroke – as much as 2-4 times that of nonsmokers. And according to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Campaign, women show smoke are 25% more likely to develop heart disease than male smokers.

Cutdown on sugar and simple carbs

A sugar-laden diet may raise your risk of dying of heart disease even if you aren’t overweight, says a major study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. According to Harvard Health Publications, added sugars make up at least 10% of the calories the average American eats in a day. But about one in 10 people get a whopping one-quarter or more of their calories from added sugar.

Over the course of the 15-year study, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. Overall, the odds of dying from heart disease rose in tandem with the percentage of sugar in the diet—and that was true regardless of a person’s age, sex, physical activity level, and body-mass index (a measure of weight).

You’ve heard it time and again, cut back on the sweets!

Enjoy life now!

It’s a hectic and stressful world constantly focused on what’s coming next, or the goals to reach in the future. That pressure causes us to live in the past and future, but rarely in the present. Try one of these activities to enjoy the ‘now and help take pressure off your heart.

  • Laugh! Laughing can support blood pressure levels already in the normal range
  • Start a project you are excited to work on
  • Take up a hobby such as knitting, sewing or crochet
  • Read a book or listen to music
  • Watch a movie
  • Spend time with friends having dinner, playing games, etc.
  • Play a sport
  • Take a nature walk
  • Take a class (but not a stressful class)
  • Be grateful for what you have
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Sleep Supplements: Kava Kava, Valerian Root, Melatonin


You know that getting a good night’s sleep is theoretically important, but managing a solid eight hours still might not be your first priority.

According to research, skimping on sleep is pretty bad for your health. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to all kinds of trouble, from memory issues to heart disease. Chronic sleep deprivation also increases the risk of obesity by messing with the hormones that regulate hunger while also increasing appetite.

Steps to a Good Night’s Sleep

Developing good sleep habits is the first thing to work on before starting a sleep aid or supplement. Learning about and practicing good sleep hygiene can often solve many sleep problems without the need for sleeping aids or supplements.

Good sleep habits include:

  • Getting up at the same time each day
  • Keeping the bedroom temperature between 65 and 68 degrees F.
  • Getting exposure to sunlight early in the day (outdoor exercise in the morning is ideal)
  • Maintaining a clean bedroom, and only using your bed for sleep or sex
  • Avoid using electronics at least 30 minutes before going to sleep
  • Avoid eating a large or heavy meal two or three hours before bed

Natural Sleep Supplements

If good sleep hygiene is not sufficient for getting quality, restful sleep, and your doctor has ruled out any medical conditions that might be disturbing your sleep, you should consider a sleep aid or supplement. Sleep supplements produced from organic, high quality ingredients have been shown to be beneficial for many people. It is a good idea to consult with your health care provider before starting a sleep supplement.

Kava Kava: Nature’s Valium

Kava kava is a root native to the South Pacific islands and has been used as a sleep aid—as well as for general de-stressing and relaxation—for thousands of years. Kava kava has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia while boosting the immune system.

How Kava Kava Works

Kava is known as “nature’s Valium” because of its ability to produce feelings of mental and physical relaxation without impairing mental clarity. It is also a mood enhancer—again without impairment of mental clarity. This combination of stress and anxiety reduction along with a sensation of physical and emotional relaxation is most likely the reason why people find it helpful as a sleep supplement.

The key to kava’s effectiveness lies in the kavalactones concentrated in the root of the plant. These phytochemicals—18 in all—each have a slightly different physiological effect on the body but work synergistically to produce the calming, uplifting effects of the final product. Kavalactones are released into water as the root pulp or powder is squeezed and manipulated during the extraction process.

How to Use Kava Kava

Traditionally, the tough kava kava root was chewed and spat out by female virgins before the pulp was soaked in water and the resulting tea was strained to create a beverage used in religious, medical, and social settings. Today, the kava root is usually mechanically ground, steeped in water, and a juice press aids in extracting the resulting liquid. Kava root can also be ground, dried, and powdered before being mixed with water and drunk.

Most people equate the taste of kava beverage to mud. If you don’t fancy the idea of drinking something that tastes like mud, kava kava concentrate in capsule form is the perfect way to get all the benefits with none of the inconvenience.

The recommended dosage of kava kava beverage as a sleeping aid is about six to eight ounces 30 minutes before bedtime. If you are taking a kava kava supplement, follow the recommended dosage amounts on the package. Kavalactones act slightly differently on each person’s physiology, so experiment a little with it as you become accustomed to how you react.

Do not consume kava kava with prescription anti-depressants or alcohol. Toxicity can result from mixing kava use with other drugs or alcohol, from supplements that use parts of the kava kava plant other than the root, or supplements that add inferior ingredients to the final product; so be sure that the supplement you are using is of the highest, purest quality.

Valerian Root

While the people of the South Pacific used kava kava for thousands of years, the people of Europe used valerian root.

Valerian is often grown in gardens throughout Europe and North America for its sweetly scented pink or white flowers on tall stalks, but it is the root that is prized for its natural sedative effects.

How Valerian Root Works

Phytochemicals in the root stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is often referred to as the “rest and digest system,” one of three divisions of the autonomic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is in charge of slowing your heart rate, increasing intestinal and gland activity, and relaxing sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to aid in digestion.

While scientists can’t yet tell us exactly how valerian root aids in better sleep and relaxation, they believe it is because the phytochemicals in the root help to increase the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA regulates nerve cells and has a calming effect on the body. Many anti-anxiety prescription drugs like Xanax (alprazolam) or Valium (diazepam) are designed to increase GABA, and while valerian root has a weaker effect than these prescription drugs, it is thought to have far fewer side effects.

Valerian root calms anxiety and helps you fall asleep faster while improving the quality of your sleep. Valerian root is not known to cause morning grogginess, and it is non-addictive.

How to Use Valerian Root

Talk to your doctor first before beginning to use valerian root. Valerian root can interact with prescription medications, supplements, and other herbs, so it is best to use valerian root alone until you understand the ways it can interact with other medications and herbs.

It may take a couple weeks of using valerian root before you gain the full benefits, so be patient. Once your sleep improves, continue the valerian root for two to six weeks.

You can take valerian root up to three times a day, or one to two hours before bedtime to treat insomnia.

As a tea: Pour one cup of hot water (not boiling, as this can damage the root’s phytochemicals) over one teaspoon of dried valerian root; let steep five to ten minutes.

As a supplement: Follow package instructions and only take high quality supplements sourced from pure ingredients, such as this one and this one.


Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone made by your pineal gland. Melatonin plays a part in your body’s circadian rhythm (your body’s daily physiological cycle), with levels rising in the late afternoon and evening to encourage calmness and sleepiness as the sun sets.

How Melatonin Works

Melatonin is at its lowest levels during the morning and early afternoon—especially if you are exposing yourself to adequate sunlight during the early part of the day. Melatonin acts in conjunction with cortisol, a hormone that promotes alertness during the morning and early afternoon. As the day progresses, melatonin levels rise while cortisol levels fall, helping you to feel naturally more drowsy as the sun goes down and the sky gets dark.

At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

With the advent of electric lighting allowing us to stay up late into the night, swift travel to different time zones, and shift work schedules, it’s very easy for the body’s circadian rhythm to get thrown off. Light—especially sunlight—decreases the amount of melatonin the body creates, but being exposed to artificial light and the light from electronic screens also suppresses melatonin production, and, therefore, confuses the body as to when it should be sleepy and when it should be awake.

As you age, your body produces less melatonin, which may be one of the reasons older people often have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep for more than a few hours at a time.

How to Use Melatonin

While taking melatonin as a supplement will help induce sleep, it isn’t going to knock you out for hours at a time. This is both a good and a bad thing: good because it can break the cycle of insomnia for many people; and bad because people expect more from it than they should.

Think of melatonin as a way to jump-start getting over jet lag or to calm the mind and body before bedtime and break the cycle of insomnia—but not as a way to necessarily stay asleep. If you have problems waking in the night, kava kava or valerian root might be better options.

Use melatonin in conjunction with good sleep hygiene (see tips, above) for the most effective outcomes, and don’t use it during the day when you need to be alert. Take between ½ mg and 3 mg about 30 minutes before bedtime, and then avoid bright lights and electronics. While some people experience a “melatonin hangover,” when feelings of drowsiness persist after waking in the morning, there are no known negative side effects of taking quality melatonin supplements over the long term. If you experience drowsiness after waking, decrease the amount of melatonin you take before bedtime.


Gentle, natural sleep aids and supplements are best for the body, though they should be used under the care and supervision of a doctor or certified herbalist. Kava kava, valerian root, and melatonin can all be effective ways to combat stress, insomnia, and night-time waking.

Supplement quality varies greatly between brands. Be sure that you are taking sleep supplements and aids from a trusted source, such as Nature’s Sunshine, so that you know you are getting exactly what is advertised.

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Who Should Take Digestive Supplements?


When you consider that our bodies are literal products of the food we eat, the importance of gut health can’t be overstated. Without a healthy balance of enzymes and good bacteria, even the healthiest foods can’t be broken down into usable and essential micronutrients, leaving you malnourished and prone to a host of major and minor health issues.

Digestive supplements and enzymes are designed to restore the balance of enzymes and good bacteria throughout your digestive tract and bring your gut back to optimal working order. Anyone who regularly experiences the following ailments should seriously consider incorporating digestive supplements into their diet.

Throughout the course of your day, do you experience above-average:

  • bloating and gas?
  • indigestion (abdominal pain) or constipation?
  • bouts of acid reflux or heartburn after meals?
  • “leaky gut” symptoms?
  • floating stools or signs of undigested food?
  • generalized lethargy?
  • food intolerances (gluten and lactose, for example)?

All of the above are signs that the body’s digestive system may be imbalanced or deficient. The odds are good that you’ve found this article because one or more of these symptoms caused you to seek answers, so let’s discuss the types of digestive supplements you should be looking at.


Food enzymes (amylases, lipases, proteases, and peptidases) break down their corresponding types of food for better nutrient-absorption into the bloodstream. Supplements containing these essential enzymes, among others, will assist in preparing the food at each stage in the digestive tract for proper digestion when taken between or directly before meals.

  1. Food Enzymes specifically offers a formula that enables complete digestive support, containing the essential enzymes required to digest all three macronutrients: carbs, proteins, and fats, and aiding in the prevention and relief of indigestion.
  2. Proactazyme® is a plant-sourced enzyme formula that aids in the relief of bloating and other forms of gastrointestinal discomfort while providing the enzymes needed to digest all three macronutrients.
  3. Protease Plus targets the breakdown of proteins into essential amino acids, simultaneously aiding in digestion and supporting the immune system by activating the body’s natural “killer cells.”


Our digestive tracts are alive with countless microorganisms: good and bad bacteria. When the good bacteria becomes outnumbered by the bad, whether by the use of antibiotics, poor diet, or illness, it can lead to weight gain, various skin conditions, and bowel issues. Probiotics support the production of good bacteria, which in turn aids in healthy immune system function and proper digestion.

  1. Bifidophilus Flora Force provides billions of good microorganisms to restore the balance in imbalanced systems. As a supplement, it helps to maintain female vaginal and urinary tract health while also being appropriate for boosting intestinal and respiratory health in children.
  2. Probiotic Eleven® repopulates the gut with 11 strains of good bacteria while also providing nourishment for friendly bacteria residing in the colon. The result is enhanced absorption of minerals, improved bowel function, and an overall immune system boost.


While other supplements work to restore balance to affected digestive systems, antacids provide immediate relief to the uncomfortable symptoms.

  1. Gastro Health Concentrate uses the healing properties of licorice to soothe stomach upset and offers relief from acid reflux and heartburn.
  2. Stomach Comfort supports the digestive system, relieves digestive discomfort, and works to balance stomach acid for the prevention of future gastro discomfort.
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Eating Fruit and Veggie Skins: What’s the A-peel?

The other night I was at dinner with friends. The main course: twice-baked potatoes. After emptying out my meal’s tasty innards, I moved onto the shell—the crispy, even tastier potato skin. No one else at the table thought that was a normal thing to do, however, and I continue my defense of the decision here.

Fruit and veggie skins contain a large concentration of the food’s nutrients, but if that wasn’t reason enough to ditch the tedious work of peeling your produce, some skins can taste pretty good too when prepared right.

Here’s why you should rethink what’s weird when it comes to eating produce, and how to reap the benefits of skins you once thought of as inedible.


There’s a brand of chip devoted to the appeal of these skins! Yet, somehow I’m still the weird dinner guest. Potato skin has far more dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C that the starchy white innards. 100 grams of the skin has 7 times more calcium and 17 times more iron than 100 grams of flesh. Let’s put it this way. If my friends and I were trapped at sea with nothing but potatoes for sustenance, guess who wouldn’t die of scurvy.


With twice the amount of vitamin C and stronger doses of riboflavin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids, citrus peels will do you far better good in your belly than in the trash. But getting the bitter peel past your teeth is hard to do. It’s hard to digest too. Instead, take advantage of your zester by sprinkling your salads and desserts with flakes of the peel. Additionally, leave the white fluffy stuff (the pith) that’s left over after you peel off the skin. It’s high in fiber.


They’re a pain to peel and that fuzz gets everywhere. Instead of fussing with it, scrub it under water for a moment and eat it like a peach, fuzz-free! Not only is the skin edible, but it’s high in flavonoids, antioxidants, vitamin C, and has twice the amount of dietary fiber than the innards.


These tough shells pack a punch and can be eaten raw, cooked, or pickled, whatever sounds most appealing. It’s worth it to experiment since mango skin has been found to contain properties that aid in weight loss and prevention of heart disease and diabetes. Compared to the flesh, the skin contains larger quantities of carotenoids, polyphenols, and omega-3, omega-6 and polyunsaturated fatty acids.


Probably the best and easiest way to enjoy the benefits of watermelon rind is to throw it in the blender with your smoothies. The rind is rich is citrulline, which has been found to benefit the cardiovascular, immune, and circulatory systems.


Pineapples are a daunting fruit for the uninitiated. With all those spines, they’re not exactly approachable. The best way to make the skin palatable is to juice or sauté them along with the flesh, and it’s worth it. The skin and core contain a high concentration of bromelain (40% more than the flesh by weight), which is an enzyme that reduces inflammation.


Rich in fiber, potassium, lutein (for eye health), and tryptophan (which increases serotonin), banana skins are woefully overlooked in the pursuit of health due to its tough consistency and bitter taste. To more easily enjoy it, you can boil it, fry it, or bake it to make it more palatable, or include portions of it in a banana smoothie.

Wash Up and Eat Up

Always remember to wash your produce well before enjoying the skins and have fun experimenting!


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Metabolism & Weight Management

Our metabolism is affected by several factors, aside from muscle mass content.  Oftentimes when a person makes up their mind to get serious about weight management and they begin to see results, they cut back on the calories even further to speed up the weight loss process. Crash dieting or eating too few caloriesmetabolism_weight_management can actually decrease your basal metabolic rate by up to 15%!

Interestingly, the temperature of the environment plays a role in metabolism, in that if you are either hot or cold the body has to work harder to maintain a normal body temperature.  Keeping the house cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer is not only good for your pocket book it can be just one more means toward weight loss.

Caffeine also increases metabolism (and is included in Ultra Therm, and Solstic Energy) as do hot spices – and remember the more muscle mass you have the more calories you’ll burn.

Have you ever experienced increased heat in the body after a meal?  Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) increases after a meal or snack because your body uses energy to digest the foods you’ve eaten.  This rise begins just after you start a meal and peaks two to three hours later.

Depending on the type of food eaten and the size of the meal, the rise in your BMR can range between 2%-30%.

  • Fats – raise the BMR 0–5%
  • Carbohydrates – raise the BMR 5–10%
  • Proteins – raise the BMR 20–30%

Eating 30 grams of protein at breakfast will do a lot to start your day out with an increase in metabolic rate.  Try any of our Protein meal replacements!  Go to  to order yours today!

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CardioxLDL™ : Winning the Fight for Heart and Cholesterol Health

Forget what you think you know about cholesterol…that LDL and HDL levels are the most important indicators of heart wellness. Recent discoveries show that oxidized cholesterol is the true offender. Cholesterol becomes oxidized as it is exposed to free radicals within the body, and this altered cholesterol can negatively impact the healthy function and flow of the circulatory system.


Reducing cholesterol oxidation helps to support healthy cardiovascular aging and circulatory function within the heart. CardioxLDL™ is specifically formulated to address oxidized cholesterol. This incredible new herbal blend is poised to take America by storm. Our unique, powerful, patent-pending formula helps to modulate cholesterol oxidation and support healthy cholesterol levels without negative side effects.

BENEFITS of  CardioxLDL™

  • Modulates oxidation of LDL cholesterol* • Supports healthy cholesterol levels* • Features a powerful, proprietary antioxidant blend* • Is a clinically studied, exclusive, patent-pending formula!


This product features the extract of the bergamot fruit (Citrus bergamia Risso), an orange-like fruit grown in Italy and bursting with polyphenols—natural antioxidants that scavenge free radicals in the body. It also harnesses the synergistic power of our proprietary blend of nine fruit and plant extracts—including turmeric, green tea, grape seed and mangosteen—that provide dynamic antioxidant support. TARGETING CUSTOMER NEEDS CardioxLDL is designed for healthy adults who want to support their heart health, specifically those concerned about oxidized cholesterol levels.


NSP’s unique combination of bergamot extract and our powerful, proprietary antioxidant blend create a truly synergistic effect. Our clinical scientists observed enhanced antioxidant activity beyond the regular capacity of the individual ingredients, yielding a wonderfully effective formulation to support cardiovascular health.

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Is Pain Kickin’ Your Butt?

I take Curcuminbp and Ayurvedic Joint Relief plus Everflex every morning for my knee pain!!!

Pain Is Expensive: Johns Hopkins University reported the annual cost of chronic pain is approximately $635 billion a year, which is more than the yearly costs for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Pain Is Prevalent: Prevalence estimates for pain conditions were 10 percent for moderate pain, 11 percent for severe pain, 33 percent for joint pain, 25 percent for arthritis, and 12 percent for functional disability. The American Academy of Pain Medicine tells us that there are over 100 million adults in the United States that are suffering from chronic pain – pain that persists despite the fact that the injury has healed. This doesn’t account for acute pain – pain that comes on suddenly (usually a sharp pain when you’ve injured yourself).

Pain Impacts Productivity: Adults with pain reported missing more days from work than people without pain. Pain negatively impacted three components of productivity: work days missed, number of annual hours worked and hourly wages.

Pain Medication is on The Rise: Americans are suffering from more pain than ever. The use of Vicodin has grown dramatically from 112 million doses prescribed in 2006, to 131 million doses in the U.S. today. The United States makes up only 4.6 percent of the world’s population, but consumes 80 percent of its opioids — and 99 percent of the world’s hydrocodone.

Inflammation is a natural response to injury. When it becomes chronic or systemic the process becomes a disease. Medications are often prescribed to suppress symptoms.

An Anti-Inflammatory lifestyle is critical if one wants to win the war on inflammation. Here are some of the parts of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle:

Managing Stress Limiting Alcohol Smoking Cessation Increasing Exercise Adequate  Sleep Minimizing Toxins Healthy Food Choices

Doctor Andrew Weil talks about The Anti-Inflammatory Diet which limits sweets and meats and focuses on plant foods. Herbs and spices are part of the plant food. One example of anti-inflammatory spice is curcumin.

  • Curcumin – the potent compound that gives turmeric its distinctive yellow color
  • Thousands of published studies on curcumin extract demonstrate or suggest its broad and significant medical effects, including anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine has safely used curcumin for over 5,000 years to support a healthy inflammatory response. Curcumin is obtained from the rhizomes of the yellow curry spice turmeric (Curcuma longa).
  • EverFlex W/Hyaluronic Acid  helps lubricate joints, boosts flexibility, may increase shock absorption and supports healthy cartilage.
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What are enzymes and what do they do for you?

Although people primarily think of enzymes as a supplement to aid in digestion, that is only the tip of the iceberg. Whether healthy or sick, young or old, everyone should take enzymes. The function of these microscopic organisms is amazing. If you’re well, you’ll feel better and if you’re not then just try them and awe at the results.

Enzymes deliver nutrients, carry away toxic wastes, digest food, purify the blood, deliver hormones by feeding and fortifying the endocrine system, balance cholesterol and triglyceride levels, feed the brain and cause no harm to the body. All of these factors contribute to the strengthening of the immune system.


*Enhance Blood

Is it possible that an enzyme can clean up or purify the blood? When you look at it from the simplest perspective it makes sense. It is a known fact that fungal forms, parasites, and bacteria are made up of protein, and that the shell that protects a virus in our bodies is in fact a protein coating. The enzyme protease breaks down proteins and since the invaders of our blood system are protein, it would make sense that ingesting protease on an empty stomach would help purify the blood of protein invaders.

*Break Down Fats

It is a proven fact the enzyme lipase breaks down (digests) fat. When added to your meal as a supplement it is able to do this in the digestive tract. This takes stress off the gallbladder, liver and pancreas. When taken between meals, it will be stored in the liver and called upon as needed Lipase is present in all of the Enzymedica Enzyme Fortifiers. Lypo has the highest content of lipase to aid in the digestion of fat.

*Shed Excess Weight

Many overweight people have metabolism imbalance or will soon create one. The endocrine system is our metabolism. Once we are able to fortify the endocrine system, get the bowels working regularly, and digest our food rather than turning it into fat, we have a successful combination for losing weight. This process is not instantaneous, because we have to lose fat instead of weight. A person has to lose a great deal of fat to equal one pound of weight. It takes longer, but it is more healthy and lasts longer. Best of all, it does no harm.

*Enhance Mental Capacity

Your body uses glucose called from the liver to feed and fortify the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus directs our endocrine system and is responsible for, among other things, balancing emotions. This long lasting glucose is made from the protein stored in the liver. All plant enzymes come from protein foods, thus they help fortify the liver for this function. Red blood cells carry oxygen and nutrients to the glands, muscles, and all the organs of the body, including the brain. Nutrients however, can only be delivered throughout the body by means of the enzyme delivery system. When this is not accomplished, you become fatigued and are less able to think clearly. Enzymedica enzymes contain some of the necessary enzymes to support the blood in delivering the nutrients required by the hypothalamus, liver, brain and all of the trillion cells found in the body.

*Improve Aging Skin

An adequate supply of enzymes are absolutely essential for keeping your skin young-looking and healthy. Enzymes fight the aging process by increasing blood supply to the skin, bringing with it life-giving nutrients and carrying away waste products that can make your skin look dull and wrinkled. Circulation slows down as we get older. Taking a complete enzyme supplement becomes more important with age.

Here is where Food Enzymes from Nature’s Sunshine comes in!

Enzymes break down food into compounds for absorption into the bloodstream.

This combination of enzymes from Nature’s Sunshine offers more complete digestive support when taken with meals. This formula includes pepsin, which is used for pre-digesting proteins in the stomach. Betaine HCl helps create an acidic environment to facilitate the activity of pepsin. After food reaches the small intestine, the enzyme pancreatin further digests protein, carbohydrates and fats in the small intestine. Pancreatin also helps to support the pancreas. Alpha amylase digests starches. Bile salt makes fats soluble, preparing them for further digestion by lipase. The enzymes bromelain and papain aid in the digestion of proteins. Bromelain also offers other health-related benefits, including relaxing smooth muscles and supporting joint health.

Taken between meals, Food Enzymes works systemically to break down proteins associated with joint health, arterial health and immune activation. One capsule will help you digest a minimum of 30 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbohydrates and 20 grams of fats.

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