Archive for June, 2012

Cortisol 101: Learn More About This Hormone

Overall, cortisol is one of those hormones that play an important role in our bodies. Secreted by the adrenal glands, cortisol is involved in a wide variety of bodily functions, including metabolizing glucose, regulating our blood pressure, blood sugar maintenance (specifically, the release of insulin), immune system function, and our body’s inflammatory responses.

When in balance, cortisol “plays nicely” with your body’s systems, but when it tends to rise, it’s usually due to stress. Stress and cortisol levels go hand in hand because cortisol is secreted in higher levels when our bodies experience that “fight or flight” response to stress. Cortisol can produce several changes in the body relating to stress, which usually range from heightened memory and a quick burst or energy or a burst of increased immunity and lower sensitivity to pain. Overall, it’s designed to protect homeostasis in the body and after a period of stress is over, it can also play a part in the relaxation process.

However, having cortisol at high levels consistently or for a prolonged period of time can cause challenges for our body and have negative effects. High cortisol levels have been connected to things like:

  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Impaired cognition
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Lowered immunity

The increased abdominal fat side effect of high cortisol is actually the one that causes the most difficulty. Having increased fat in this area of the body can correspond with higher risks for other health issues, such as heart attack, stroke, and high cholesterol.

The goal with cortisol is to keep levels under control and healthy. There are a variety of ways you can do this. First and foremost, you should try to limit your stress. Practice relaxation and make lifestyle changes that encourage a lower stress environment overall. Additionally, you may want to try taking a cortisol blocker if you’re experiencing the effects of high cortisol.

When taken in conjunction with a healthy diet, enough sleep, exercise, and lower stress, cortisol blockers can help manage high levels and can potentially help you lose the abdominal fat you’ve gained. Just remember that cortisol levels are unique from person to person and people are all wired differently to respond to stress. If you suspect you have high cortisol levels, talk to your doctor or feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to answer any of your questions.

Learn more about cortisol:

Cortisol Basics Part 1

Cortisol Basics Part 2

 

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Introducing Integrative Therapeutics

Integrative TherapeuticsWe’re always looking to expand our selection with products that can meet the needs of our customers. One of the newest brands that we’ve added (and we’re really excited about) is Integrative Therapeutics.

Integrative Therapeutics supplements are some of the highest quality products available. Not only are these supplements made in facilities that are FDA registered and certified to USDA National Organic Program standards, but Integrative Therapeutics manufactures its supplements to Drug Good Manufacturing Practices, which are higher than the standards of dietary supplements. These higher standards mean that every batch is tested for safety and efficacy, which means that you get better shelf life out of these products, plus consistency from batch to batch. This level of attention really sets Integrative Therapeutics supplements apart from other companies.

In terms of our selection, we’re offering favorites from IT, including:

  • Bio-Zyme
  • Cellular Forte
  • Clinical Nutrients
  • Probiotic Pearls
  • DigestRight
  • Eskimo
  • Esberitox
  • Multiplex
  • Ostivone
  • Saventaro
  • ViraClear

We have single bottles as well as two packs to help you get a better value or to make it easier to order your supply. If you want to learn more about Integrative Therapeutics supplements, check out our brand page for them or feel free to contact us. We’d be happy to give you more information about what they can do to improve your overall level of health.

 

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Why You Should Shop at the Farmer’s Market

Shopping at the Farmer's Market

Shopping at the Farmer's Market

I am so excited about this weekend! It is the opening day of our local Farmer’s Market. I am a big proponent of eating food within its season and buying locally. You may know that I am also big on eating close to a Paleo Diet, or at least a low grain and gluten free diet. Well, the Farmer’s Market is one of the best places you can shop to do just that!

The benefits of shopping at a Farmer’s Market are numerous. First and foremost, the food is in season. Fruits and vegetables in season are much more supportive of not only your health, but also the health of the planet.  It is typical for most fruits and vegetables to be transported over long distances before they reach your local supermarket. That sometimes means they travel up to 2500 miles across roads and railways using up large quantities of precious fossil fuels. Most produce is picked immature, to assure they don’t spoil on the way. Produce picked in this manner do not contain the same high levels of nutrients as fresh product!

Of course, one of the best reasons to shop locally is the TASTE! There is nothing like a fresh tomato, right? Food that is fresh, tastes better! You are also more likely to buy organic. Why organic? There have been several studies that show fruits and vegetables grown organically contain significantly more nutrients such as vitamin c, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and other essential phytonutrients. And once again, you help the planet by supporting agriculture that increases the health of our soil, which in turn grows more vitamin and mineral rich foods.

Not to mention, when you buy organic, you are protecting your family and yourself from harmful pesticides that can cause a copious amount of illness and disease. Eliminating toxins is the first step in becoming healthy and staying healthy!

Finally, shopping at your local Farmer’s Market has a wonderful social benefit that improves our mental health. In our fast-paced, over stimulated, cubical lifestyles, we don’t often get that social connection we all need. Spending the time in a small social atmosphere, running into friends, and making new ones, can help your mental health. Viewing the vibrant colors of fruit, vegetables and fresh flowers can stimulate your senses and give you a sense of well-being.  You might even try a new food that you have hesitated to try before because someone is offering you a free taste!

It doesn’t seem to matter if you live in a city like San Francisco, a rural area, or a subdivision; there is usually a Farmer’s Market close to you! I see them springing up all over the place.

I would love for you to share with me your experience at your local market and the foods you look for and love! Everyone who shares (in the comments) will receive a $5 coupon from OVitaminPro.com for any future purchase.

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