You Won't Believe How a Hot Dog is Made [Video]

December 9 2013 | General

German sausage makers first came out with the idea to make hot dogs, and forever changed sports stadiums. To make a hot dog, mix the leftover pieces of meet from pork, beef, and chicken; add some salt, food starch and "other flavorings." Then spray water into the mix and blend together in a big vat. Then add some corn syrup before a machine purees it into a fine emulsion and vacuums out all the air. Then, well, you can watch the rest on this video:


9 Healthier Halloween Treats

October 29 2013 | Children's Health | General

What may scare parents more than anything on Halloween is having their kids gorge on sugar and high fructose corn syrup. While it may not be possible to avoid the sugar high entirely, there are plenty of other options for healthy (or at least, healthier) treats on Halloween.

Here are a few more ideas:

Oranges carved into Jack-o-Lanterns

Oranges by themselves will never disappoint. But to be more creative, do as Nikki does and make some Snack-o-Lantern Fruit Cups.

Nuts

This might be a fantastic idea, unless some kid has a nut allergy. Nuts pack on the nutrition. They are loaded with healthy fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Plus, they're tasty raw and have little or no additives or preservatives. See the Ultimate Guide to Nuts here: http://www.naturessunshine.com/Blog/post/Guide-to-Nuts.aspx

Pumpkin seeds

Some toasted pumpkin seeds with some sea salt? Delicious. Plus, pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium, copper, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber. Also, pumpkin seeds are a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid (protein building block) that your body converts into serotonin, which in turn is converted into melatonin, the "sleep hormone." Go here to see a recipe on toasting pumpkin seeds

Granola and cereal bars

Just make sure you're not buying store-bought granola bars with high fructose corn syrup. Some healthier brands include Clif, Odwalla, Kashi and Luna, which are made without excess sugars and starch derivatives like high-fructose corn syrup. Also, granola is easy and delicious to make at home. You can add things like organic oats, chia seeds, almonds, flax seeds, raw honey and coconut oil. Here's one recipe http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/coconut-almond-granola

Carrots

Carrots in factory-sealed snack packs make for fresh and healthy Halloween treats. A 2-ounce portion of carrots provides 8 percent of the fiber and 220 percent of the recommended daily serving of vitamin A.

Peanut Butter Pumpkins

With peanut butter, raw honey, rolled oats, ground flax, and a couple squares of dark chocolate, this recipe can look and taste like a treat, but is packed with nutrition too. See the entire recipe at Mouth Watering Foods here

String Cheese

String cheese is a low-calorie treat that's high in protein and calcium. One stick contains about 80 calories and 20 percent of the daily recommended serving of calcium for a 2,000-calorie diet.

Popcorn

Make a batch of popcorn and put them in small paper bags. That's it. The kids will get fiber instead of sugar.

Trail Mix

Raisins, almonds, peanuts, cashews, coconut, sunflower seeds: there are unlimited choices in a bag of trail mix with a wide variety of nutrition. Throw some dark chocolate chips in there to make sure the kids don't think you're robbing them of candy.


10 Bad Habits Hurting Your Back and Ways to Prevent Back Pain [Infographic]

October 2 2013 | General | Infographic

Back pain is one of the most chronic sources of pain, especially in the lower back, which affects 4 out of 5 people that suffer from back pain. In fact more than 1 million workers experience back injuries every year. One reason is because sitting puts 40% more pressure on the spine than standing. This leads to serious back pain. Avoid this pain by stretching every 30 minutes, regular exercise.

Go here for supplements that support pain, like Curcumin and Relief Formula

Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.

 


11 Reasons Why Dehydration is Making You Fat and Sick [Infographic]

September 19 2013 | Digestive Health | General | Infographic

If you could point to the very first thing that determined your health and wellness, it might be water. Or more specifically, drinking enough of it.

Depending on your weight and age, the amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75%. The average adult human body is 50-65% water, averaging around 57-60%. The percentage of water in infants is much higher, typically around 75-78% water, dropping to 65% by one year of age. Source.

With those numbers, hydration becomes critical for many of the body's functions. Trace minerals and ionic minerals can also help with dehydration.  This infographic provided by Seba Mechor, provides a great explanation about what happens when we don't drink enough water:

 

 

Fatigue

Water is the most vital sources of energy in the body. dehydration causes the enzymatic activity in the body to slow down, resulting in tiredness and fatigue.

Asthma and Allergies

When dehydrated, your body will restrict airways as a means to conserve water. In fact, the rate of histamine produced by the body increases exponentially as the body loses more water.

High Blood Pressure

The blood is normally about 92% water when the body is fully hydrated. When dehydrated, the blood becomes thicker causing resistance to blood flow, which results in elevated blood pressure.

High Cholesterol

When the body is dehydrated, it will produce more cholesterol to prevent water loss from the cells.

Skin disorders

Dehydration impairs the elimination of toxins through the skin and makes it more vulnerable to all types of skin disorders, including dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as premature wrinkling and discoloration.

Digestive Disorders

A shortage of water and alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, can lead to a number of digestive disorders, including ulcers, gastritis and acid reflux

Bladder or Kidney Problems

With a dehydrated body, the accumulation of toxins and acid waste creates an environment where bacteria thrive, resulting in the bladder and kidney to be more prone to infection, inflammation and pain.

Constipation

When short of water, the colon is one of the primary regions the body draws water from in order to provide fluids for other critical body functions. Without adequate water, wastes move through the large intestines much more slowly or sometimes not at all, resulting in constipation.

Joint Pain or Stiffness

All joints have cartilage padding which is composed mainly of water. When the body is dehydrated, cartilage is weakened and joint repair is slow resulting in pain and discomfort.

Weight Gain

When dehydrated, cells are depleted of energy. As a result people tend to eat more when, in reality, the body is thirsty.

Premature Aging

When chronically dehydrated, the body's organs, including its largest organ, the skin, begins to wrinkle and wither prematurely.


Sleep or Die: 4 Reasons Why You Should Get More Sleep [Infographic]

September 4 2013 | General | Infographic

Trouble sleeping? If so, that could have some serious health risks. The lack of sleep causes your brain to slow or shut down completely. Creative thinking, judgement and visuals, memory and learning, math and logic -- they all suffer under bad sleep.

See also: Supplements for sleep and relaxation here.

When it comes to the health of your body, a lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and increase in appetite and hunger for salty, fatty foods. Check out this graphic from Your Local Security on some of the dangers of sleep:

Image Via: YourLocalSecurity.com


7 Common Signs of Nutrient Deficiency [Infographic]

July 29 2013 | General | Nutrition

Food alone may not provide sufficient micronutrients for preventing deficiency.

This study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition analyzed 70 athlete diets. Every single diet was deficient in at least three nutrients. Some diets were missing up to fifteen nutrients! Another study they performed showed that people following one of four popular diet plans (including Atkins, South Beach, and the DASH diet) were also very likely to be micronutrient deficient, particularly in six key micronutrients:

  • Vitamin B7 
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Chromium 
  • Iodine 
  • Molybdenum

The United States Department of Agriculture says the majority of Americans are deficient in many of the same nutrients and are not meeting the required daily amount of things like vitamin E, folate, calcium and magnesium. 

 

So how do you know if you're defiecient? First of all, if you're not eating A LOT of fruits and vegetables, especially greens, then you are probably deficient in many of these areas. There are also many different symptoms that could tell you you are dificient in some critical nutrient. 

7 Common Signs of Nutrient Deficiency

 

 

 

1. Poor Night Vision

Vitamin A, known as retinol, is essential for promoting good vision and overall eye helth. It also helps to maintain healthy skin and soft tissues throughout the body.

 

2. Cracks at the Corners of the Mouth

This is more likely to occur for those following vegan and vegetarian diets because it's harder to get sufficient zinc, iron and B12

 

3. Sores or Discoloration of the Mouth and Tongue

Water-soluble B-vitamins are essential for the health of the mouth and tongue. Unfortunately, the body doesn't store them, so wehave to constantly replenish them to maintain health. 

4. Weak, Spotted or Ridged Nails

These are common signs of a deficiency in zinc, an important trace mineral needed for the proper function of the immune system. Zinc also serves an important role in cell division and growth. 

5. Poor Blood Clotting

Essential for normal blood clotting, vitamin K also plays a vital role in bone mineralization and cell growth. Lack of vitamin K can result in bruising, frequent nosebleeds and brittle bones. 

6. Weak Muscles and Bones

In advanced cases it's called rickets (for children) or osteomalacia (for adults), but it boils down to a defiency in vitamin D, an essential nutrient for growth, health and maintenance of the structural system. 

7. Frequent Cramps in the lower legs or 'Restless Leg'

Magnesium, calcium and potassium support proper muscle development and growth. Lack of these important nutrients can cause persistent discomfort in the feet, calves and back of the leg.

***If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to talk to a doctor for medical advice and advice on supplementation. 


Comparing 10 Nuts: The Guide to Nuts [Infographic]

May 29 2013 | General

Nuts are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. Unless you're allergic, it's tough to beat nuts for a nutritious snack. Just about every nut is good for you. But some are better than others. The Greatist, a very good health blog with no affiliation to Nature's Sunshine, put out this graphic comparing various nuts and their benefits. Here it is, enjoy:


Day 2 in India: Auditing Suppliers of Ayurvedic Supplements

April 16 2013 | General

Note: Lynda Hammons, VP of GLobal Quality and Regulatory an Ellen O'Neal, Purchasing Manager, are performing an audit on our suppliers in India through April. They are taking pictures and writing updates from India, and we'll be sharing some of their experiences on the blog and on social media. Below is part 2, in their words, where they are auditing the supplier of our Ayurvedic products.

Lynda (left) and Ellen take a helicopter to their audit of NSP’s ayurvedic products supplier.

This supplier rates an A++ for their high quality standards including state-of-the-art facility and expert staff of various disciplines.

Three employees are in uniform and coverings to prevent material contamination during sifting.

The company has on staff a PhD pharmacist, a botanist, a chemist, as well as Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine. This experiences and educated team together assures each lot meets Nature's Sunshine's specifications before the raw materials are shipped. In addition, each lot is tested by NSP’s Quality Control labs to verify every lot is only the best. The owner told us that, “Nature’s Sunshine has the strictest specifications of any of my customers.”

Voucher specimen samples of ginger root, asparagus root, black pepper seeds and turmeric root in supplier's QC lab that have been authenticated by the botanist and Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine. These specimens are used as standards against which new lots of each are tested.

About Ayurvedic medicine

Ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine. In Sanskrit, the word ayurveda consists of the words āyus, meaning "longevity", and veda, meaning "related to knowledge" or "science". Over the centuries, Ayurvedic practitioners developed a number of medicinal preparations for the treatment of various ailments and diseases.


How Small Everyday Choices Can Reduce Inflammation and Chronic Disease: Dr. Stork Recap

April 9 2013 | Exercise | General

Dr. Travis Stork stood in front of 2,000 people last week at Nature’s Sunshine’s National Convention and presented his solution to better health. It was based on two messages:

  1. Inflammation is the biggest health threat today 
  2. Good health comes from making small, simple choices every day. 

Those simple messages encompass a lot, and can have far-reaching effects on one’s quality of life. 

Inflammation: A Health Care Dilemma

 

It’s no secret that inflammation is a major health issue for many people. Stork thinks it alone is responsible for the majority of illnesses, and it’s something that can be prevented by taking responsibility to make health a habit.

“One in in two of us have a chronic illness, and seven out of 10 deaths are caused by chronic disease, which means we have chronic inflammation,” Stork said. “A lot of these diseases are preventable.”

Those diseases, he said, start with a poor diet, which leads to inflammation, which leads to a variety of problems. Some include:  

  • Obesity causes inflammatory processes in the body, that if not addressed, will lead to other illness
  • Inflammatory conditions can lead to diabetes, heart disease and cancer, strokes and major depressive disorders 
  • Kids who eat three or more fast food meals a week have increased risk for asthma and hay fever. More of these kids are diagnosed with Type II Diabetes 

“It’s truly become a health care dilemma,” he said.

Not surprisingly, fast food is a main culprit. The cycle of eating fast food, however, can be difficult to break. Here’s what Stork says happens when you eat fast food: 

  • Dopamine pleasure hits a high
  • The body produces insulin 
  • Fat cells multiply in number, releasing cortisol. 
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Inflammation rises
  • The only thing that makes you feel better is the next meal
  • All the sugar, fat, and salt is designed to cause addiction

Good Health Comes from Small Choices

Stork really drove home the point that consistent, small choices are what will drive a healthy life. 

“We are in control of our health. In so doing, we become role models for others,” he said. “We make these subtle, seemingly inconsequential decisions every day that affect our health.”

Some of those decisions he mentioned are eating a healthy breakfast every day, flossing teeth, putting on sunblock, regular exercise, and of course, making wise decisions on the food we eat. 

“Eighty percent of Type II diabetes are thought to come from lifestyle choices,” Stork said.

Healthy Living Starts in Two Places: the Kitchen and Movement

Stork said we currently live in a health care system that is focused on treating diseases instead of preventing them; that we take care of problems after they happen and not before.

"Let food be thy medicine. Hippocrates was onto something,” Stork said. “Healthy living starts in the kitchen and studies show that lifestyle (exercise and diet) can decrease your chance for many cancers and can decrease the recurrence of cancers.” 

He told the story of his father who was 60 pounds overweight and on medication for much of his life. The medication he took was to treat his symptoms.

“Not once did he ever have a conversation with anyone about how he could reverse his condition. "Sometimes we oversubscribe when the best thing to do would to write a grocery prescription," Stork said.


The Trends of Holistic Health in America [Infographic]

April 2 2013 | General | Infographic

More people in the United States are turning to natural, alternative or holistic health. And not just for their physical health, but for mental and spiritual as well. This graphic below, which was created by visual.ly shows some interesting trends. Some of those stats include:

  • 40% of U.S. adults have used a holistic therapy in the last year
  • Women will choose holistic therapies 10% more than men will
  • People in the western United States choose holistic therapies most often
  • Most people use holistic therapies for back pain
  • People use natural products more than any other type of natural therapy
  • Fish Oil is the most common natural product used among adults

Holistic Health Trends in America



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