3 Supplements to Help Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a serious health risk that increases your risk of several serious conditions, including heart attack and stroke. If your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, losing weight and eating a heart-healthy diet are the first priorities you need to have. Yet, while you are in the process of making yourself more healthy, what can you do to improve your health? In addition to any prescription your doctor recommends, we at Supreme Health have some  tips for natural supplements you can consider adding to your routine.

1. Potassium – Potassium lessens the effects of sodium in the body. Sodium raises blood pressure, so increasing potassium intake can help control blood pressure levels. The average adult needs about 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day, according to the American Heart Association.

2. Calcium – The National Institutes of Health indicates that several studies have shown a relationship between greater calcium intake and lower blood pressure and lower risk of hypertension. The link is weak due to poor study quality, but high calcium levels do lead to increased sodium flushed in the urine. These benefits may not hold true for middle-aged patients with mild to moderate hypertension. Consuming calcium through organic dairy foods seems to be the best way to add it to the diet, but a quality supplement can help too.

3. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – CoQ10 is necessary for the basic function of all cells, but the levels of this enzyme decreases as people age. Also, people with hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases tend to have lower-than-average levels of CoQ10. research is still in the works, but early studies show that increasing CoQ10 levels leads to a small decrease in blood pressure levels.

Hypertension is not a disease to ignore. It requires aggressive, active management. Adding these supplements to your lifestyle, while also making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes, can help you take a natural approach to dealing with this common condition.

Supplements to Help Control Acne Breakouts

Whether you are an adult or a teenager, an acne breakout is never something you want to face. The embarrassment and discomfort of this common condition can have you turning to the medicine cabinet in search of a cure. Obviously here at Supreme Health we are always on the lookout for the natural option and we have some suggestions of natural ways to control acne breakouts. Consider one of these four supplements or topical applications.

1. Vitamin A – Prescription vitamin A derivatives known as retinoids have been used to treat acne with much success, but they some case studies seem to suggest they can have serious consequences, including a high risk of life-altering birth defects when used by pregnant women, and high risk of toxicity because of the intense dosage. Vitamin A taken at recommended doses, however, may be the better option as it has not been associated with any problems and can help control acne.

2. Zinc – Scientific studies reported by the NYU Langone Medical Center have shown a connection between zinc levels in the blood and the severity of acne breakouts. Further study is needed, however, to determine if this is a valid correlation. That said, several studies have shown that topical and oral use of zinc does help treat acne, and when taken in recommended doses zinc is a safe supplement for healthy individuals.

3. Echinacea – Echinacea is a traditional treatment for acne that does not yet have scientific support for its use. However, based on tradition, Echinacea is an effective option to treat acne. This herb’s ability to boost the immune system and fight inflammation may be the reason for its success.

4. Tea Tree Oil – In a 45-day double-blind clinical trail of 60 participants, those who treated their acne with tea tree oil had a significantly greater improvement than those who treated their acne with a placebo. Rubbing the oil directly on the breakouts can help shorten the breakout and prevent further breakouts through the oil’s antimicrobial properties.

3 Tips for Going Organic

Organic produce at the Farmers Market.

Organic produce at the Farmers Market.

Going organic can seem overwhelming, particularly for those who are on a tight grocery budget. We have many customers that come into Supreme Health, worried about the commitment ‘going organic’ entails. We suggest taking it slow. This is not an overnight transformation. Begin by replacing a number of items on your shopping list with their organic counterpart and then add on every week and see how you go.

The difference in cost between organic and non-organic in some markets can sometimes be significant. Yet the benefits of eating wholesome, pesticide-free organic foods is arguably hard to overlook. If you are starting to make the switch to organic foods, but feel overwhelmed, here are some tips to consider:

1. Avoid the “Dirty Dozen.”

One area where you can be less choosy is in produce, but only certain produce. The Environmental Working Group studied most major types of produce and found that certain fruits and vegetables had higher pesticide content than others. Those with the highest pesticide content have been labeled the “dirty dozen.” These are:

  • Celery
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Nectarines
  • Bell peppers
  • Spinach
  • Cherries
  • Kale/collared greens
  • Potatoes
  • Grapes

Choose organic when shopping for these foods, but for others, like melons, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cabbage, kiwi and asparagus, which tested low on pesticide content, buying conventional is less risky.

2. Buy in Bulk

You will save money by buying in bulk for those items that you use frequently and that can be stored for a long period of time. Grains, rice, beans and other dry foods are examples of foods you can buy in bulk. Find a quality source of these items and make a large purchase a few times a year. Stock up on organic foods that can be frozen, like meats and berries, when they are on sale.

3. Plant a Garden

Finally, if you are struggling to stretch your grocery dollar, consider planting a garden. Growing your own produce ensures that pesticides do not touch your food. As an added bonus, you can eat your produce when it is at its freshest point.

Going organic will improve your family’s health, and with these quick tips, you can do it without straining the grocery budget.

Ginger – A Powerful Natural Healer

ginger tea

If you know a pregnant woman suffering from morning sickness, chances are she has some ginger snaps in your purse or a can of ginger ale in your hand. Why is this? For centuries, ginger has been the herb of choice to help calm morning sickness. Is this an old wives’ tale, or is there truth to this? A closer look at the healing properties of ginger will show just how powerful this food is.

Ginger’s phenolic compounds give it its medicinal properties. Traditionally, ginger was known to help digestive and bowel complaints. It has nine different substances that all stimulate serotonin receptors in the digestive system. This helps to reduce inflammation in the gut while also improving the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food. Ginger is also a carminative, or food that reduces intestinal flatulence, and helps soothe spasms in the gut. As a result, it reduces nausea, morning sickness and motion sickness. It is also used today to treat the nausea that happens after surgery or chemotherapy treatment.

Yet improving the digestive system and decreasing digestive complaints is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the healing properties of ginger. The anti-inflammatory properties of this powerful herb also help inflammation in other parts of the body. People suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory pain conditions may find relief if they consume ginger.

Ginger also works as an antioxidant. Its 6-gingerol has been shown to significantly lower the body’s production of nitric oxide, a molecule linked to the production of free radicals. On top of this, the herb protects the body’s stores of an anti-oxidant known as glutathione.

If you are ready to benefit from the healing power of ginger, you can do so by adding the root to your food, drinking it in a tea or other beverage or taking it in powder or crystal form. Be sure to find a quality, organic source of ginger for the best result. Some of us at Supreme Health love to add it to our stir fry and soups! How do you incorporate ginger into your diet? Let us know in the comments!

Have a Cold? Try Honey and Cinnamon

cinnamon_tea

Cinnamon Tea is a powerful healer for colds and flus, and tastes delicious too!

Cinnamon has long been known as a powerful healer, especially for colds and other viruses. Its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties help the body heal when it is under the weather. Honey has also been a common treatment for the symptoms of the common cold. It coats the throat and helps control coughing. Together, they make a powerful healing concoction that is actually quite pleasant to consume.

All of us at Supreme Health are big fans of cinnamon, aside from it’s rustic delicious taste it has wonderful health benefits too. Using cinnamon as a treatment for a range of illnesses and conditions is not a new discovery. Traditional Chinese medicine used it for everything from the common cold to digestive difficulties. It was used for medicinal purposes in ancient Rome as well. It has been shown in scientific studies to kill viruses and effectively treat sore throats.

Honey also has powerful anti-bacterial properties, being used traditionally for healing of wounds and illness. Unlike antibiotics, medicinal grade honey is able to avoid bacterial resistance. One research study in the Netherlands used a 40-percent honey solution to kill cultured bacteria, including MRSA.

When combined, these two foods create a mix that is a powerful healer, largely due to the sulfur content of these foods. Cinnamon is 26 percent sulfur based while honey is 33 percent sulfur based. Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral element in the human body and is essential for life. Sulfur by itself has been studied as a treatment for the common cold, and the high sulfur content of honey and cinnamon may be part of the reason for its success as a cold treatment.

If you are suffering from a cold, mix a teaspoon of organic, raw honey with 1/4 teaspoon quality cinnamon. Take every few hours until you notice the symptoms subsiding. The mixture can be diffused into a hot drink for easier consumption.

Relaxing Benefits of Lavender

800px-Lavender_field

A lavender field in Provence, France.

Have you ever wondered why so many products contain lavender? Everything from nighttime baby washes to scented candles can be found with this popular fragrance. Lavender, or lavadula angustifolia, has long been appreciated for its gentle fragrance. Yet this herb does much more than simply make things smell good. In numerous studies, lavender has been shown to be have calming properties that can encourage good sleep and reduce anxiety.

Since ancient times, lavender has been used to promote healthy sleep. Filling a pillow with lavender was often a cure for insomnia in folk medicine. Recent studies quoted by the University of Maryland Medical Center indicate that massage with lavender essential oil can improve sleep quality. Lavender flowers in tea have been used in Europe to treat insomnia and restlessness.

Lavender has also been shown to reduce anxiety. In one study, those who received massages with lavender essential oil reported greater reduction in anxiety and a more positive mood than those who receive massage lone.

Lavender can be used as an essential oil for aromatherapy and massage purposes. To use lavender as a sleep aid through aromatherapy, add two to four drops of the oil to two to three drops of boiling water. Waft the vapor towards your nose to inhale it before bedtime. The flowers can be consumed in tea or lemonade. The calming properties of the plant seem to be present in all uses.

Like many oils used in aromatherapy, lavender can irritate asthma and allergy problems. At Supreme Health we recommend that if you or someone in your family suffers from these complaints, use lavender sparingly until you know how they will react, or consult a professional.

Supreme Health is your source for health tips and up-to-date information on health trends. Our store has all the herbal and natural supplements you could need as well as a wellness center to help you improve your quality of life.

Flu “Shots” – No Poking Needed

apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar helps you stay healthy by boosting your immune system. 

Flu season is in full force. Are you doing all you can to keep your family well? Flu season is the ideal time to try out some immune-system boosting liquid tonics that can improve your body’s chances of fighting off whatever viruses come your way.

A juice made with blueberries and red grapes is one of the first flu “shots” you should be taking. Researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute found that the stilbenoids in these two fruits significantly raised immune system function when combined with vitamin D. So juice some of these berries and toss it back with a good helping of sunshine to strengthen your immune system. Choose organic berries to ensure that your immune system is not compromised by toxins and chemicals on the berries.

Apple cider vinegar is another powerful immune system booster. According to the University of South Dakota, apple cider vinegar is a prebiotic, and prebiotics help boost white blood cell and T cell counts. These are the cells that fight illness. Drink a small serving of raw organic apple cider vinegar daily to keep your immunity strong.

Finally, consider adding a shot of cod liver oil to your daily routine. Cod liver oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, and these fatty acids help regulate your immune system. Cod liver oil is also one of the few food sources of immune-boosting vitamin D, as well as vitamin A. If you can’t stomach taking the oil orally, you can take it in capsule form and still enjoy the health benefits of this food.

Why are these called “shots”? Because all you need is a shot-glass full of these three powerful tonics to keep your immune system at its best. So get started today by adding these into your daily routine.

Visit Supreme Health for all your natural supplement needs to help you stay healthy this winter.

Boost Your Immune System with These Top Supplements

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are a great source of selenium and are delicious too!

The best way to fight the flu and the other viruses that are spread this time of year is not fighting them after the matter, but rather giving your body the best possible chance to avoid getting sick in the first place. That starts with giving your immune system the tools it needs to be at its best. These four supplements are powerful immune system boosters and should be part of your daily lifestyle, especially during cold and flu season.

1. Selenium - Selenium is an antioxidant that is vital to the function of the cells, including the cells that make up the immune system. A low intake of selenium has been directly linked to a greater susceptibility to diseases. In addition to taking selenium in supplement form, you can find this antioxidant in Brazil nuts, beef, poultry and tuna.

2. Zinc – Like selenium, zinc is a powerful antioxidant that gives the immune system greater capabilities of fighting disease. Without sufficient levels of zinc, many of your body’s natural immune responses are compromised. Zinc provides killer cells, like T-cells, the ability to function and reproduce properly. Zinc is found in red meat, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains.

3. Vitamin C - Adding vitamin C to your diet will help boost your overall immune system. Phagocytes and T-cells both use vitamin C to perform their immune system tasks. Vitamin C may also slightly reduce the duration of your illness. Vitamin C is found in berries and citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, snow peas and sweet potatoes.

4. Vitamin E – The immune system relies on this antioxidant so strongly that even a slight deficiency will lead to a impaired immune response. Adding more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin E to your diet can actually improve immunity.

During cold and flu season, choose your supplements carefully. Look for an antioxidant rich multivitamin with these four ingredients to give your immune system a fighting chance.

Supreme Health is proud to supply the highest quality vitamins and supplements on the market, helping our customers stay healthy throughout cold and flu season.

Boost Your Immune System with Herbal Supplements

The echinacea plant

Echinacea plant

As the temperatures dip we become more vulnerable to catching the notorious winter cold and flu and other illnesses, like circulatory problems and flexibility loss, that always seem to pop around in the colder months. A strong immune system can help your body fight these off and keep you healthy throughout the winter. Taking herbal supplements before and throughout the winter is a great way to boost your immune system. It is recommended to begin taking the herbal supplements before the winter to prepare your body in advance.

One of the most important things to remember all winter long is vitamins! Vitamins E & C in particular are powerful antioxidants that help boost the immune system by neutralizing free radicals that are harmful to the body. Vitamin C is present in many fruits, primarily citrus fruits. Vitamin E is present in some nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and green leafy vegetables. If you want to ensure that you get the necessary amount of both it is highly recommended to take herbal nutrition supplements which are available at your local health food store. They are both extremely effective on their own but a combination formula like the Vitamin E-Gems with C, is an even more powerful antioxidant. The two work together to improve the effectiveness of each as a whole. 

Echinacea  is another great supplement that is famous for helping to fight off bugs. This is sourced from a plant native to North America and has antibiotic and anti-viral properties. Some say it helps produce more white blood cells which work to help fight infections. You can take echinacea in tea, lozenges or tablets.

So get your herbal supplements today and stay healthy this winter!

4 Reasons to Go Organic

Organic Farming

Last week we discussed what organic food is. In short it refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products (fruit, vegetables, grains, meat, dairy etc) that, among other things, ensures only natural substances are used to promote growth. Often organic produce costs more than conventionally grown produce, so the question remains why should you buy organic food?

  1. Whereas conventionally grown produce is sprayed with strong pesticides that can leave a residue on the fruit and vegetables, organic produces is not sprayed with synthetic pesticides and therefore significantly better for you.
  2. Non-organic food commonly uses high levels of food additives, MSG, artificial flavorings and preservatives that are considered to not have any health benefits or in fact could be harmful to your health.
  3. The way organic food is produced is considered to be more environmentally conscious. Organic farming methods are designed to limit pollution, conserve water and soil quality.
  4. In order to get the maximum nutritional value from fruits and vegetables it is recommended to eat them fresh. The fresher the better. Produce in your organic food store is usually fresher as it has a significantly shorter shelf life because it was not treated with synthetic substances. Because no preservatives are added,  any organic product must get on the shelf quickly, so when you buy it is it at a higher nutritional value than other products.