The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put together a handy, very helpful guide on “Healthier, Greener Home Cleaning Options.” The link to the guide can be found below.
This is especially valuable coming from the EWG, as they do regular research and studies on chemicals and contaminants in our cleaning products, foods, and the environment.
Here is the EWG mission statement that can be found on their website:
“The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.”
“We work for you. Do you know what’s in your tap water? What about your shampoo? What’s lurking in the cleaners underneath your sink? What pesticides are on your food?”
So, enjoy this short EWG guide to healthy home cleaning options by clicking the link below. Here’s to your good health and the health of your family.
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.
A study from the Journal “Sleep” has found that having a cooler body temperature before bedtime is beneficial in helping one fall asleep.
Making a special effort to cool down the body before bedtime may particularly help those with insomnia and sleeplessness to fall asleep easier and sleep more deeply.
Doctors at the Cornell Medical Center in White Plains, New York found 44 people to participate in their study. There were 21 men and 23 women between the ages of 19 and 82.
Using body temperature testing methods, the scientists discovered that the participant’s body temperatures naturally dropped most significantly in the two hours before sleep started. Because of this, they concluded that taking a hot bath 90 minutes before bed is the best time to create a more ideal temperature.
In other words, a person’s body temperature can be changed by taking a warm bath and then when they get out of it, a steep drop in temperature will occur that more closely approximates the ideal, cooler temperature for a more sound sleep.
More recently, the study mentioned above from the Journal “Sleep” was included in an analysis of 13 different research studies published in a report in “Sleep Medicine Reviews”. In this new report, the authors found that taking warm showers and baths 90 minutes before bed can cause an increase in blood circulation that moves body heat from the internal areas of the body to the extremities, such as the palms and soles of the feet, thereby cooling the body down.
The bathing supports the natural rhythms and temperatures of the body. Bodies naturally have a cooler body temperature in the late afternoon and evening, and then as the night’s sleep ends, the body gradually becomes warmer.
Another tip would be to keep the bedroom comfortably cool, by using fans or an air conditioner as needed, to assist with falling asleep better and sleeping more deeply.
This health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for sleep and relaxation, such as calcium and magnesium, along with vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Valerie H. of Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired. My legs also had crawling and tingling feelings at night. I got the Sleep Minerals and after a few days, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”
Wendy R. of Honolulu, Hawaii says: “My friends know that I’ve had chronic insomnia for a very long time. Surprisingly, I received the Sleep Minerals II and took it and I actually slept! This thing really works. In the past, if I ever got a good nights sleep I’d say “I slept like a baby”, but that’s the wrong analogy. Those little guys get up every two hours. I am actually beginning to sleep like an adult — a much-rested adult.”
A hot flash, also called hot flush, is a sudden feeling of warmth and often a breakout of sweating in the upper half of the body. When these occur at night, they’re known as night sweats.
Hot flashes are normally brought on by a reduced function of the brain’s temperature regulation, are caused by changing hormone levels, and are one of the most common menopause symptoms. Having night sweats while sleeping can cause overheating and frequent awakenings.
Another source of hot flashes can be medications. According to WebMD, “Taking certain medications can lead to night sweats. Antidepressant medications are a common type of drug that can lead to night sweats. From 8% to 22% of people taking antidepressant drugs have night sweats. Other psychiatric drugs have also been associated with night sweats.”
The “Sleep in America” poll results from the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of all Americans (60%) experience a sleep problem every night or almost every night. Interestingly, a ten-year study to discover which drugs are used to treat insomnia was published in the journal “Sleep”.
The study found that prescriptions for sleeping medications have decreased by 53.7%, but that antidepressant drugs prescribed for insomnia have increased by a surprising 146%. Examples of antidepressants prescribed for insomnia are trazodone, doxepin, trimipramine, and amitriptyline.
Medications may not always have the desired effects. For example, Drugs.com says the following about an antidepressant drug called Welbutrin — “Nervous system side effects have frequently included headache (27%), insomnia (16% to 33%)….and sleep abnormalities.” Health.com lists other possible side effects of antidepressants as sexual dysfunction, weight gain, dry mouth and throat, racing pulse, confusion, disturbed dreams, and an increased risk of suicide.
Nature has provided us with some natural sleep remedies and relaxants that have stood the test of time. Regarding mineral deficiency as we age and at the time of menopause, the pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis says, “The amount of calcium in a woman’s blood parallels the activity of the ovaries. During the menopause, the lack of ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) can cause severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur, including irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, and insomnia. These problems can be easily overcome if the intakes of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all generously increased and are well absorbed.”
One sleep remedy increasing in popularity is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for restless legs syndrome, bone strength, aches and pains, and menopause insomnia.
The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making the minerals more quickly assimilated than tablets or capsules. The softgel formulation provides a deeper, longer-lasting sleep and is an effective alternative to medications.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and am a lot more comfortable.”
Alex R. of Ramseur, North Carolina says: “Sleep Minerals II has been a blessing for me. It has given me the opportunity to withdraw from a highly addictive sleep medication over time, and has allowed me to sleep while going through this most difficult ordeal. What’s great about it is it doesn’t lose its effectiveness, which is something that happens with sleep medications. I am most thankful for this product.”
There are few things that feel worse than being exhausted, yet unable to sleep. In addition to insomnia (the inability to fall or stay asleep), many people also suffer from poor sleep quality, which can cause you to feel sleepy during the day despite getting eight or more hours of rest.
If you frequently have trouble getting a decent night’s sleep, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to rule out/treat any underlying conditions, such as sleep apnea or depression. For many people, sleep problems can be remedied naturally with lifestyle changes and proper nutrition. The following are five natural, safe and effective remedies that might help you get some good shut-eye.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies need for a multitude of biological roles, ranging from bone health to mental health. Human and animal studies also indicate that magnesium plays an important role in sleep, and that magnesium therapy can help insomnia sufferers. Although magnesium is available in a multitude of foods, the USDA says that 57 percent of Americans do not meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium. So how can you get more of this essential sleep nutrient? One method is to eat more foods with magnesium – fibrous foods, such as whole grains, nuts and vegetables are generally high in this mineral. Magnesium supplements in daily doses of less than 350 mg are also considered safe for most adults. Magnesium supplements can also help relieve constipation – another common consequence of a typical fiber-deficient American diet.
Although it may seem counterintuitive that bright light can actually help you sleep, getting enough natural light during the day is important for maintaining circadian rhythms that control our sleep-wake cycles. While many of us don’t get sufficient sunlight because we work indoors all day and/or live in a place that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight for much of the year, people who work night-shifts can be especially light-deprived. There is also a growing body of evidence suggesting that vitamin D, a nutrient we get from certain foods and from exposure to ultraviolet light, has wide-ranging health implications, and that a lack of it may cause insomnia and other serious health problems. To get enough sunlight and vitamin D for good health and good sleep, experts recommend getting 10 to 20 minutes of direct sunlight exposure each day – ideally, in the morning hours. Light therapy boxes and vitamin D supplements (in typical therapeutic doses) are also considered safe and effective.
Another major culprit for poor sleep is a lack of physical activity. America’s population is largely sedentary, spending most of the day sitting in a chair at work, sitting in the car while commuting, and sitting in front of the TV when we get home. Unless we find a way to incorporate some exercise into our daily routine, your body may not be tired enough to sleep well at night – even though your mind is exhausted. Exercise is also important for relieving stress and tension that accompany our modern, hectic lifestyles. Although you should aim to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day for good sleep and for good health in general, exercising vigorously within several hours of bedtime can actually interfere with your sleep. For this reason, gentle yoga, with its series of tension-relieving stretches and meditative elements, is an excellent type of exercise that you can practice in the evening to help you sleep – you can even do certain poses in bed! A 2010 University of Rochester study found that cancer survivors with insomnia who practiced gentle yoga for four weeks reported improved sleep quality and decreased use of sleep aids during the program’s duration.
4. Good sleep hygiene
Although it sounds like it might have to do with the cleanliness of your sheets, the term “sleep hygiene” is actually used to refer to your overall sleep environment and habits that can affect your sleep quality. Many of the factors that impact our sleep quality are environmental or have to do with our nighttime behaviors. The following elements are considered by sleep experts to be important components of good sleep hygiene:
* Going to sleep at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time each morning.
* Limiting or avoiding consumption of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol – all of which can impair sleep quality or make it hard to fall asleep.
* Avoiding late-night exposure to bright electronic screens, e.g., iPads, smartphones, TVs, computers, etc., which can disrupt circadian rhythms.
* Relaxing before bed with a warm bath or another restful activity. Lavender aromatherapy may also help relax you before bed to combat insomnia.
* Using the bedroom only for sleep and sex – not for watching TV or working from your laptop, for example.
* Making sure your sleeping environment is sufficiently cool, dark and quiet.
Like magnesium and vitamin D, B-vitamins are also important nutrients for sleep. In particular, B-6 is important for the production of serotonin, a “feel good” hormone which aids sleep and combats anxiety and restlessness that can keep you awake; and folic acid (B-9) deficiency has been found in those with insomnia and in those with depression, a condition which is often implicated in insomnia. Vitamin B-12 is also needed for good sleep and mental health, and certain populations, including seniors and vegans, are more likely to be deficient in this vitamin. Additionally, niacin, or B-3, has been shown to increase REM sleep and help with depression. Good food sources of B vitamins include animal products such as fish and dairy, and whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, beans, and green, leafy vegetables. Taken at recommended doses, B vitamin supplements are also generally considered to be quite safe, as they are water-soluble, meaning that any excess vitamins will be excreted through the urine.
This information was written by Lifed.com and is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective natural insomnia remedy Sleep Minerals II. Sleep Minerals II contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleep, relaxation, heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength and menopause insomnia.
The formula also includes vitamin D and zinc, and is delivered in a softgel form with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Doctor P. P. of Houston, Texas says: “I had developed sleeping problems and took two different sleep medications over the course of several weeks. When I discontinued them, the insomnia came back even worse. I literally got about 20 hours of sleep in 6 weeks time. Sleep Minerals II was an answer to my prayers. I’ve been taking it for a couple weeks and getting many hours of sleep a night. As a doctor I would definitely avoid prescribing sleeping drugs — I would recommend Sleep Minerals II.”
The word “metabolic” refers to the processes in plants and animals by which food is changed into energy or used to make cells and tissues. A “syndrome” is a group of signs or symptoms that together indicate a particular disease or condition.
So, “metabolic syndrome” is a group of risk areas that increase the likelihood of developing diabetes, heart disease or stroke. These include high blood sugar levels, increased blood pressure, excess stomach fat and high cholesterol.
Fish and omega-3 foods for metabolic syndrome
Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of fat that we must get from our diet as the body can’t produce them on its own. This classifies them as “essential” fatty acids. These include wild-caught fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and oysters, as well as fish oils, walnuts, flaxseeds, grass-fed beef and leafy greens. Omega 3 fats assist in reducing blood pressure, supporting a healthy heart and strengthening the eyes and brain.
The Journal of Physiology published a study on omega 3 fatty acids. They reviewed the evidence on the effectiveness of eating omega 3 fish and fish oil supplements for the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. They found that supplementing with Omega 3 sources improved obesity, insulin levels, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. They commented that the anti-inflammatory aspects of these fatty acids also offer good protection for the heart.
Flaxseeds for metabolic syndrome
Phytotherapy is a word that comes from the Greek word “phyton” meaning “plant”, and therapeuein” meaning “to take care of, to heal.” This is the term used to describe medical herbalism.
A study in the magazine “Phytotherapy Research” discovered that flaxseeds are a good remedy for metabolic syndrome by helping to reverse high blood sugar and obesity. In the study, the participant’s body weight, waist circumference, and body mass index all had significantly greater reductions in the flaxseed group. The researchers concluded that co-administration of flaxseed with lifestyle modifications is more effective than lifestyle modification alone in management of metabolic syndrome.
Vegetables and fruits for metabolic syndrome
In a study of Chinese adults, it was discovered that those with adequate vegetable and fruit intake had the lowest risk of metabolic syndrome. Eating a good amount of these foods was significantly associated with reduced risk among adult residents of China.
Healthy vegetables to eat include dark leafy greens such as lettuce, kale and spinach, as well as avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, olives, sweet potatoes, cabbage and others that are enjoyable. Avocados in particular have been found to be related to improved overall diet quality, a healthy nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome
Good fruits to eat include berries, applies, grapes, apples, pears and others. Due to the natural sugars in fruit, It’s good to keep fruit in moderation and eat at least two or three times as many vegetables as fruit.
Magnesium for metabolic syndrome
A study from the journal “Diabetic Medicine” reports on the role of magnesium deficiency in metabolic syndrome. They found that magnesium acts through many mechanisms in the body to help prevent this group of health disorders. Magnesium has a positive effect on glucose metabolism and insulin, as well as beneficial effects on fat metabolism.
The authors of the study explain that magnesium actively promotes muscle relaxation and offsets calcium-related muscle contractions. This mechanism may explain the hypertension (high blood pressure) in metabolic syndrome that’s found in populations with magnesium deficiency. (In supplements, calcium and magnesium should be taken together as they balance each other).
Dietary magnesium prevents chronic inflammation, a state that sets the stage for metabolic syndrome and its consequences. Magnesium does this by preventing the activation of inflammatory changes. The researchers concluded that the amount of magnesium a person consumes is directly related to the presence of metabolic syndrome or its absence. Good food sources of magnesium include almonds, beans, peas, seeds, banana, avocado, leafy greens and whole grains.
This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles 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.
The ingredients in Sleep Minerals II can be helpful for a variety of health conditions. I.C. of Ontario, Canada says: “I have diabetes, a thyroid condition, arthritis and other issues. The Sleep Minerals helps me sleep and gives me the minerals I need. I also have arthritis throughout my whole body and the minerals help this a lot. In fact, Sleep Minerals lessens all of my symptoms greatly and has helped me to go into remission.”
Because of the natural sugars in fruit, one might think that it should be avoided in order to prevent diabetes.
On the contrary, a study recently published in the British Medical Journal has found that greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes), whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk.
Fruits are very rich in antioxidants, which are substances that protect our tissues from the reactions of oxygen inside the body. Natural processes such as digestion and metabolism create accumulated oxygen reactions that contribute to the aging and disease process. Fruits are good at neutralizing these particles and are also a valuable source of fiber and plant coloring and pigments that have beneficial health effects.
The study on fruit’s effect on diabetes prevention was centered at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Participants totaled 187,000 people and were women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1984-2008), women from the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2009), and men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2008). They were all free of major diseases at the starting point. Questionnaires were used to collect detailed data.
While blueberries, grapes, and apples provided the most benefits for diabetes prevention, blueberries provided the greatest advantage when three servings per week were eaten — a 26% reduction in the odds to develop diabetes. Servings of cantaloupe on the other hand, increased the risk by 10%, and three servings of fruit juice increased the risk by 8%. Peaches, plums, apricots, prunes, oranges, and strawberries had a neutral risk for diabetes.
Blueberries have other significant health benefits as well. The bilberry fruit is a close cousin to the famous blueberry. During World War II, British fighter pilots reported improved nighttime vision after eating bilberry jam.
One of the most important studies on bilberries was done by researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Boston, MA. The researchers used an enriched extract of bilberry in a test tube along with human retina cells. The cells were exposed to oxygen damage and bilberry was shown to have a profound antioxidant effect – protecting and reversing the damage.
Bilberry removed the stress in eye tissue, which is a strong indicator that it can safeguard the eyes against disorders of aging such as macular degeneration (blurred vision), cataracts (cloudy vision) and glaucoma (eye pressure on the optic nerve).
So let’s get that fruit out for dessert and eat it for refreshing, nourishing snacks!
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, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, arthritis, aches and pains, stronger hair, better nails, and more energy.
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), almost six out of ten Americans report having sleep problems and insomnia at least a few nights a week. Insomnia is defined as “An inability to fall asleep or remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when the problem continues over time.”
In an effort to combat this, as many as 25 percent of the people in the United States use medications to help them sleep. Most sleeping pills, especially when taken over long periods of time, stay in the bloodstream, give a hangover effect the next day and beyond, and impair memory and performance on the job and at home.
From a nutritional perspective, several research studies have shown certain minerals to be effective as natural sleep aids that help people fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”
Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.
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.”
Regarding magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium, low aluminum diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep.
The benefits of magnesium was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.”
Note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is important to overall health, and these two minerals should be taken together in a two to one ratio for best results (twice as much calcium as magnesium).
Beyond being effective sleep remedies, the health benefits of calcium and magnesium are many. Studies have proven calcium to increase bone health, reduce high blood pressure, relax the nerves and muscles, prevent colon cancer and remedy kidney stones. Magnesium is an effective nutrient for strengthening heart health, reducing diabetes, and treating migraines, restlessness and depression.
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural ingredients for relaxation and deeper sleep. The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural sleep aid which contains absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as rice bran oil have been shown to increase mineral absorption.
Chris M. of the United Kingdom says: “I take one softgel of Sleep Minerals II before bed every night and within 20 minutes I am asleep. The difference in the quality of my sleep and the ease with which I get to sleep using this product is monumental. I have stopped obsessing about sleep or dreading bedtime — I just take a softgel and drift off. If I stop taking them, within a week my sleep starts to lighten in quality, the amount of my sleep diminishes, and my old insomniac patterns reappear.”
Darleen T. of La Mesa, California says: “I purchased Sleep Minerals for my teenage daughter. When she started on the minerals she hadn’t been sleeping well for the past couple of years. She was run down and feeling beyond her years… exhausted. She is only 18. Once she started on Sleep Minerals she actually became tired at night, which is new. She can fall into a restful sleep by 10:30 p.m. and sleep all night. This product is a heaven-send and has given her a life back.”
Natural minerals for sleep that are combined in an effective formula are a much better option then enduring heavy side effects from sleeping drugs. For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.