Having Fish Oil Everyday Will Keep the Doctor Away!

Fish oil is another one of my favorites that I have been promoting to my friends and family for as long as I can remember. Whenever someone asks me what basic supplements are best to take everyday to maintain optimal health, fish oil is always at the tip of my tongue. It comes with a multitude of health benefits and is recommended for anyone at any age. Studies on fish oil are continuously being published as scientific research unveils more and more of its benefits on a daily basis. So, if you are one of the few I haven’t previously preached to about fish oil, please read on to find out more about this wonderful supplement.

First off, picking the right fish oil is very important and there are a few specific things you need to look for. Fish oil supplements that only contain omega-3 are the ones that have been proven to be most beneficial because the other omegas (such as omega-6 and omega-9) have actually been shown to induce more inflammation in the body rather than quelling it. Also, look for fish oil that is extracted from wild Alaskan salmon because it is one of the purest forms of fish oil that does not have to be processed in order to get rid of any impurities and is naturally mercury free. Now that you know which fish oil to pick, let’s talk about why you need to include it in your dietary regimen.

If you look back at my previous post on aloe vera, you will see I talked a bit about the dangers of chronic inflammation and how it is the root of most common health problems that people face. Fish oil is a key player in combating chronic inflammation and in turn reduces the risk of diseases and ailments associated with it such as heart disease, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, acne and even cancer. Fish oil also helps lower triglycerides (the building blocks of fat) thus helping reduce the risk of obesity. Also, for people with hypertension or high cholesterol, fish oil is a natural blood thinner, which helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Fish oil also helps improve blood circulation and the delivery of oxygen and vital nutrients to cells all around the body as well. Something that most people may find hard to believe is that fish oil also helps with many cognitive disorders. For example, fish oil has been proven to protect the brain from developing Alzheimer’s disease and even Parkinson’s disease. Also, fish oil acts as a potent mood stabilizer. For people with signs of bipolar disorder or depression, fish oil has been shown to help tremendously in restoring normalcy in mood and behavior. For pregnant woman, fish oil helps build fetal and infant brain health and the development of psycho motor skills. Fish oil also has many aesthetic purposes as well including maintaining beautiful and strong hair, skin and nails. For people with dark cirles under their eyes, since fish oil helps thin the blood, it also promotes proper blood circulation to help those dark circles vanish. Last but not least, along with getting rid of your dark cirlces, fish oil also helps significantly improve eye health and vision.

The proper daily dose of fish oil is 1000mg a day. Some of you who are already familiar with fish oil may also, unfortunately, be familiar with the “fish burp.” For those of you who do not know what I’m talking about, that is the fish taste you get after consuming fish oil. However, have no fear. That problem can easily be solved with a shot of lemon juice, and in all honesty, it’s really not as bad as it sounds. I have also seen capsules that gaurantee the absence of this aftertaste so if it truly is something that you cannot handle, just know there are other alternatives out there. Don’t let this last bit deter you from going out and getting these magical pills. I promise you, you will be a believer. Thanks for reading! This has been your dose of vitamin Jas.

Why Be Gluten-Free?

Like many others who are trying to stay healthy, I always take the whole wheat alternative as opposed to more processed options. However, what a lot of people do not know is that whole wheat contains gluten. Gluten is a protein that about 15% of the US population is intolerant of. It is found in wheat, barley and rye. How do you know you are intolerant? Here are some signs/symptoms that you should look for:

  1. Severe headaches after eating
  2. Digestive problems such as gas, bloating, loose stools or constipation (and in more sever cases, Celiac disease)
  3. Feeling unusually tired even after a good night’s rest
  4. Feeling dizzy or light headed
  5. Inflammation or pain in your joints
  6. Experiencing mood disorders such as anxiety and depression
  7. Unable to concentrate, focus, or remember things
  8. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or infertility

If you really want to discover whether you are gluten intolerant or not, try removing gluten from your diet for 2-3 weeks. If you feel substantially better during that time period, and then begin to feel bad again once you reintroduce gluten, then maybe you should remove gluten from your diet forever. Thanks for reading. This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

Hemp Seeds: The Amazing Superfood

Let me start off by addressing the elephant in the room: It is common to associate the word hemp with marijuana, however, hemp is a different strain of the plant Cannabis Sativa that only contains less than 0.3% of tetrahydrocannabinol (better known as THC) whereas marijuana contains about 10%. The minuscule amount of THC found in hemp seeds has not been found to compromise, influence, or impair one’s cognition or judgment and is completely safe and legal. Hemp is actually considered to be one of the most nutritional plants in the entire world. Its seeds are often described as what is known as a “superfood” due to their low calorie and high nutrient content, and they provide a multitude of health benefits. In short, hemp seeds may be small but they pack a big punch.

Hemp seeds deliver enough nutrition to maintain healthy human life. That means you could survive off of eating hemp seeds, and only hemp seeds, for the rest of your life (not that I would recommend that). That’s how nutritious these little seeds are! Hemp seeds were actually one of the primary treatments used  for nutritional deficiencies brought on by diseases such as tuberculosis. One of the many reasons for that is that these little seeds deliver more essential fatty acids than any other plant source. The human body needs essential fatty acids to manufacture and repair cell membranes, allowing cells to obtain proper nutrition and get rid of harmful waste products. Essential fatty acids also aid in the production of prostaglandins, which help regulate the body’s heart rate, blood pressure, blood clotting ability, fertility and also play a role in immune function by regulating inflammation and preparing the body to fight infection. Essential Fatty Acids are also needed for proper growth in children, particularly for the development of their nervous system. Hemp seeds also deliver all 20 amino acid, including the 9 essential amino acids your body cannot produce on its own. Amino acids are necessary for such things as  building muscle, strengthening the immune system, enhancing oxygen transport, providing energy, and supporting healthy hair, skin and nails. On top of all of that, hemp seeds are rich in phytonutrients that protect your cells, tissues and organs from damage, which helps slow down the aging process and lower the chance of disease.

Eating hemp seeds may sound a little funny, but the nutritional value they bring is no joke. The Chinese have been consuming hemp seeds for years now, and it has only recently gained popularity here in America. Hemp seeds are actually very delicious and have a sweet, nutty taste that many people seem to like, including myself. You could eat them alone, or sprinkle them on a variety of dishes such as cereal, pancakes or even salad. Thanks for reading, this has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

 

 

Get Rid of Acne Once and For All

Waking up with a big pimple on your nose can be rough, and trying to disguise it is even worse. Having acne problems can be very frustrating, but unfortunately, it is very common. Around 80-85% of the population suffers from  it, and I’m not just talking about facial acne, but back and chest acne as well. It can be present at all times or show up sporadically when you least expect it, but I have the solutions to keep you prepared for any situation.

Let’s start with some of the causes of acne. Hormones play a big role in this category because they control the sebum production by the sebaceous glands in our skin. Sebum serves as “food” for acne causing bacteria so, the more sebum they have, the more they can multiply. Sebum can also mix with bacteria and dead skin cells to clog our pores, which can then lead to the formation of a pimple. Glands that produce sebum have receptors for stress hormones. So, stress can stimulate these glands to produce more sebum, which can then lead to more pimples. We also tend to eat more in times of stress, and what we choose to eat can also affect our skin. If we eat foods high in fat, sugar or capsaicin (which is found in spicy food) sebum production increases. However, a diet high in fiber, nutrients and water helps get rid of toxins and nourishes our skin. Keeping our skin hydrated and moisturized can also aid in reducing acne as well since, when our skin is dry, sebaceous glands go into overdrive trying to replenish the skin’s moisture with sebum. Washing your face also helps reduce acne by getting rid of acne causing bacteria; however, washing your face more than necessary can also increase dryness. Now that we know the causes, let’s talk about treatment.

Since acne is something that is so hard to hide, people go to drastic measures in order to get rid of it. One treatment in particular that many people have tried is Accutane. Accutane may work, but have you ever seen the list of side effects that comes with it? It is scary! Some of the side effects include chest pain, elevated heartbeat, yellowing of the skin and eyes, weakened bones, thinning hair and even thoughts of suicide. Personally, I would take acne over any of those side effects. Salicylic acid is another option that people turn to; however, this treatment may work temporarily but in the long run, it can over dry the skin and cause more irritation.

There are more gentle and effective treatments for acne that many people do not know about. One of my favorites is tea tree oil, which is a natural antiseptic that effectively kills bacteria. Just one drop can get rid of your pimple in less than a day. Sulfur is also very beneficial at fighting acne. Not only does it help treat acne, but heals acne scars as well. Aloe Vera gel is another one of my favorites and is one of the best moisturizers out there. Along with moisturizing the skin, aloe also helps alleviate redness and inflammation, which is what a pimple basically is. Fish oil, if taken on a daily basis, helps promote strong and healthy skin, giving it a nice, radiant glow. Taking Vitamin A each day is also required for clear, healthy skin, but be sure not to take more than the daily recommended dose because too much can be toxic. Proper liver function is also very important for acne prevention. Milk Thistle helps detox our liver so that it can work more effectively at getting rid of waste products and toxins that can accumulate in the body and cause acne. Digestion also plays a role in acne prevention since it is what breaks down your food to absorb the necessary nutrients needed for healthy, radiant skin. Black licorice is a great supplement for a healthy digestive tract, but I am not referring to the ones full of sugar that you find at the candy store. There are natural, sugar free licorice chews that are available at most health food stores.

The best thing you can do for your skin is to keep things simple. The more harsh chemicals you use on your face, the more irritation you can cause. This doesn’t apply just for acne treatments, but for makeup as well. Your skin needs to breath and should not be covered by creams and foundation all the time. If you cannot do without your makeup, make sure what you use is noncomodogenic, oil free, and hypoallergenic. Most importantly, make sure you wash it off before going to bed, no matter how tired you are. I hope these tips help! Thanks for reading. This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.

Aloe Vera: The Miracle Plant

I chose to write about aloe vera for my very first post because it truly is my Windex (like the father says from my Big Fat Greek Wedding). I use it for almost everything because it really is the most currative medicinal herb that nature has ever created.

Chronic inflammation is the key culprit in numerous diseases and ailments in the body, including irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, heart disease, liver disease, acid reflux, high blood pressure, acne and even cancer. Inflammation is characterized by redness, heat, swelling and pain and is normally used as the body’s natural defense mechanism when something is wrong. However, when that natural defense mechanism turns into chronic inflammation, it also turns from being beneficial to being dangerous instead. Now, with all that said, let’s talk about how aloe vera comes into play. Aloe vera helps quell inflammation all throughout the body, inside and out. It helps prevent and treat the above mentioned diseases along with a slew of other ailments, including the following:

• Slows down growth of cancer tumors.
• Lowers high cholesterol.
• Thins the blood which helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
• Improves the oxygenation of your blood.
• Relieves arthrits pain.
• Protects the body from oxidative stress.
• Prevents kidney stones and kidney disease.
• Alkalizes the body since most of our diets make the pH of our body too acidic.
• Cures digestive disorders including ulcers, IBS, Crohn’s disease, constipation and even halts the progression of colon cancer.
• Lowers high blood pressure.
• Nourishes the body with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and glyconutrients.
• Heals burns, scratches, insect bites, scars and even acne.
• Stabilizes blood sugar and lowers triglycerides in diabetics.
• Maintains electrolyte balance in the body.
• Boosts cardiovascular performance and physical endurance.
• Speeds recovery from injury or physical exertion.
• Hydrates the skin and gives it a nice healthy glow.

 

Aloe vera juice can be found at almost any health food market and is considerably cheap when you take all its benefits into account. Only 2 ounces a day is enough to start seeing a significant improvement. If you don’t like the taste, mixing it with your favorite juice or smoothie helps mask the taste very well. Not only does it come as a juice, but aloe vera can be used topically as well. It comes as a gel or cream and can be used almost anywhere on the body. It can be used on your hair as a styling product, which actually helps nourish the scalp and regrow hair, or it can be used on the skin to help treat many skin disorders including acne, red marks, scars, scratches, insect bites, burns and even wrinkles. It is more hydrating than almost any other moisturizer out in the market.

I can go on and on about the miraculous benefits of aloe vera, as my friends and family can tell you, because I have experienced the benefits of aloe first hand. However, now that you know what I know, go and experience it for yourselves. You won’t regret it. Thank you for reading and don’t forget, being healthy is easy. This has been your daily dose of Vitamin Jas. Good bye.