It is no secret (or at least it shouldn’t be..yikes!) that as women, we have a myriad of health concerns that simply don’t apply to the opposite gender. With advancements in; naturopathic, scientific, technological and medical research, women’s health has come a long way when it comes to; awareness, diagnoses, treatment and support. We’re farther along than we’ve ever been when it comes to reaching optimal health.
One result of all of our research however, is that more often than not, we find ourselves reaching for a pharmaceutical solution to a female issue – when there are nutrients, vitamins and minerals in our gardens, local farmers markets and marine communities – that can be just as effective as an over-the-counter solution brewed up in a laboratory.
As women, we are champions when it comes to managing multiple tasks, and playing numerous roles on a day to day basis. Between being mothers, sisters, wives, employees/employers, aunts and house hold managers, we often neglect our personal health and well-being. This leaves us wide open to illness, disease holistically.
I want to talk for a little bit about four major events that millions of women throughout the world pass through, and the benefits of turning first to krill oil supplements, before reaching for a big pharma product. A superior omega-3 supplement such as krill oil will make a vast difference in women’s health as it strengthens basic body function, boosts cognitive health and works to prevent age-related disease.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been experiencing premenstrual syndrome. It’s never fun. With the bloating, the mood swings, the cramping, the back pain and the cravings – it’s a monthly full blown argument with your body. And it’s an argument we seem to never win.
The essential fatty acids in krill oil will work to provide relief from uterine cramping and pain before the start of menstruation. Omega-3’s will also work to boost your sense of personal well-being and help you get through the PMS blues. A quality omega-3 supplement like krill oil will also work to reduce inflammation, and, as a result, provide relief from bloating and back pains.
Scientific research is constantly expanding our knowledge of nutritional needs in pregnancy. The importance of omega-3’s fatty acids to both the development of a healthy child, and the personal health of the mother, has long been touted by the medical community.
Because EPA and DHA work to support cardiovascular health (specifically, in their ability to help stabilize blood pressure), boost the immune system and reduce inflammation while also supporting the eyes, brain and central nervous system, it is no surprise omega-3 essential fatty acids are considered essential in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Omega-3’s also help in the food exchange between mother and child by encouraging normal blood flow to the uterus.
Research has also shown that women who have healthy amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, will often tend to carry their children for a longer period of time – which in turn helps to lower the rate of premature births. Because premature birth can cause physical and neurological problems, it’s easy to deduce why it is healthy to both mother and child, to carry a baby as close to term as possible.
Because of the mercury, PCB’s and other contaminants frequently found in fish, doctors often recommend a significantly reduced – if not completely eliminated intake of seafood. Theoretically, this would include most marine based omega-3 supplements. Viva Labs’s Krill Oil however, is virtually free of PCB’s, mercury, and other contaminants – making it a viable omega-3 supplement for women throughout their pregnancy.
Naturally, it is always advised to speak with your family doctor about any supplements you are including in your health care plan, especially during pregnancy.
Research has proven that women are at the highest risk of anxiety and depression disorders during our childbearing years – and that having children will often trigger depressive phases in specifically vulnerable women. Health and developmental problems could arise in children whose mothers are experiencing prolonged states of depression. Omega-3’s are powerhouses when it comes to boosting self-esteem and personal well-being. However, omega-3 levels are often depleted after child birth as the essential fatty acids are passed from mother to child through feeding. Because of this, it is important to make sure your omega-3 intake is increased as you pass nutrients between your body, and your child’s.
Menopause is the point in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating and can no longer become pregnant. While the physical and emotional symptoms can be incredibly challenging, it is still a natural event. The hormonal changes that occur in your body are what cause these physical and emotional symptoms. As ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, the effects will increase.
Signs and symptoms associated with menopause include; irregular periods, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, weight gain and (quite predominantly) mood swings – attached to potential depression and/or anxiety. As mentioned throughout this article omega-3’s are a powerful way to combat feelings of depression and anxiety. Depression and anxiety disorders often accompany menopause because of hormonal imbalances due to decreased levels of estrogen. The American Journal of Nutrition suggested that daily intake of an omega-3 supplement, will help premenopausal women with depression and anxiety.
You will note that the above four points specifically related to women’s health, all have a through line of concern regarding feelings of personal well-being. As women, it is important to stay on top of our mental health through all of life’s challenges. Krill oil is a superior omega-3 supplement that stands above the rest in purity, concentration, and quality. Because omega-3’s are so vital to promoting mental health – I highly recommend choosing an omega-3 supplement that stands as a leader in industry standards.
This is after all, your health we’re talking about.
11 Proven Benefits of Omega-3’s for Women
Omega-3’s + Reduce Symptoms
Foods That Decrease Your PMS Symptoms
Women’s Health Matters
Omega-3 Fish Oil and Pregnancy
Pregnant? Omega3 Essential for Baby’s Brain
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fetal-Pregnancy Health
Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Prevention of Postpartum Depression
Omega-3 Linked to Postpartum Depression
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Ease Depressive Symptoms Related To Menopause
Omega 3 Fatty Acids for Major Depressive Disorder Associated With Menopausal Transition
Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Essential to Health and Happiness
Listen, I’m not going to come down on you. Millions of people have been drinking coffee for hundreds of years. Nothing makes my morning better than a fresh cup wafting through my kitchen while I get my a.m fill of the news!
Coffee is not necessarily the health albatross so many news reports have made it out to be. In fact, coffee, in moderation, is considered safe. After reviewing numerous studies on the effects of caffeine on human health, researchers at Health Canada reached the conclusion that for the average adult, a moderate intake of caffeine is not associated with any adverse effects.
It’s the ‘moderation’ that can be the tricky stitch in North American culture. Many of us don’t have a cup or two of java a day do we? In a society where you can order a light roast with a double shot of espresso poured inside, we too often teeter on the edge when it comes to inviting the potentially dangerous effects associated with coffee.
Here’s the bad news – excessive caffeine intake has been connected with; such as osteoporosis, elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, infertility, fibrocystic breast disease (FBD), breast cancer and even miscarriage. I’m not saying this to frighten you into giving up your favorite ‘pick me up’. I just want to advise you not to depend on it so much, that it becomes a means of survival just to get through a day.
When you’ve had your cup of java, and you’re still finding that your lids droop at the drop of a hat, here are a few other tips to keep you on the level!
Eat 4-5 Small Meals A Day
Blood glucose is by far one of the most important factors when it comes to your energy levels. If you only eat lunch and dinner, your body is going to have huge spikes followed by large crashes in energy. Digestion requires a lot of energy. If you’ve ever felt sleepy after a big lunch, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Splitting up meals smooths out your blood glucose levels and eases the drain from digestion.
Hate To State The Obvious But – Sleep
This should be pretty obvious. Most of the restorative work in your body happens when you sleep. This includes repairing damaged tissue and replenishing energy stores.
So, it stands to reason that, if you are chronically sleep-deprived, you end up less-restored, less-replenished and less energized. This is a massively oversimplified description of the physiological processes, but in a society of workaholics, it’s no huge surprised that we need to be reminded to get a little shut eye.
In essence the fatty acids in omega-3’s are very similar to the fat found in the human body. It is actually in a phospholipid form which can be used immediately by the cells. The two very critical types of Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA are essential to healthy brain function. Omega-3’s provide a simple way to boost DHA ad EPA levels in the brain that result in increased energy, attention and focus.
While fish are an incredible source of omega-3’s, unfortunately the pollutants and contaminants now invading our water systems, are preventing them from being the safest way to supplement omega-3 intake. Omega-3 supplements can be found everywhere. Just be sure to do your research, and seek out the crème of the crop to ensure you are getting optimal benefits. I personally recommend a krill oil supplement. There are many reasons behind my choosing krill oil as my principle omega-3 supplement, the sustainability of krill being of the reasons I hold closest to my heart because of my own environmental principles.
Vitamin B deficiency has been linked to low energy levels, among other things. In fact, mood changes, poor concentration, and depression can all be signs of a vitamin B deficiency. So if you’re feeling tired regularly, try popping a B-complex vitamin. Another option is to take a multivitamin, which will help ensure that you’re not deficient in other minerals or nutrients.
Seriously. Drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water daily. Our bodies are mostly composed of water and need an appropriate amount to properly function. Even the smallest amount of dehydration can make you feel tired, moody, clumsy and even anxious.
Tough Out A Cold Shower
Hot showers are amazing for winding down. But if your goal is to do the opposite, consider changing the temperature. Cold water stimulates your system and promotes circulation, causing your heart to get to work and boost you up. Don’t want to give up the soothing heat completely? Try taking a regular shower, then cooling it down for the last few minutes. It’ll still do wonders for your mental awareness. If you just can’t get into a cold shower, try splashing cold water on your face for aquick refresher midday.
I don’t expect this article to change your life – or push you into a health spin where you can’t even imagine coffee being an important part of your day. It’s just a little food for thought. When you’re in line for your third espresso of the day – and it’s only noon…just know there are other effective options out there, that won’t leave you jittering your way through to next Tuesday!
On that note, I’m prepping my French press for the morning’s dose!
Omega 3 fatty acids are considered to be essential fatty acids. What’s so interesting about these essential fatty acids however is that while they are absolutely critical to human health, the human body cannot create omega 3s on its own.
Because our bodies are unable to develop omega 3’s, it is important to access our recommended daily intake through other sources. Fish, such as salmon, tuna, halibut are all omega 3 sources. Other seafood sources that are high in omega 3’s, and happen to be more sustainable than fish options, are algae, and krill (small crustaceans found predominantly in the southern ocean). Some plants and nut oils are also sources of omega 3’s, however consuming enough of these plant and nut sources to make an effective difference on personal health would be a near impossible feat on a daily basis.
The health benefits attached to omega 3’s, are undeniable.
Addressing Heart Disease
Clinical evidence regarding the importance of omega 3’s is most strongly prevented in addressing heart disease and other problems that relate to heart disease. In fact, the American Heart Association has strongly pushed the necessity of omega 3 fatty acids in support of cardiovascular health. Clinical evidence suggests that omega 3’s help reduce risk factors associated with heart disease such as high cholesterol and hypertension (also known as high blood pressure). Omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to slow the development of blood clots and plaque that clogs arteries. People taking sufficient doses of omega 3’s on a regular basis also have less risk of stroke and heart attacks.
Research has shown omega 3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation can lower the risk diseases associated with chronic pain such as arthritis. People suffering from both; Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis have reported significantly reduced joint pain and joint stiffness. Some have even claimed that regular use of omega 3’s allowed them to reduce their intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Omega 3’s have been known to reduce pain from symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome while also working to balance mood swings, boost cognitive function, and improve feelings of personal well-being – acting as a completely holistic form of relief.
Numerous sources have found omega 3 fatty acids can help symptoms associated to depression. There is evidence to prove that people who took omega 3 fatty acids in conjunction with prescription medications have noted a significant improvement in symptoms as opposed to relying solely on prescription antidepressants. Some women have also claimed that omega 3’s played a large role in conquering postpartum depression.
Those suffering from diabetes, often have high triglyceride, matched with low HDL levels. Omega 3’s will assist in lowering triglycerides while raising HDL levels. Also People with diabetes often have high triglyceride and low HDL levels.
Regardless of where you are in your fitness and health care goals, chances are high that including healthy sources of omega 3’s in your daily in-take will improve your personal health and well-being for the better. Choosing a supplement, such as a fish oil or krill oil might be the simplest way to achieve optimal omega 3 in-take, however it is best to do your research in finding a superior product that will provide optimal benefits.
Above all, when it comes to your health, and any concerns you may have, it is recommended that you speak with your health care practitioner.
Everywhere you turn today, there are articles, television commercials, radio advertisements and health care practitioners raising awareness about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids. With heart disease being the number one cause of death in America today, we are now more aware than ever before, of the necessity to get on top of our cardiovascular health.
The question a lot of us aren’t taking the time to ask however, is what exactly are omega 3 fatty acids? Clinical jargon can become intimidating, causing us to shy away from asking questions we think may be considered silly, or something ‘everybody else already knows about’.
In this article, I’ll give you some of the basic principles behind omega 3 fatty acids, and why they’re so pivotal in boosting your overall health and personal well being.
First of all, the omega 3 essential fatty acids are:
• ALA – Alpha-linolenic acid
• DHA- Docosahexaenoic acid
• EPA- Eicosapentaenoic acid
Those acronyms are enough to scare nearly anyone off. But they break down into a very simple explanation. The reason these three are considered essential fatty acids, is because they are not created naturally by the human body – and yet the human body depends on them in order to metabolize properly.
Many people try to supplement their omega 3 fatty acid in take by consuming fish on a semi regular basis. The problem associated with depending solely on dietary in take from the sea – lies in the fact that many fish are carrying toxins such as mercury, dioxin and PCBs. Flax seeds and algae also contain omega 3 fatty acids, but the amount we would need to consume in order to achieve our recommended omega 3 dietary in take, would be monumental.
The health benefits attached to achieving optimal omega 3 levels are incomprehensible. Omega 3’s have been heavily linked, through numerous medical studies and clinical trials – to the promotion of cardiovascular health and lowered triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood – that your body predominantly uses for energy. However, when we have high levels of triglycerides, they go unused and can lead to diabetes, heart disease, strokes, kidney disease and obesity. Yikes. You can see why omega 3’s are essential for heart health alone.
But that’s not all. Omega 3’s have the ability to reduce inflammation – rendering them essential for those suffering from joint pain due to arthritis, or injury.
Omega 3 fatty acids also show a positive effect on those suffering from depression. Omega 3’s have been proven to boost personal feelings of well-being, and even work alongside anti depressants – fighting the disease together.
DHA – one of the essential fatty acids found in omega 3’s – is currently being studied for ability to inhibit the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by reducing inflammation.
When it comes to omega 3 essential fatty acids, the list of benefits is nearly endless. If you live a sustainable, organic lifestyle, it is possible to achieve your recommended omega 3 in take through dietary choices. For most of us however, with our daily lifestyles, and the American addiction to work, getting our nutrients strictly through diet – is difficult.
Omega-3 supplements are literally everywhere, and if you do your homework, they could be an incredible addition to your daily health care plan. There are supplements available on the market, whose manufacturers have taken the time and effort to ensure are of superior quality, concentration and purity.
I personally, use krill oil for my omega 3 supplementation. Krill are a crustacean very high in omega-3s, and packed with antioxidants because they also contain a powerhouse antioxidant called astaxanthin (an antioxidant well worth investigating I might note). What I also like best about choosing krill oil as my choice omega 3 supplement is that it’s sustainable. So I’m guilt free. And, I feel great.
I hope I answered any questions you did (or didn’t) have on omega 3 essential fatty acids. And I hope you feel great!
May is Celiac Awareness Month in the United States. Many of us have heard of celiac disease, but with so many conditions, illnesses and diseases affecting Americans today, it’s hard to stay educated on the many points of illness or disease that attack our personal health and well-being.
It is important to understand different allergies, conditions and diseases in order to be aware of what could be affecting your body. We have provided the basics behind celiac disease for you below. Naturally, we do recommend further research. When it comes to promoting your long-term personal health and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices within your community – awareness is everything.
An Introduction to Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is defined as an autoimmune disorder that prevents a person from properly absorbing and digesting foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in foods Gluten-free symbolsources containing barley, rye or wheat. When a person is diagnosed with celiac disease, their body will respond to gluten based food sources by destroying something called villi, which is located in the small intestine. Villi are largely responsible for helping to absorb nutrients into the larger small intestine. Damage to villi therefore, will result in the inability to absorb essential nutrients into the bloodstream.
Common signs or symptoms associated with celiac disease can include, but are not limited to bloating, diarrhea, extreme abdominal pain, weight loss, delayed growth due to malnutrition, significant fatigue, and loss in bone density, numbness in the hands and/or feet and depression.
Most often, a health care practitioner will begin treatment for celiac disease by recommending a gluten-free diet. If you have noticed signs or symptoms that could be associated with celiac disease, it is certainly recommended that you speak with your health care practitioner. He or she will be able to conduct a series of tests in order to assess if indeed you are suffering from celiac disease, or if there are other changes that could be made to your daily nutritional regime to assist in comfortable, smooth digestion. Celiac disease is also genetic. All first and second-degree relatives should be tested for celiac disease when a family member is diagnosed.
The Gluten Free Diet:
A detailed breakdown of convenient gluten free decisions for your daily nutritional intake can be found through the Celiac Spruce Foundation.
Here is a list of four simple changes that can be introduced into your daily nutritional intake – without feeling like significant sacrifices to your regular meals!
Lean Meats and Other Sources of Protein
Protein intake is crucial to the personal health of absolutely everyone. The importance of protein increases for people on a gluten free diet. People suffering from celiac disease don’t often get enough protein. When we experience protein deficiencies we feel weak, malnourished, and fatigued. Because a person with celiac disease has difficulty with absorption of nutrients, it is important to boost protein intake to ensure your body is getting the essential nutrients it needs to function at its best. Keep in mind that complete proteins are high quality proteins. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy are the most common sources of complete protein in people’s diets.
Meat and fish are especially important because they help make up for the lack of dairy in many celiac’s diets. Lactose intolerance and celiac disease will often coincide.
Lean meats are also high in essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and B12 all of which are especially important for you. For those following a vegetarian diet, fortunately, there are a number of gluten free foods rich in protein that are vegetarian friendly.
Eggs, dairy, gluten free tofu, and quinoa are great complete protein sources for vegetarians. Other vegetarian protein sources include nuts, black beans, lentils, and hemp protein powder.
Legumes: Complex Carbohydrates Packed with Protein
When following a gluten free diet, it’s important to make sure we are still seeking out strong food sources of fiber. Fiber promotes intestinal health, works to balance cholesterol levels, and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Grains are the top source of fiber in America. For many celiacs, cutting out grains means cutting out most of the fiber in their diet. Legumes, like beans and lentils, are incredible replacements for gluten based grains. Like grains, legumes are stocked with complex carbohydrates and fiber. In fact, legumes are stronger than grains because they’re also loaded with protein! Beans and lentils are also excellent sources of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, and antioxidants. The nutrients found in legumes are vital when it comes to combating the weak nutrient absorption that is attached to celiac disease.
These nutrients are all very important to combat a damaged small intestine and weak nutrient absorption stemming from celiac disease.
Yogurt is considered a healthy good item but not many actually understand why. The key to the importance of yogurt when it comes to any autoimmune disorder is probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria in your intestine that are a must for digestive health and building up your immune system. Eat just a single yogurt per day and your intestine will thank you for it.
Veggies, Veggies, Veggies
Vegetables are literally jam packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and (sometimes) even essential fatty acids. Dark, leafy vegetables are the most nutrient dense of them all. Different vegetables have different benefits so it is best to try and eat a variety of vegetables on a daily basis. Try to include vegetables with very meal (even breakfast!).
Following a gluten-free diet has become popular among people who have not been diagnosed with celiac disease for various other health benefits such as weight loss.
At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the daily health care plan that works for you, and the needs surrounding your personal health. Above all else, we recommend that you work with your family physician, to develop the health care plan that best accommodates you and your family’s needs.