Summertime Delicacy: Seaweeds

The New Jersey coastline – as one example – is abundant with beautiful, emerald-green sheets of seaweed called sea lettuce. One can also find a lot of bladderwrack. And, as foraging becomes more popular among natural health enthusiasts, those living near the shore take full advantage of seaweeds, using them in a variety of dishes.

Edible seaweeds, such as those found in the unique dietary supplement Fucosea Family, are bursting with body-benevolent vitamins, minerals and other nutraceuticals. Seaweeds are typically more wholesome in nutrient profiles and nutrient-dense than land counterparts. They are outstanding sources of micronutrients such as zinc, selenium, iron, calcium, folate and magnesium – and very important – one of the best sources of iodine, a mineral necessary for healthy functioning of the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism, among other governing activities.

However, when it comes to iodine, too much can cause thyroid issues, so you need to ensure your thyroid levels are within healthy ranges. One study showed that women who regularly ate a popular seaweed called kombu had high TSH and low T3 and T4; when they reduced their intake, their thyroid levels balanced out.

Seaweeds also contain omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA, as well as carotenoids (such as fucuoidan and fucoxanthin) and other anxioxidants. And some seaweeds can help promote healthy weight management.

Eating kelp, one of the most available types of seaweed, has been shown in one study to help people lose weight. Research published in Food Chemistry showed that people who ate the common seaweed showed a reduction in fat absorption by as much as 75%; the team showed that the alginate’s ability to block a significant amount of activity of the digestive enzyme pancreatic lipase was responsible for accelerating fat and weight loss.

Further, a meta-analysis (review of studies) of 100 studies investigating seaweeds’ benefits on human health (published in the American Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry) found that seaweeds may benefit cardiovascular function by supporting healthy blood pressure levels.

Depending upon the type of seaweed, you can use them in salads, in grain sides such as quinoa, in sauces, as part of dry rubs for barbeque, and in smoothies. A key aspect that seaweeds bring to the table, so to speak, is its primarily umami taste.

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Get Smart! Eat More Chocolate

At Herbsea, we believe fully in the healthy, longevity-promoting practice of eating a healthy diet plus taking nutrient-dense, wholesome supplements, such as our Fucosea Family, and natural remedies such as Dong Quai, when needed.

Every now and then we get excited when a positive study is published that validates eating a food most of us enjoy, and in this case, it’s chocolate!

A research team reviewed and analyzed published studies about the effects of chocolate constituents, such as cocoa flavanols, and how they impacted human health. Specifically, they honed in on how cocoa flavanols affected cognitive function, and how eating chocolate (cocoa) regularly for a long period of time affected brain health. Their scientific review was published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.

Study participants showed, among others, enhancements in working memory performance and improved visual information processing after having had cocoa flavanols. And for women, eating cocoa after a night of total sleep deprivation actually counteracted the cognitive impairment (i.e. less accuracy in performing tasks) caused by insomnia. This may be promising for people who have sleep insufficiency.

Quite a few studies have concentrated on the effects of relatively long-term ingestion of cocoa flavanols (ranging from 5 days up to 3 months) in elderly people; the study authors found that in this population group, their cognitive performance showed improvements from consuming cocoa flavonols. Specifically, improvements were seen in areas of attention, processing speed, working memory, and verbal fluency. These effects were, noted the study review authors, most pronounced in older adults with a starting memory decline or other mild cognitive impairments.

Study authors Valentina Socci and Michele Ferrara from the University of L’Aquila in Italy, concluded, “This result suggests the potential of cocoa flavanols to protect cognition in vulnerable populations over time by improving cognitive performance. If you look at the underlying mechanism, the cocoa flavanols have beneficial effects for cardiovascular health and can increase cerebral blood volume in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. This structure is particularly affected by aging and therefore the potential source of age-related memory decline in humans.”

We would like to add that dark chocolate – and cocoa without added sugar – will benefit you best; it also has cardiovascular support function (as shown in other studies). You can blend dark chocolate or unsweetened cocoa powder with soft tofu for a healthy pudding, or sprinkle it onto a variety of healthy foods.

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Fucosea & Qigong: Glowing Combination for 40-somethings!

Move over yoga and tai-chi – the ancient Chinese exercise-art known a Qigong is making inroads and many people are loving it. According to Zen Master Anthony Korahais (board member of the National Qigong Association), there are many reasons why you may want to consider practicing this dynamic art that will simultaneously relax and energize you (balance).

Those in their 40s are starting to feel the symptoms of middle -age – some weight gain, stubborn pounds clinging, energy loss, sleep disturbances, loss of libido, and worries about development of age-related diseases. During this time, many men and women look seriously at what they can do to change – starting usually with diet and exercise. But sometimes that just isn’t enough. Supplements such as Fucosea and Qigong can help dramatically!

Qigong is one of the best stress management tools and can enhance overall well-being. And Korahais says it is easier than tai chi and doesn’t require as much time or athleticism as yoga. For more than 3,000 years, Chinese people have performed Qigong regularly to build mental and emotional clarity and strength, increase vitality, reduce stress symptoms, and increase overall wellness and resistance to health issues. Translated, qigong means “vital energy cultivation.”  

Qigong combines gentle breathing methods, flowing movements, and mindfulness meditation, and just about anyone in their 40s, regardless of weight, shape or size can do it and gain benefit. Korahais emphasizes that 15 minutes a day of Qigong will reap benefits. “And if you practice 15 minutes twice daily, then you’ll see remarkable results,” he declared.

There are several reasons why people in their 40s, entering middle age, may want to start qigong: you don’t need to memorize long, complicated routines; you can immediately engage in the meditative and energetic aspects that bring results; it doesn’t require strength or flexibility like yoga does; it is challenging so anyone at any level or shape can gain benefit; and it is complementary with any other therapy such as acupuncture, reiki, chiropractic and more.

Also, qigong is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. And, Fucosea is a supplement that is based on traditional Chinese medicine, with potent ingredients from a blend of sea plants, such as proteins, omega 3 EFAs, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and more. Fucosea helps restore balance, fight stress and promote well-being.

www.flowingzen.com/free

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Magnesium to the Mood Rescue!

So many people deal with mood instability, and long periods of low mood – “the blues.” And, this can be despite the fact that they have reasonably healthy lifestyles. Consider that 350 million people globally actually have depression (a disease), and adding people who have mood fluctuations without depression is many millions more than that.

The good news is that a common mineral – magnesium – has been found to be effective for addressing symptoms of low mood and even depression.

Researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont conducted a clinical trial of over-the-counter oral magnesium tablets for mild-to-moderate depression. Their results showed that magnesium is safe and effective and comparable to prescription SSRI treatments in effectiveness. According to the study authors, magnesium is critical for heart rhythm, blood pressure, bone strength and inflammation control; and although it has been shown to have an impact on depression, only a few clinical trials have explored its efficacy.

The researchers conducted an open-label, blocked, randomized cross-over trial involving 126 adults in outpatient primary care clinics. The study participants reported that they were currently experiencing mild-to-moderate depression; the group had a mean age of 52, with 38% male, and 62% female.

Participants in the active arm of the study received 248 milligrams of elemental magnesium per day over six weeks, while those in the control group consumed placebo. Depression symptom assessments were conducted on all participants on a bi-weekly basis.

The study team found that in 112 participants with analyzable data, consumption of magnesium chloride for six weeks resulted in a clinically significant improvement in measures of depression and anxiety symptoms. In addition, these positive effects were shown quickly, at two weeks, and the supplements were well tolerated and similarly effective regardless of age, sex, or use of antidepressants, among other factors.

“This is the first randomized clinical trial looking at the effect of magnesium supplementation on symptoms of depression in U.S. adults,” says lead author Emily Tarleton, MS. “The results are very encouraging, given the great need for additional treatment options for depression, and our finding that magnesium supplementation provides a safe, fast and inexpensive approach to controlling depressive symptoms.”

Tarleton added that the conclusion of this study is that over-the-counter magnesium appears safe and effective to treat mild to moderate depression, and the next step is to see if their promising results can be replicated in a larger, more diverse population. The study by Tarleton, et al was published in PLoS One.

But there’s more that you can do if you or someone you love finds that low mood is becoming an issue. Take Fucosea daily along with magnesium to support memory, energy recovery and enhance physical endurance. Consider that low mood directly affects physical energy by draining it, as well as affects rapid retrieval of memory, Fucosea makes great sense as a companion to magnesium to support increased pleasant mood and sustaining pleasant, healthy mood.

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Summertime Tips for Heat Management

It’s no secret that July and August – often called the “dog days” of summer – can be dangerous for many people, especially when heat waves arise.

We at Herbsea encourage our customers and readers to follow some tips to remain more comfortable and prevent possible heat stroke.

Dietary Supplementation: Very first thing to ensure you do is to take a nutrient-dense dietary supplement such as Fucosea, which provides your body with minerals, antioxidants, omega 3 EFAs, vitamins and specialized nutrients to nourish your bodily systems, organs and cells, making you much stronger to withstand high heat and humidity.

Fucosea contains the goodness from seven nutritious marine plants: kelp, bladderwrack, wakame, mozuku, schizochytrium, Haematococcus pluvialis, and spirulina, and we use a patent-pending extraction method to provide the most potent active ingredients contained within them for FucoseaTM. Take Fucosea by itself or in addition to a multivitamin, should you desire.

Hydration: We need water to survive, and especially in summer when we tend to lose a lot of water via perspiration. Dehydration – not enough water for a period of time – can be damaging and is also one of a key cause of many health problems or conditions. It’s not enough to be simply surrounded by water (frolicking in the pool, lake or ocean), but you must drink purified water to nourish and hydrate all your cells. Did you know, too that before you feel “thirsty,” which is a signal your body needs water – it actually needs water before it sends out that SOS?

Avoid the Power Hours: Heat is most intense between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, when the sun is at its apex during the earth’s daily revolution. Staying indoors during heat wave days and during this time frame will help avoid heat-related issues, which can include vomiting and fainting.

Get into the Cool Zone: Sometimes, window units and fans are just not enough to become comfortable. But there’s good news – your local libraries, malls, theatres, coffee cafes and museums typically are very cool. Supermarkets with cafes are also welcoming – go and have a sweet tea and salad!

It’s Not the Heat, It’s the Humidity! This famous line is actually very true. High humidity – where the air feels heavy as though you are walking through a bowl of hot soup is extremely uncomfortable, especially for those with breathing problems such as asthma. The combination of high heat and humidity impairs the ability to cool off via our cooling system – perspiration through sweat glands. Of course, you can just open the door and feel the humidity factor, but now, weather apps and reports can give you accurate “feels like” index readings.

Eat Light: Did you notice that when it’s really hot, you don’t want hot meals or heavy casseroles? Listen to your body – it wants lighter fare with fruits and vegetables high in water content, NOT heavy meals laden with carbs. During heat waves, your body is in constant need of hydration, and when it comes to mealtimes, there are tons of recipes using in-season and fresh produce that not only give you nutrition, they give you extra hydration that your digestive system needs during this time.

Be Mindful: When heat-related health issues arise, there are symptoms to look out for. Dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, disorientation, are all warning signs to get into a cool zone quickly. Also, sudden face redness that is not sunburn.

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How Fucosea Can Help Minimize Cravings

Cravings can damage a diet and impair weight loss because they are so powerful, and therefore hard to resist. So, we give in. If we don’t, the cravings become more frequent and more intense. But did you know that your cravings are also telling you something?

Sweet: Craving desserts and other sugary foods signifies sadness or depression; sweets are immediately uplifting and comforting. St. Clair explains that the sugar tells your brain to release the feel-good neurohormone, serotonin. The problem? The inevitable “crash” feeling, often back to the same sad level or lower than you were before. Fruits are a good way to satisfy sweet cravings, as they provide fiber and antioxidants and will not cause the crash. When feeling blue – get out into some sunlight, and exercise. Breathe in fresh air with deep breaths.

Salty: The pretzels and chips reign supreme here – especially when you are stressed out, and do not have enough minerals in your body. (Fucosea offers attractive doses of several minerals derived naturally from sea plants). For example, when those visions of Doritos hit, you may need more sodium and the trace minerals that are in salt. WE do not suggest suddenly adding typical processed table salt, instead use minimally processed salts such as pink salt (Himalayan sea salt). Drink lots of water in order to keep up your electrolytes, which help cells uptake water they need. Take Fucosea, and/or eat delicious seaweeds such as nori.

Fried Foods: Deep-fried anything, French fries – if these are what you crave, you may be requiring good fats (such as omega 3 EPA and DHA, found in Fucosoea). Did you know, points out Marra, that imbibing too much alcohol can cause fried food cravings? Use healthy cooking oils like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil. Eat fish and seafoods that contain omega 3 EFAs.

Red Meat: If you suddenly find yourself salivating over the thought of a burger or a steak or beef, this means that your body is desiring more iron; a low level of iron will also make you feel a little lethargic. Lean red meat (and let’s go with grass-fed, organic) also packs a powerful protein punch, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, eat spinach because it does contain iron, and also take Fucosea.

Bad Carbs: The junk foods, the white breads, the potatos, the macaroni and pastas, all these are empty calories and only serve to spike your blood sugar. In fact, just like sugars, you can feel that crash often afterwards. But, carbs are necessary in the diet as they can be a sustainable energy source. So, eat complex carbs, such as cruciferous vegetables. You will find that you crave the bad carbs a lot less. Women often crave the carbs when their hormonal cycles are in the luteal phase; this is not abnormal.

No matter the craving, Fucosea daily can dramatically help curtail them both in incidence and in intensity. It’s like a multivitamin and mineral from the sea, providing your body with what it needs to remain in balance, along with a reasonably healthy diet.

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Enzyme May be Responsible for Middle-Age Weight Gain

It’s no secret that a frustrating aspect of getting older is the facility to gain and hold onto some extra pounds, and poor diet and lack of sufficient exercise are not as much responsible as once thought, according to a new study. A team of scientists identified an enzyme — DNA protein kinase (DNA-PK) – that increases with age may be the culprit.

In a study, mice were given a high-fat diet and divided into two groups; one group had DNA-PK blocked while others did not. The group that had the enzyme blocked gained less weight than mice in the normal group.

It has been said that the average American adult gains approximately 30 pounds between ages 20 and 50, despite maintaining the same diet and lifestyle. Although this study was performed on mice and is not conclusively shown to be exactly the same in humans, the human body also manufactures DNA-PK, and there is compelling evidence to see if inhibiting this enzyme can indeed lead to weight loss during a phase of lifestyle renovation that includes nutrient-dense diet and moderate but regular exercise.

In the study, the mice that received the drug to block the DNA-PK also showed more mitochondria in skeletal muscle cells and corresponding increased aerobic fitness compared to the control mice.

In the abstract of the study published in the May 2017 issue of Cell Metabolism, (Vol. 25, No. 5, 1135-1146-e7, 2) the authors write, “hallmarks of aging that negatively impact health include weight gain and reduced physical fitness, which can increase insulin resistance and risk for many diseases, including type 2 diabetes. The underlying mechanism(s) for these phenomena is poorly understood. Here we report that aging activates DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) in skeletal muscle, which suppresses mitochondrial function, energy metabolism, and physical fitness.”

They also describe the mechanism of action as follows: “DNA-PK phosphorylates threonines 5 and 7 of HSP90α, decreasing its chaperone function for clients such as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is critical for mitochondrial biogenesis and energy metabolism. Decreasing DNA-PK activity increases AMPK activity and prevents weight gain, decline of mitochondrial function, and decline of physical fitness in middle-aged mice and protects against type 2 diabetes. In conclusion, DNA-PK is one of the drivers of the metabolic and fitness decline during aging, and therefore DNA-PK inhibitors may have therapeutic potential in obesity and low exercise capacity.”

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Sea Plants and Cerebrovascular Health

Did you know that nature’s gifts from the sea promote healthy blood pressure, along with diet, exercise and good stress management?

Astragalus and wakame are two key ingredients in Fucosea that help address healthy blood pressure and may thus protect against stroke.

A stroke is caused by reduced blood supply to the brain, which deprives it of nutrients and critically, oxygen. There are two types of strokes: ischemic (a blocked artery), and hemorrhagic (blood vessel burst). Elevated blood pressure – called hypertension – can increase your risk of stroke up to six times, and it also can lead to blockages in small blood vessels to the brain.

A stroke occurs in Americans every 40 seconds, and approximately 133,000 Americans die of stroke each year, making it the fifth leading cause of fatality.

Astragalus is a popular botanical remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it has been and continues to be used to protect the body against stress (stress elevates blood pressure). A review of studies appearing in the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine (June 2013) examined the benefits, effects and mechansism of action of Astragoloside IV (an active ingredient in astragalus). The authors concluded that Astragaeloside IV “has broad application prospects” notably in vascular conditions.

Wakame, an edible sea plant, is also neurovascular protective. The beauty of wakame is that you can enjoy eating it (it is quite delicious), and you can take it as part of Fucosea! According to the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention (2004), “Intake of seaweeds is advised not only for prevention of lifestyle-related diseases [such as cerebrovascular] but also iodine deficiency.”

A 1991 double-blind crossover study in the American Journal of Hypertension showed that sea plants supported healthy blood pressure levels by blocking sodium in the system. Wakame capsules were used in another study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry Nutrition (2001) where the results showed attractive drops in blood pressure. Another double-blind, placebo-controlled study, published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2009) found that volunteers who took six grams of wakame daily showed a significant decrease in blood pressure in those whose levels were high.

We at Herbsea recommend that if you are concerned about blood pressure (have a family history, for example), definitely watch your salt/sodium intake by reading labels. On average, Americans ingest approximately 3,400 mg sodium every day; and according to experts at the American Heart Association, consuming no more than 1,500 mg sodium daily is very effective in promoting healthy blood pressure levels. (Remember: the sodium content on the labels is per serving, not for the entire product.)

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8 Healthy Summertime Habits

The official start of summer is next week, June 21, and we are very excited, as we are sure you are too! However, due to the depleted ozone layer and the rise of stress, summer can bring with it some dangers.

Here are eight healthy habits that will help you and your family enjoy summer, safely.

  1. Beat the heat and exercise by working out in water! Swimming, moving in water burns calories and primes muscles.
  2. Everything is ripening – so make farmers’ markets a regular trip and challenge yourself to create new recipes. By adding carotenoid-rich colors of the rainbow (fruits and vegetables), to your daily meals, you will keep your GI tract healthy as well as your immune system.
  3. In the “dog days” of summer – when it is truly too sizzling and humid to be outdoors, take the exercise indoors by walking through malls, museums, and other fun spots, or tune the TV to a fitness video and work out in the comfy AC.
  4. Hydrate with water, not sugar-laden drinks – and that includes fruit juices. When it is hot and humid, you sweat, losing water. Carry water bottles around and keep sipping; refill them constantly. Dehydration can become severe.
  5. Sunscreen – at all times. That depleted ozone layer no longer affords the protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays emanating from the sun, which hit the skin more potently than ever. We also love to use aloe from a freshly picked aloe leaf to massage into skin after a day in the sun. It soothes and it leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.
  6. Equally, wear those shades. Sunglasses help protect against development of cataracts, macular degeneration and even skin cancer on the eyelids.
  7. If you are lakeside or hiking in the woods or mountains, pest repellent is important. Nobody likes bites from hungry mosquitoes, and now that we know some of those “skeeters” carry their own diseases such as Zika that they inject into humans, using insect repellent is more critical.
  8. Perhaps most important – take nutrient- and antioxidant-rich Fucosea and related supplements from the Herbsea family of health products. Fucosea is a foremost supplement containing numerous nutrients found in sea plants, including omega-3 EFAs.

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New Research: Vitamin A is Necessary for Blood Stem Cells

Scientists who are experts in stem cell research revealed findings that a lack of vitamin A has a negative impact on blood stem cell health. According to ScienceDaily.com, research team at the German Cancer Research Center

Specialized cells, such as those in the blood, have a natural lifespan that is very short, a few days, and therefore, stores of the cells need to be continually replenished. This is done via adult stem cells that divide. In 2008, scientists found a group of specialized stem cells in the bone marrow that are only activated during times of infections (viral and bacterial), or other situations such as heavy loss of blood. Once these cells finish their activity, they go back into dormancy. Up until recently, the mechanisms that dictate the cells’ activity-and-dormancy cycles have not been clarified.

In a new study published in Cell, (10.1016/j.cell.2017.04.018), scientists have now identified the vitamin A metabolite retinoic acid as a crucial factor in this process. If the body lacks sufficient retinoic acid, those bone marrow stem cells that are active are unable to go back to dormancy, and then mature into specialized blood cells, according to the study. As this continues to occur, the body has less stores to use when needed. This was shown in a mouse study where the test subjects were fed a diet deficient in vitamin A. At the end of the study, the mice showed a loss of stem cells, as shown by dramatically fewer dormant stem cells that were fluoresced green.

Lead author Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid asserted, “we can prove for the first time that vitamin A has a direct impact on blood stem cells.” This new finding emphasizes previous studies showing that lack of vitamin A impairs immune function (the human body cannot produce its own vitamin A). “This shows how vitally important it is to have a sufficient intake of vitamin A from a balanced diet,” Cabezas-Wallscheid underscored.

These results may have influence on cancer research; as there is some scientific evidence that cancer cells also have a dormancy period, similar to stem cells. When in the dormant phase, cancer cell metabolism is slowed considerably, and this phase makes them resistant to chemotherapy.

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