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Celebrate National Fresh Fruit & Vegetables Month in June

Fruits and Vegetabls

A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can make a huge difference.

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month and what better time to celebrate the season’s bounty? Spring is the perfect time of year for the most delicious fruits – like strawberries, watermelon and cantaloupe and veggies – like squash, zucchini and corn on the cob. Celebrate nature’s harvest by adding an assortment of mouthwatering fruits and veggies to your daily diet.

Are you feeling sluggish after the long winter and want to rejuvenate your system? Give it a kick start with fresh fruits and vegetables. Yummy, crunchy, and easy to prepare, they are low in fat and full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, like Vitamin A, C, folic acid, beta-carotene, potassium and calcium.

Adding More To Your Diet
It’s easier than you think to add extra servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet. Here some easy tips to follow.

Veggies
*Quick fix – Steam cook fresh or frozen veggies, like broccoli, carrots or green beans as a side dish or snack.
*Be prepared – cut up an assortment of bell peppers, carrots and broccoli and prepackage them for snacks on the go, or to add to a salad or veggie wrap.
*The brighter the better – Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange, or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes or sweet potatoes.
*Colorful salad – Brighten your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans, sliced red bell peppers, shredded radishes or chopped red cabbage.
*Seasonal veggies – Buy vegetables that are in season for maximum flavor at a lower cost. The farmers market is ideal for the freshest farm to table veggie choices.

Fruits
*In sight – Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
*Experiment with fruit at dinner – Add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections, dried cranberries, or grapes in a tossed salad.
*Variety – Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
*Snacks – Dried fruits make great snacks and are easy to carry and store well.
*Freshness – Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor.

Summer picnic
Spice up your menu with these delicious and nutritious summer barbeque options:
Fruit Kabobs – Strawberries, Pineapple, Grapes, Cantaloupe
Vegetable Kabobs – Cherry tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Green Peppers, Onions
Whether you buy your fresh produce at your local farmer’s market or your favorite grocery store, whatever you do, be sure to take advantage of the taste of the season during National Fresh Fruit and Veggies Month and always buy organic as much as possible! With how many toxins there are in our food already, it pays to focus on only eating fresh and pesticide-free produce!

 

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Stop Stress and Sleepless Nights – Manage Your Cortisol

Thank you so much to all of you who chosen OVitaminPro to be a part of your health-care strategy.  We are seeing more and more familiar names and addresses pop up in our orders. Your confidence in us is much appreciated and we will work hard to be worthy of your trust.  Like I always say, “forgiveness is a gift but trust is earned.”

In our conversations with patients, a frequent problem that arises is the one of waking up in the middle of the night with the mind racing and going back to sleep is out of the question.  This can be simple problem or it may require some creative trouble-shooting.  It just depends.

One explanation for this phenomenon has to do with the way your body maintains even blood sugar levels.  This is critical for brain function because it appears that neurons can only burn glucose for energy.  During the day, the body stores glucose in long chains called glycogen in the liver.  At night, cortisol (an adrenal gland product) helps balance the rate of glycogen conversion to glucose.  If your cortisol response is not adequate, a secondary adrenal reaction kicks in to help maintain the glycogen conversion.

This secondary circuit is the increased production of epinephrine or adrenaline.  You know what adrenaline does to your state of wakefulness.  So when the conversion from the cortisol pathway begins to give way to increased production of epinephrine, you keep your blood sugar up but now you are awake.

It may be a bit counter-intuitive but the adrenal balance you need to sleep at night must be addressed first in the daytime with proper adrenal management. By management I mean keeping your stress at a decent level, a sugar-balance friendly diet and targeted supplementation if the first two aren’t good enough.

Volumes have been written about stress management so I will leave that for another day. Diet is crucial. We are fans of a low grain, moderate protein and moderate fat diet for general health and blood sugar management. You can overdo any carbohydrate but grains are typically the category typically most abused. Regardless of what the USDS tells us, a diet rich in whole grains will cause more problems than it can solve in most people.

You have heard over and over about the dangers of refined sugars. If you still aren’t convinced, read a few chapters of The Grain Brain by Perlmutter.

Keeping you blood sugar balance throughout the day will go a long ways to helping you get good sleep at night. Supplements that help with that have been around for decades and we can recommend a few. Look for BetterGenix AdrenalGenix, Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager, or Cortivive.

Many of you have updated your accounts so you can see product lines that require a login feature like Apex and Professional Formulas. We thank you for your patience in completing that process.

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Allergy Season – Again?! Part 2

It’s that time again! Allergy season is here and in our last post, we went over some ways to prevent allergy issues naturally. Now, we’re back with even more tips for keeping those nasal passages, sinuses, lungs, and eyes feeling clear and calm all season long. Here are 5 more ways to deal with your allergies naturally:

  1. Eat Healthy: We know – this seems like a no brainer but studies have shown that a healthy diet can make a huge difference in allergy symptoms. Start nourishing your body right with lots of fresh fruits and veggies, organic lean meats, and nuts. Try to cut back on dairy or other inflammatory foods, which can generate a lot of mucus.
  2. Try the Neti Pot: Nasal rinses and neti pots can be great for clearing out pollen or allergens that may be in your nose. We have neti pot kits from Himalayan Institute that are a great way to get started. Gently flush once in the morning and once in the evening to keep those nasal passages clear!
  3. Supplement: There are many allergy support supplements out there, but one of the best we can recommend is Metagenics Sinuplex, which delivers vitamin C, quercetin, nettle root extract, and other natural ingredients that can help you support healthy sinuses and respiratory function.
  4. Drink More Water: Besides being good for your skin, more fluids can mean detoxifying your body, which is great for your immune system overall. Drinking more water can also help you thin the mucus in your nasal passages. Feeling stuffy? Broth, teas, or hot soup can do the trick of giving you hydration and steam.
  5. Clean Up: Keeping your home clean and neat with natural cleaners can also help you during allergy season. You wouldn’t believe how much pollen gets into carpets, upholstery, sheets, linens, and everything in between! Vacuum regularly and keep things from getting dusty to soothe troubled sinuses.

Have another way you stave off allergy season naturally? Share it with us in the comments!

 

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