About Jobee Knight

Jobee Knight is President of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Los Angeles, California. She is an active nutritional researcher, health writer and provider of effective natural remedies. One of these remedies is Sleep Minerals II, the original calcium and magnesium based insomnia remedy that's used the world over by people of all ages to enjoy better, deeper sleep.

Essential Ways to Sleep Better Despite Chronic Back Pain

By Dr. Brent Wells, Doctor of Chiropractic

chronic back painWhile everyone has trouble falling asleep now and then, if you find that you are frequently having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep because of back pain, you aren’t alone.

Poor sleep is a well-known cause of a wide range of both psychological and physical effects.  For one thing, it can be nearly impossible to find a comfortable sleeping position.  Another contributing factor is that while gentle exercising and walking can create better sleep, a lack of exercise due to chronic back pain makes sleep more elusive.

The Catch-22

One of the main issues is that sleeping poorly makes back pain worse and the worse your back pain, the less quality sleep you will have.

“Rapid Eye Movement” or REM sleep is one of the deepest, most necessary and health-rejuvenating phases of sleep. Your body may be more sensitive to pain when you can’t get some serious REM sleep.  A lack of quality sleep only increases inflammation, which contributes to pain and can also lead to depression.

Normal Quality Sleeping

Sleep isn’t just a nice past time; it is vital for the body’s overall functioning. Quality sleep, meaning REM sleep, allows the body to rest and conduct its needed functions, such as the removal of old hormones and the creation of new ones, and it can’t do this when the mind is awake.

While there is no true “normal” amount of sleep, most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night. Of course, some seem to operate fine on 6 hours and others need 11, but since one’s sleep requirements change during a person’s lifetime, there is no one perfect number of hours, only what is perfect for you.

Sleeping with Chronic Back Pain

If you suffer from chronic back pain, you might find getting enough quality sleep a real problem.

While it might seem impossible, there are plenty of ways you can try that have been shown to help those with lower back pain or chronic back pain get the sleep they desperately need.

Let me share with you the tips I give my patients when it comes to sleeping with back pain.

Essential Tips for Sleeping with Back Pain

Keep in mind that not everything will work for everyone. If one method doesn’t work for you, don’t be afraid to try something else.

Essential Tip #1- Eat Foods That Are Known to Stop Inflammation

It’s a fact that some foods encourage inflammation while others help to put out that fire. Inflammation causes pain, so the more you can do to stop inflammation, the less pain you will have. Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Green leafy veggies, such as spinach and chard
  • Fatty fish
  • Colorful fruits, such as cherries, blueberries, and strawberries
  • Nuts, including walnuts and almonds

Avoid foods that encourage inflammation such as fried foods, sugary treats, junk food and refined flour goods (such as cookies or white bread).

On a side note, eating more anti-inflammatory foods may not only help reduce your pain, but it can help prevent cardiovascular issues and might also prevent cancer.

Essential Tip #2- Get in at Least Some Stretching and Exercise Daily

chronic back painI know, right about now, you are saying “How can I exercise when my back hurts so much?” This is another terrible Catch-22 in life. You need to exercise and stretch to stop back pain, but exercise and stretching hurt your back.

Nearly everyone can do at least some sort of exercise and stretching. I often recommend yoga stretches to my patients, since it’s a good way to do both. It might not be aerobic, but it will help to strengthen the muscles, as well as stretch them. Once you are feeling stronger, your back pain will be reduced, and you might be able to try some other forms of exercise.

Swimming and water aerobics are also an activity I highly recommend. If these are open at this time in your area, check with your YMCA, YWCA, or other community pools regarding classes.

Essential Tip #3- Try Natural Supplements

There are plenty of supplements that can help to reduce inflammation, as well as promote sleep. Some of the best ones would be calcium and magnesium, which have been proven to induce natural sleep and are directly related to our sleep cycles.

Anti-inflammatory supplements include curcumin, fish oil, ginger, and alpha-lipoic acid, or ALA. If you are unsure about interactions with your current medications or if you want to know more about which supplements might be best for you, consult with your primary care physician or chiropractor.

Essential Tip #4- Time for a Bed Check

chronic back painYou might think that your bed is just fine, but the truth is that most mattresses have a lifespan of only 10 years. If your mattress is more than 10 years old, you aren’t doing your back any favors by sleeping on it.

I know that mattresses can be expensive and if you are wondering which mattress would be best for your back, you might consider the Casper Wave mattress, as recommended by the American Chiropractic Association.

These are not terribly expensive, and you don’t need a fancy box spring or anything other than a flat surface to set it on. Casper also has a generous return policy. I’ve had many clients say that they were skeptics, but after just a few nights with this mattress, they slept like a baby.

Essential Tip #5- Pillow Talk

Many people sleep with the same pillow for decades, but like mattresses, these can wear out in as little as 4 years. If you also experience neck pain along with back pain, your pillow might be to blame. Try different pillows until you find the one that works best for you.

I also recommend body pillows. These long, very flexible pillows can be molded into many positions, allowing you to support your back and reduce back pain.

If you have tried all of the above and you still experience back pain that keeps you awake, it’s time to consult a professional. See your primary care physician or your chiropractor for practical advice and a health checkup.

About the Author:

Dr. Brent Wells founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab in 1998. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree before moving on to complete his doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College. The goal for Dr. Wells is to treat Anchorage Alaska patients through physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy, with care and compassion while providing them with a better quality of life.

The Top 11 Major Health Benefits of Yogurt

yogurt benefitsGreetings to you,

Can yogurt actually help with better sleep, weight loss, bone strength and immunity?  Read on to find out!

There is an informative chart below with the top health benefits of yogurt and it’s healthy bacteria known as probiotics. Benefits like helping with good sleep, assisting weight loss, improving digestion, reducing risk of diabetes, lowering cholesterol and stimulating a stronger immune system.  Here are some of the studies:

Yogurt for Stomach Health

One study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming yogurt or the beneficial bacteria from it, has promising health benefits for many conditions and increases the body’s immunity and ability to fight off infections. A variety of conditions were shown to improve including constipation, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, candida, stomach bacteria infections and allergies.

Bone Strength from Yogurt

A study on yogurt was published in the journal “Archives of Osteoporosis”. It reviewed the ability of yogurt to strengthen bones and found that milk and yogurt are the best dairy choices for increasing bone mineral density in the hip.

Yogurt and Good Sleep

Yogurt is also a great choice to eat in the evening to help with sleep due to the high amount of calcium it contains. The beneficial bacteria in yogurt has also been studied for its ability to create a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

A 2017 study from the journal “Beneficial Microbes” tested the effects of yogurt probiotics on the quality of sleep.  The researchers concluded: “These findings suggest that daily consumption of the Lactobacillus casei strain may help to maintain sleep quality during a period of increasing stress.”  As a note, this particular strain is included in virtually all of the most popular yogurt brands.

Regarding the calcium in dairy products, William Sears, M.D. writes: “Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin. This explains why dairy products, which contain both tryptophan and calcium, are one of the top sleep-inducing foods.”

Plain, unsweetened yogurt is healthiest and Greek yogurt is a great, high-protein choice. Fresh fruit can be added as a natural sweetener.

Yogurt and Weight Loss

Yogurt is a boost to weight loss. A healthy supplement similar to the acidophilus used in yogurt was recently found in a Canadian study to help overweight women lose weight and keep it off.  It was discovered that the supplement made the intestinal wall stronger and more able to prevent inflammatory, obesity-causing substances from passing into the intestine and entering the bloodstream.

Immunity Boosting Yogurt

Yogurt is great for strengthening and boosting one’s immunity against infection and illness per studies in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  In particular, yogurt with the Lactobacillus bulgaricus form has been shown to reduce the frequency of colds in older adults after they ate it over a twelve-week period.  This is another commonly used form of probiotic that’s widely-available in yogurts.

This news is shared with you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails, and more energy.

Yogurt benefitsFor More Info on Sleep Minerals II Visit Here

How Magnesium Offers Natural EMF Protection

natural emf protectionExposure to electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, is an expected occurrence in our daily lives. Although this is not a new development, the dose and frequency has continued to rise significantly over the last decade.

With the majority of the public continuously exposed to EMFs, researchers estimate up to 13% of these individuals experience adverse health complications (1).

Where do EMFs come from?

EMFs are produced both naturally in our environment and through technology. Now, it has become increasingly difficult to avoid EMFs as our cellphones, laptops, electricity in our homes and businesses, appliances, and industrial equipment all generate EMFs.

How do EMF’s create unhealthy side effects?

EMF research continues to uncover the unhealthy side effects of frequent EMF exposure and their findings suggest this is becoming a growing public health concern. (2). One of the key negative effects on health associated with prolonged EMF exposure is oxidative stress (3)

Oxidative stress, or an imbalance of oxygen in the body, occurs when there are more unhealthy molecules in the body compared with the anti-oxidants like vitamin C and E.  The anti-oxidants can neutralize and dissolve unhealthy oxygen molecules, which act to cause cell damage, a variety of illnesses, and increase the effects of aging over time.

Other complications of EMF exposure include the opening of calcium channels in the brain (4), along with an increased use of magnesium, calcium and zinc, leading to depleted levels of these crucial nutrients (5).

How calcium channels work

Calcium channels exist in the body to selectively allow calcium ions into our cells. Calcium ions are charged molecules that play an important role in cell activity and function.  They help with communication between cells and affect all stages of our cell’s life cycles. This system is tightly regulated, so when these channels begin opening abnormally due to EMF radiation, it can lead to symptoms such as (6):

  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Pain/tingling due to nerve stimulation

A natural remedy for this can be selecting magnesium-rich foods to eat, as well as taking magnesium supplements. Both can offer natural EMF protection.

The benefits of magnesium for natural EMF protection

Magnesium is a great example of a nutrient important for EMF radiation protection. Why? Well, it is involved in over 300 chemical processes in the body, including the support of several anti-oxidant enzymes (7).

Enzymes play a vital role in our bodies and they help speed up chemical reactions that take place in nearly all cells.  With magnesium acting to fuel our anti-oxidant enzymes, it ultimately has the ability to help decrease oxidative stress due to sustained EMF exposure. In addition, magnesium acts as a natural calcium channel blocker (8).

Beyond magnesium’s role in improving anti-oxidant capacity and calcium channel blocking, it regulates neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain that affect our mood and stress response) and enables us to transition away from our fight and flight reactions, and magnesium sleepinto a calm, more peaceful state (9).

In fact, the calming effect of magnesium is so significant that it has been coined “the original chill pill”. So for those struggling with poor sleep quality or impaired immunity due to stress, EMF exposure, or inflammation, magnesium supplementation is key.

Top dietary sources of magnesium

Despite its crucial role in the body, about half the U.S. population aren’t getting enough of it (10).  Magnesium is considered one of the most prevalent nutrient deficiencies in the United States, following closely behind vitamin D deficiency.

Deficiency is easily remedied by incorporating foods rich in magnesium into your diet. Top sources of magnesium include:

  • Seeds – 764 mg in 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts – 307 mg in 1 cup of nuts
  • Dark leafy greens – 157 mg in 1 cup of cooked spinach
  • Fatty fish – 53 mg in ½ salmon filet
  • Legumes – 48 mg per serving
  • Avocado – 42 mg in a whole avocado

Final thoughts

If you struggle from symptoms of EMF exposure and are looking to implement natural EMF protection measures in your life, ensuring you are receiving adequate doses of magnesium in your diet is key. The daily Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for magnesium are as follows:

  • 400 mg/day for men between 19-30 years
  • 310 mg/day for women between 19-30 years
  • 420 mg/day for men over 31 years
  • 320 for women over 31 years

Another option is to supplement with a highly absorbable form of magnesium. An example of a product that contains this is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. In addition to containing magnesium that’s mixed with healthy oils in a softgel form, it also includes calcium and zinc, which can become depleted over time due to prolonged EMF exposure.

References:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26372109/
  2. https://www.who.int/gho/phe/emf/en/
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11011-017-0016-2
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26368042/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20872091/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15031956/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26404370/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1494942/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19621270/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28140318/
What EMF protection works?

Magnesium is a great example of a nutrient that’s important for EMF radiation protection. It is involved in over 300 chemical processes in the body, including the support of several anti-oxidant enzymes. With magnesium acting to fuel our anti-oxidant enzymes, it ultimately has the ability to help decrease oxidative stress due to sustained EMF exposure.

What is the best EMF protection?

It’s helpful to turn your Wi-Fi connection off when you’re not using the internet and also at night to protect your immune system while you sleep. EMF-blocking clothing can make a difference, such as beanies and shirts that contain silver threading. Avoid wireless watches, headsets and other wireless devices. Use regular, old-fashioned light bulbs rather than compact fluorescent ones that can give off “dirty energy.”

Choosing a Mattress for Sleep, Heath and Comfort

choosing a mattressBy Susan Doktor

Setting Yourself up for the Perfect Night’s Rest

Dozens of choices we make during each day influence how well we sleep during the night. Scientists have studied how the foods we eat and supplements we take – from magnesium to vitamin C – can change the health of our breathing, body chemistry, and more.

Some activities, like exercise, both relax us at night and give us more energy during the day to enjoy the things we love. The mechanisms by which our habits contribute to a good night’s rest are sometimes complex and sometimes easy-to-understand, but understanding them is important to our health.

Thankfully, many sleep-improving practices don’t cost a dime. Keeping a positive outlook, adhering to consistent bedtime rituals, and controlling the light in our sleep spaces can each help you sleep better. But others do require a significant investment. The mattress you sleep on is one example. Finding the best mattress for your body – and getting a better night’s sleep – depends on several factors. Let’s take a look at some of them.

What is Sleep Hygiene?

Sleep hygiene is defined as those various practices and habits that help with good sleep quality at night and having good energy levels during the day.  This includes:

* Getting some exercise.  Even a daily walk has been proven to help with better sleep according to studies from the University of Arizona.

*Avoiding caffeine or stimulants late in the day.

*Keeping the bedroom dark and cool.

*Eating foods that help improve sleep and avoiding ones that can upset the stomach.

*Limiting the use of computers and cell phones for an hour or two before bedtime.

*Having a comfortable mattress and pillows.

Dollars and Sleep Sense

Mattresses are made from a wide range of materials and some are constructed using several components.Depending on the type of mattress you choose, supplementary equipment like a box spring may be part of the equation.But no matter what type of mattress you select, it will take a bite out of your budget. Even a low-end mattress and foundation will set you back a few hundred dollars. And mattress prices in the thousands are quite common.

Experts differ on how regularly mattresses should be replaced, but the consensus is that the average lifespan of a mattress is seven to ten years. If you follow these recommendations, you’ll own several during your lifetime.

If sleep hygiene is a priority for you, buying the best, most durable mattress you can afford may be a sensible decision.

Mattress Material Differences

The most common materials used to create the soft part of a mattress are latex and synthetic foam. Cotton and wool often accompany those elements to add both padding and breathability.

The inner workings of a mattress are typically covered by an outer layer, known as ticking, made from polyester or cotton. Inner springs, which may or may not be part of the mattress you choose, are made of steel.

All of these parts can wear out over time. Hybrid mattresses, which proponents say offer the best of both worlds in terms of comfort, are becoming increasingly popular. But they can also be subject to wear in more places.

If you’re shopping for a mattress, be sure you consider the manufacturers warranties carefully. Some mattress warranties only protect you in the case of obvious manufacturing defects. Others guarantee the specific performance of your mattress over time and will provide you with a replacement if your mattress develops serious indentations.

How Do You Define Comfortable?

And, for that matter, if you sleep alongside someone else, how does he or she define it? (Mattresses that adjust on each side to address two sleep partners’ preferences have solved a lot of problems.) A mattress that feels too hard or soft to you when you try it is unlikely to convince you that it will give you a good night’s sleep. And yet, specific mattresses are recommended – or not recommended – to help manage certain sleep issues.

A firm or medium-firm mattress may help relieve symptoms for people who suffer from back pain. Firm mattresses are also recommended for people who are carrying a lot of excess weight.

Memory foam mattresses may help those who suffer from chronic joint pain because they create fewer pressure points. However, “hot sleepers” may want to avoid memory foam, because it responds to heat and traps it.  Memory foam conforms closely to your body.

Mattress experts point out that many mattress buyers tend to make a choice based on what feels familiar to them, rather than what may be therapeutic. But it takes time to adjust to any new mattress, even if you choose one because it’s the same kind as your old one. The point is that if a firmer or softer mattress is recommended to you to alleviate chronic pain, chances are good that you will get used to it.

Try Before You Buy?

Not long ago, people bought mattresses locally at brick-and-mortar stores. Now it’s estimated that 45% of mattress purchases are made online. Many online mattress retailers offer trial periods of a year or more to help consumers overcome their reluctance buy a mattress sight unseen, or more accurately, “touch not felt.”

Buying a mattress online can be less expensive and more convenient. Mattress company websites often provide some basic mattress education.

Health and Environmental Considerations

If environmental safety is a priority for you, you should be aware that some of the materials used in mattress construction, including polyurethane (a synthetic petroleum-based material), flame retardants, and other plastics, have been demonstrated to release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere.

Body heat appears to increase the amount VOCs emitted. Scientists are not raising alarms generally about the VOC levels mattresses produce, but they note that children may be at greater risk for the health problems associated with VOCs. These include headaches, ear, nose, and throat irritation and, with some compounds, cancer.

Safer mattress materials include regular or organic cotton (for the padding and wrapping), untreated organic wool, and natural latex which comes from rubber trees.  Mattresses with these materials don’t generally contain toxic flame retardants and harsh chemicals. 

The usual latex used in mattresses is a petroleum-based rubber that has stronger odors and emissions. Organic wool is one material that naturally resists mildew and mites and is also a natural flame retardant.

If you’re buying a new mattress, another way you can contribute to a safer environment is to recycle your old one. A whole mattress takes up a lot of space at the landfill and that’s where some 20 million of them go each year. But a mattress’s component materials, including latex, cotton, and steel, are recyclable. There are some 50 mattress recycling firms operating today so before you haul your old mattress to the curb, consider contacting one.

This natural health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition news and supplier of natural remedies since 2002.  Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc.

Author bio:

Susan Doktor is a journalist and business strategist from New York City. She writes guest blogs internationally on a wide range of topics, including health, finance, technology, and consumer products.

What to look for when choosing a mattress?

A firm or medium-firm mattress may help relieve symptoms for people who suffer from back pain. Firm mattresses are also recommended for people who are carrying a lot of excess weight. Memory foam mattresses may help those who suffer from chronic joint pain because these create fewer pressure points.

What are safer and healthier materials in mattresses?

Safer mattress materials include regular or organic cotton (for the padding and wrapping), untreated organic wool, and natural latex which comes from rubber trees.  Mattresses with these materials don’t generally contain toxic flame retardants and harsh chemicals.

Study Shows Eating Avocado Benefits the Waistline

avocado benefitsStudy Shows Eating Avocado Benefits the Waistline

A new analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey revealed that consuming avocados may give us a smaller waistline.

Avocados contain healthy plant fats that can provide a refreshing sense of fullness and satisfaction. Besides contributing to a smaller waist, some of the other avocado benefits discovered from the study include a better quality diet and nutrient intake, less sugars eaten, a lower body weight, and higher “good cholesterol” levels.

The study results were published in the Nutrition Journal.  Those that ate the avocado had an average of half a medium size avocado daily.  Here are the detailed findings from the study:

  • Avocado consumers had significantly higher intakes of certain important nutrients including 36% more dietary fiber, 23% more vitamin E, 13% more magnesium, 16% more potassium and 48% more vitamin K than non-consumers.
  • Avocado consumers also had significantly higher intakes of “good” fats and total fats (11% more) than non-consumers, although average caloric intake of both groups was the same.
  • Avocado consumers had significantly smaller waist circumference measures than non-consumers (an average of 4 centimeters smaller).
  • Avocado consumers weighed significantly less than non-consumers (an average of 7.5 pounds less).

Avocados are great when eaten in slices on a sandwich, on top of an omelete, mixed with other vegetables in a guacamole or tossed into a protein shake.

This natural health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition news and a supplier of natural remedies since 2002.

Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.

They also provide Joints and More, which offers joint relief, relief from aches and pains, allergy relief, stronger hair, better nails and more energy.

 

Article Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/c-nsi022013.php

Studies Show Olive Oil for Sleep and Strong Bones

olive oil for sleepStudies are showing that olive oil is beneficial for many aspects of our health.

Olive oil can help strengthen the heart, support normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and can calm inflammation. 

The oil assists with good sleep, supports the brain, and may prevent strokes.  Stiff joints and arthritis can also be relieved with olive oil, especially when combined with fish oil (per Healthline.com).

Regarding olive oil for sleep, a recent study appeared in a journal that writes about the health of older people.  This study included 1,639 people and found that eating a Mediterranean type diet improves the quality of sleep in older adults.  The Mediterranean diet includes foods such as fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains. 

Olive oil is a key component of this way of eating – a tradition that has developed in the European countries that surround the Mediterranean Sea.

Those in the study that didn’t adhere to the Mediterranean diet as well, had poorer sleep quality. The adults in the study that followed the diet more closely reaped the following benefits: More sound sleep through the night, falling asleep more quickly, feeling well rested when they woke up and during the day, and they were happy about the amount of sleep they got overall.

Olive oil has also been proven to help bone strength.  According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation: “Osteoporosis and low bone mass are currently estimated to be a major public health threat for almost 44 million women and men aged 50 and older in the USA.”

A recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health has discovered that olives, olive oil and their potent plant nutrients called “polyphenols”, have a high potential for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis. Human research shows that daily consumption of olive oil can prevent a decline in bone mineral density. 

Some good ways to eat olive oil is to use it in salad dressings and on vegetables, rub it on meat and fish before cooking to keep it moist, use it instead of butter in sauces and gravies, spread it on fresh bread, and saute or cook food with it.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D. 

The company also makes Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Olive oil for sleep?

Regarding olive oil for sleep, a recent study of 1,639 people found that eating a Mediterranean type diet high in olive oil improves the quality of sleep. This diet includes foods such as fruit, vegetables, olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The people in the study who ate this way were able to fall asleep faster, sleep longer and wake up refreshed.

Is olive oil good for osteoporosis?

A recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research has discovered that olives, olive oil and their potent plant nutrients have a high potential for strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis. Human research reveals that daily consumption of olive oil can prevent a decline in bone mineral density. 

What are health benefits of olive oil?

Olive oil can help strengthen the heart, support normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels and can calm inflammation.  It assists with good sleep, supports the brain and may prevent strokes.  Stiff joints and arthritis can also be relieved with olive oil, especially when combined with fish oil

Cell Phone Safety – How’s Your Screen Time?

cell phone safetyBy Susan Doktor

Look around your house and ask yourself, what couldn’t I live without? If you’re like nearly half the population, your smartphone is on the list.

That’s because our smartphones connect us to so many other things we love, from the people who are precious to us to the music that enriches our lives.

Knowing that we can’t live without our smartphones raises a question, though. How can we live more healthfully with them? From finding the best cellular service plan, to choosing a cell phone case that reflects our unique personalities, we invest a lot of time ensuring we have the best smartphone experience. You might want to think about it this way: adopting healthy cell phone habits is part of your overall smartphone optimization plan.

Cell Phone Safety During COVID-19

While the greatest risk of being infected with the coronavirus comes from inhaling airborne droplets released by people who carry it, the virus can also spread via contaminated surfaces. Plastic and metal, two of the materials commonly used to manufacture smartphones, can harbor the virus for two to three days. What’s more, because we hold our phones close to our faces and speak directly into them, they are more likely than other objects — like countertops or pots and pans, for example — to carry traces of the virus.

The first step you can take to reduce your risk comes down to common sense. For best cell phone safety, don’t share your smartphone with others and don’t use other people’s phones. That means not handing your phone to someone else to view your Facebook photos. If someone wants to do a quick Google search on your phone, do it for them.

Don’t reach over to hand someone their phone just to be courteous. Our phones have become so ever-present in our lives, we are barely aware of how often we touch them. Now’s the time to increase our awareness of how we touch our own and other people’s cell phones.

Keep it Clean

It’s also a smart practice to disinfect your phone periodically. Phone manufacturers have recently advised users that common disinfectants like alcohol and bleach wipes can be used to clean screens without damaging them. But some products might be too harsh so it’s best to follow your phone’s manufacturer’s advice on the subject. If you’re into gadgets, you may also want to consider one of the phone disinfecting devices that uses UVC light to kill germs.

UVC is ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet light is a type of radiation that makes black-light posters glow and is responsible for summer tans.  Light in the UVC wavelength can be used for disinfecting water, sterilizing surfaces, destroying harmful micro-organisms in food products and also in the air.

UVC light has been used for years to stop the spread of disease. It’s also a component of the best air purifiers for home use. Choose a model that encloses your phone and bathes it in light, rather than a wand-style model, to avoid exposing yourself or others to the low level of radiation the devices emit.

Cut it Short

Following stay-at-home orders to help stem the spread of the coronavirus has arguably made us even more dependent on our electronic devices. We’re lonely and bored. And our phones help keep us connected and engaged, whether through social media exchanges or playing our favorite puzzles and games. We’re attending to basic household tasks like grocery shopping with our phones and we’re banking electronically more often, too.

But the body of evidence connecting too much screen time to health problems hasn’t disappeared with the emergence of the global pandemic. In studies of cell phone safety, screen time has been linked to obesity and it can also disrupt our sleep patterns. Studies show that poor sleep can lead to chronic inflammation, an underlying cause of health problems ranging from asthma to heart conditions.

Shutting the cell phone and computer off a couple hours before bedtime can lead to a better night’s sleep. The light from these devices has been shown to reduce the sleep-inducing hormone known as melatonin and make it harder to stay asleep at night.  Another tip for better sleep would be to take  some highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium such as those found in the natural sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.  Magnesium has been proven to help reduce the harmful effects of radiation from cell phones.

Caring for Kids

Some parents have all but given up trying to limit their kids’ screen time since schools have been closed due to the coronavirus. For one thing, they feel like they’re not the best role models right now. But limiting our kids’ use of smartphones remains important. Ironically, while adults may experience a greater sense of connectedness by using their phones, too much screen time can make kids less interested in being with their friends and family.

The shows and games that appear to keep the kids’ minds engaged may actually impair their thinking and learning abilities later in life. It’s safe to say that family members of all ages can improve their health by taking steps to use their cell phones safely.

Author Bio:

Susan Doktor is a journalist and businesswoman who hails from New York City. She writes guest and ghost-blogs internationally on a wide range of topics, including health, technology, finance and consumer products.

Stevia Health Benefits: 0 Calorie Sweetener is an Antiviral, Helps Blood Pressure and More

stevia health benefits
Stevia Health Benefits

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a natural plant-based sweetener with zero calories that actually improved our health?

Many people would prefer to avoid eating a lot of white sugar as it affects everything from weight, to teeth, to immunity, to the health of our organs.

Although in the world of sugar substitutes, many of the options are artificial sweeteners made in the laboratory such as Equal (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose) and SweetNLow (saccharin – which is a coal tar derivative).

A recent study published in a medical journal that writes about metabolism reported that diet soda drinkers suffer with the same health problems as those who opt for regular sugared soda, including weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

At the same time that studies are discovering more and more health problems are from consuming artificial sweeteners, one natural option – the Stevia plant – is collecting positive research outcomes for stevia health benefits. It’s a South American plant from the same family that includes chrysanthemums and sunflowers. Honey is also natural, but it contains very concentrated sugars that can cause cells to store fat.

Stevioside is the natural extract from stevia leaves that gives it its sweetness. Stevia extract can taste 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, with one teaspoon equaling a whole cup of sugar. Very small amounts go a long way. One good thing is that Stevia is not absorbed well into the stomach and when it passes through the body, there is no accumulation of it.

The cells of the pancreas receive a healing effect from stevia. A study in the journal “Metabolism” found that stevioside reduced blood sugar levels after meals in type 2 diabetic patients. Regarding high blood pressure, one study in a British medical journal gave participants with high blood pressure stevia capsules for a year. The researchers concluded it is a well tolerated and an effective alternative therapy.

In a test tube study from the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal, stevia was shown to be an effective antiviral substance that worked as a blockade to prevent a virus from attaching to other cells. Researchers proved that stevia inhibited the reproduction of the Teschen disease virus and the human Coronavirus. Other stevia health benefits include inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria, which makes it a good ingredient for mouthwashes, toothpastes and bleeding gums.

Stevia is available as fresh or dried leaves, as a powdered extract or as drops. Its health benefits are best realized when the whole plant is used to make the extract. Truvia (made by Coca-Cola) and PureVia (made by PepsiCo) contain only portions of the active ingredients, not the entire plant. So look for stevia or stevioside amounts when purchasing this natural sweetener.

This news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, providing natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2002.  Learn more about the Sleep Minerals II and Joints and More products made by Nutrition Breakthroughs.

What health benefits does stevia have?

In a test tube study from the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal, stevia was shown to be an effective antiviral substance that worked as a blockade to prevent a virus from attaching to other cells. Researchers proved that stevia inhibited the reproduction of the Teschen disease virus and the human Coronavirus.

Is stevia good for you or bad for you?

Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener that may actually be good for our health. It is collecting positive research outcomes for conditions like high blood sugar and high blood pressure. It can also act as an effective antiviral and antibacterial substance.

Benefits of Cilantro for Better Sleep, Calming Anxiety and Insomnia

Cilantro is an herb with small green, fan-shaped leaves and long, tender stalks. It also goes by the name of coriander, although coriander is actually a spice derived from the dried seeds of cilantro.  

Cilantro is rich with vitamins and minerals and has many proven health and therapeutic benefits, as well as a variety of cooking and seasoning uses.

What are the vitamins in cilantro? The Nutrition Data website writes that cilantro is a very good source of the B vitamins.  It is also high in zinc, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

According to Medical News Today, cilantro fights pain and inflammation, enhances skin health and has anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties.  Per Dr. Josh Axe, this plant removes heavy metals from the body, cleanses the urinary tract, settles digestive upset, protects against food poisoning and acts as a sedative.

In studies from medical schools and universities in India, cilantro has been found effective for calming anxiety and improving sleep due to its qualities as a natural sedative.  One animal study from the School of Pharmacy in Jaipur, India discovered that there were dose-dependent effects from cilantro as an anti-anxiety and relaxation agent, meaning that when more was taken, the more pronounced the results were. 

In this study, when the higher dose of cilantro extract was given, it reduced anxiety and provided relaxation equally as well as the prescription drug valium.  The side effects of valium include agitation, memory problems, weakness of the muscles, confusion and hallucinations — so taking extracts of cilantro could avoid these effects.

In a report from the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, the author writes that cilantro seed oil contains linalool as its major essential oil component. Essential oils contain the plant’s active “lifelike” properties and are said to be the “blood” of the plant.  Linalool has marked benefits for the nervous system, including sedative and anti-convulsant properties.  In human studies, linalool was shown to have calming, relaxingand anti-anxiety effects.

What is cilantro used for?  It can be used to make sauces, dressings, salsa, guacamole, soups, stews, curry dishes with meat or seafood, and also added to salads, rice dishes and vegetable dishes. It’s best to use cilantro raw as it can lose its health benefits when introduced to heat.  Add the freshly chopped cilantro to any heated recipes just prior to serving. The leaves can also be soaked in cool water and then strained and used as tea.

As a note, be sure to buy cilantro for these benefits rather than parsley.  Cilantro can also be called Chinese parsley or Mexican parsley, so take care to buy regular, fresh cilantro in the produce section.

This natural health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition news and a supplier of natural remedies since 2002.  Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D.

Tammy M. of Meridian, Idaho says: “I was plagued with insomnia for five years and desperate for a breakthrough. Nothing has helped me more than Sleep Minerals — I’m so sold on them I could go door to door promoting them. I’m 60 years old and have never slept so soundly.”

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Is coriander and cilantro the same?

Cilantro is an herb with small green leaves and long, tender stalks.  It also goes by the name of coriander, although coriander is actually a spice derived from the dried seeds of cilantro. When the cilantro plant flowers, the seeds produced are called coriander seeds. The leaves and flowers have very different tastes and uses in cooking.

What are the vitamins in cilantro?

The Nutrition Data website writes that cilantro is a very good source of the B vitamins.  It is also high in zinc, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Does cilantro make you sleepy?

In studies from medical schools and universities in India, cilantro has been found effective for calming anxiety and improving sleep due to its qualities as a natural sedative. One animal study from the School of Pharmacy in Jaipur, India discovered that there were dose-dependent effects from cilantro as an anti-anxiety and relaxation agent, meaning that when more was taken, the more pronounced the results were.

How Can Holiday Stress Be Reduced? 5 Great Tips

Greetings to you,

It’s Jobee from Nutrition Breakthroughs. If you or someone you care about experiences stress or insomnia over the holidays, then these healthy tips will come in handy.

1. If you drink coffee, try to replace some of it with herbal teas such as chamomile, lemon balm or passionflower.  These are all proven to calm and relax and help with better sleep.

2. Do some regular, gentle exercise that you enjoy.  Some ideas would be walking, dancing, stretching or cycling. 

3. Spend some time outdoors and if it’s very cold, bundle up!  Especially if you spend a lot of time indoors in front of a computer screen, go outside and look at the trees, houses, clouds, buildings and other large objects. This helps the body and mind unwind and get some rest.

4. Turn off the TV, computer or cell phone at least an hour before bedtime.  The lighted screens of these electronics have been found to reduce melatonin levels in the body, which is a natural hormone that regulates the sleep and wake cycles.

5. Click on the video below to watch a helpful three-minute video on how to increase melatonin for sleep naturally.  It has some more great tips.

Here’s to your good sleep and good health,

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of Sleep Minerals II
With highly absorbable minerals and vitamins for sleep