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Essential Oils- Friday, March 06, 2015

By Bryan Bradford, Chief Nutrition Officer of Sunflower Shoppe Natural Foods

March 6th, 2015


There sure is a lot of excitement about essential oils and aromatherapy recently -  and for good reason! For centuries, fragrant oils have been used by ancient cultures with a belief in their power to restore the body to a state of health and wellbeing both physically and mentally.

We all have experienced the memories or feelings a certain smell can invoke, and science has shown that inhaling oils such as lavender can help reduce stress and anxiety.  Also, topical application may have anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. Our customers who want to incorporate the use of aromatherapy in their regimen are asking how to choose and use oils to complement the efforts they are making toward good health.

3 great ways to use essential oils:

 1. You can inhale them, either directly on a cotton ball or indirectly through a diffuser. Olfactory receptors in the nose may respond to the smells of essential oils by sending chemical messages along nerve pathways to the brain's limbic system, which affects moods and emotions. Imaging studies in humans actually show the positive effects of smells on the limbic system and its emotional pathways.

2. You can apply topically through a carrier oil (jojoba oil, etc.) as first aid or massage. Some of our favorite examples

  • Peppermint oil is helpful for headaches and foot odor.
  • Chamomile has an anti-inflammatory benefit.
  • Tea Tree has antibacterial and antiviral properties


3. You can create homemade household cleaners with essential oils. Cleaning is more fun when the products you use smell good while leaving your home with a lovely aroma without the use of harsh, synthetic chemicals. If you prefer ready-to-use cleaners, several companies such as Meyer’s Clean Day and Seventh Generation have done it for you! You can find these and several other great products here at the Sunflower Shoppe.

Important precaution  to keep in mind:

Never apply oils directly to skin or gum tissue without diluting in a carrier oil first. This also includes ingestion. Our most popular carrier oils include almond, coconut, olive, jojoba or your favorite lotion.

Test for skin irritations BEFORE use. Apply a small amount of diluted oil and wait 24 hours to be sure there is not a negative reaction. Discontinue if irritation occurs at any time.

Long term topical use of essential oils in not recommended.

Do not refrigerate oils, and keep away from heat.

For more information about the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, come visit us at the Sunflower Shoppe, where great health is just a way of life!



http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0032645/
http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/cam/aromatherapy/patient/page2
http://www.alliance-aromatherapists.org/aromatherapy/brief-history-of-aromatherapy/
Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, author Rhonda Pallas Downey


The content and opinions expressed in this “Shoppe Talk” blog are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. We are not medical doctors and we do not prescribe medication. If you have any questions about the relationship between nutrition and supplements, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified and licensed health practitioner. Our opinions are based on the literature and data from a variety of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, biochemists and other professional researchers. You are encouraged to make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Tags :  essential oils
Recent News on Faulty Supplements: Sunflower Shoppe’s Standpoint- Friday, February 06, 2015

By Bryan Bradford, Chief Nutrition Officer of Sunflower Shoppe Natural Foods

Posted Friday, February 06, 2015


The quality of the herbal supplements sold at big box retailers retailers came under fire last week. First, let us assure you: Sunflower Shoppe has not sold, nor does sell the supplement brands called into question. Nonetheless, we realize this scrutiny can create doubt and fear for customers trying to improve their health and wellbeing.

We have always believed that all supplements are not created equal. It is too soon to fully respond to these accusations without further investigation into the processes used for manufacturing and testing. We make every effort to ensure that the products we carry are of the highest quality available.

All facilities that manufacture herbal supplements are required by U.S. law to comply with strict current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) requirements enforced by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). These requirements mandate that manufacturers have proper controls in place to ensure: quality, accurate labeling, that they contain unadulterated ingredients, verification of the identity of botanical ingredients and testing for such. The FDA regularly conducts inspections for compliance and takes swift action when standards are not met. Many manufacturers employ third-party testing, and all are required to perform several rigorous, in-house tests before products reach market. In fact, the natural foods and supplement industry has invited this oversight and involvement with FDA to ensure quality, as part of the DSHEA Act of 1994.

We at Sunflower Shoppe carefully and painstakingly select manufacturers who have a high level of commitment to these standards, who go above and beyond the required cGMP standards of the FDA. Our manufacturers’ facilities are certified by the likes of the United States Pharmacopia, the Natural and Non-Prescription Health Products Directorate Health Canada and the Therapeutic Good Administration of Australia. They use state of the art testing methods to assure quality and potency. Many of our staff have been to these facilities and seen these processes first hand. Our manufacturers strive to deliver the highest quality standards in the industry, and we have built trusted relationships with them over the years.

Steve Mister, president and CEO of Center for Responsible Nutrition, echoes our viewpoint  in a recent statement issued this week: "Responsible manufacturers and retailers take careful measures to ensure their consumers can purchase high-quality botanical supplements that contain what is on the label."  

At Sunflower Shoppe we share your commitment to good health. Despite the big retailers getting the big headlines this week, we appreciate your continued trust to provide you with high quality and effective ingredients in the supplements on our shelves.



http://vitaminretailer.com/ny-attorney-general-says-major-retailers-selling-fraudulent-supplements-npa-crn-respond/

http://www.npainfo.org/NPA/NewsRoom/News_Releases_2015/NPA_CEO_Responds_to_New_York_Attorney_General_Request_to_Stop_Herbal_Supplement_Sales.aspx

http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements



The content and opinions expressed in this “Shoppe Talk” blog are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. We are not medical doctors and we do not prescribe medication. If you have any questions about the relationship between nutrition and supplements, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified and licensed health practitioner. Our opinions are based on the literature and data from a variety of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, biochemists and other professional researchers. You are encouraged to make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Tags :  supplementshealthsafetyquality
Top 5 supplements to support a healthy immune system all season long- Friday, December 05, 2014

By Bryan Bradford, Chief Nutrition Officer of Sunflower Shoppe Natural Foods


December 5th, 2014


Before you know it, we’ll be battling our way through another cold and flu season. Arm yourself with a strong and healthy immune system. Here are our 5 favorite supplements you should have in your arsenal.


Probiotics:


Keep the bad bugs away with the good ones! The good bacteria play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract. An imbalance of bacteria in your digestive tract could lead to a weakened immune system.


It is especially important to take probiotics if you do get sick and need to take an antibiotic!


Elderberry: Sambucus canadensis and S. nigra


This fruit has been used for centuries as a food and clinical trials have shown it to be helpful in reducing the duration and severity of viruses, specifically the influenza virus. Many people use it as part of a daily wellness plan during the cold and flu season for immune support. It is available in syrup and capsules.


Mushrooms:


The immune benefits from mushrooms are extensive. They provide immune modulating Beta-glucans and Glycoproteins. They are rich in antioxidants and also have the ability to balance our inflammatory response.


Vitamin D:


Everyone is hearing the buzz about this important vitamin these days. Many doctors are now testing patient levels as a regular standard of care and are finding an alarming number are low on this important vitamin.  The data is suggesting that insufficient levels of Vitamin D can be linked with a compromised immune system. The form of supplement that is most absorbable in the human body is D3 (cholecalciferol)


Liposomal Vitamin C:


This is a fat soluble form of a water soluble vitamin. Because it is bound by a fat (lecithin) it goes directly to the cell and 80% is absorbed versus typical vitamin C supplements which are only 20-25% absorbed.  We are able to take more of the Liposomal vitamin C without the digestive side effects that may be seen with water soluble C supplements.


For more information about these products and to find out other ways to stay healthy during this upcoming cold and flu season, come visit us at Sunflower Shoppe - where great health is just a way of life!



http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/


http://www.gaiaherbs.com/search/find/elderberry


http://www.hostdefense.com/




The content and opinions expressed in this “Shoppe Talk” blog are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. We are not medical doctors and we do not prescribe medication. If you have any questions about the relationship between nutrition and supplements, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified and licensed health practitioner. Our opinions are based on the literature and data from a variety of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, biochemists and other professional researchers. You are encouraged to make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional.

5 Fast and Easy Solutions for Stress- Tuesday, September 02, 2014

By Bryan Bradford, Chief Nutrition Officer of Sunflower Shoppe Natural Foods

September 2nd, 2014

Most people feel there is nothing they can do to reduce the amount of stress in their lives, impossibly full schedules, driving in traffic, financial problems, arguments with a spouse, and caring for loved ones. Day in and day out demands take a toll on our health. While reducing stress factors in your life is ideal, it is often just not possible. So, I would like to give you 5 fast and easy ways to combat the negative effect stress has on our bodies.

1. Eat - Well, I said it would be fast and easy, but we forget to eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day in order to keep our bodies functioning at an optimal level. Too often when we do eat, we will often forgo healthy choices for what seems like faster ones. Having an apple in your car is actually faster than driving through a fast food restaurant. A little pre-planning can save tons of time, hassles and calories.

2. Supplements - Herbs such as Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Rhodiola and B-Complex vitamins can all help the body adjust and respond to stress while increasing energy.

3. Exercise - Consider not only the typical weight training and cardio workouts, but yoga is a fabulous form of exercise that studies show will reduce an exaggerated stress response and also combat anxiety and depression.

4. Laugh - Laughter decreases stress hormones and reduces physical tension. Your muscles will remain relaxed for up to 45 minutes after a good laugh, and it also increases endorphins producing an overall sense of well being. Don’t take life too seriously - laugh it off sometimes; it could save your health.

5. Sleep - When we don’t get enough sleep our bodies are much more sensitive to stress and have a harder time recovering from stressful events. This leads to higher cortisol levels at night and that makes it very hard to sleep! It’s a vicious cycle, but it can be turned around. Make getting enough rest a priority, and go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday.

For more information about ways to combat the negative effect stress has on our health or other health topics, come visit us at the Sunflower Shoppe, where great health is just a way of life!

http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

http://www.medicinehunter.com/health

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/April/Yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression



The content and opinions expressed in this “Shoppe Talk” blog are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. We are not medical doctors and we do not prescribe medication. If you have any questions about the relationship between nutrition and supplements, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified and licensed health practitioner. Our opinions are based on the literature and data from a variety of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, biochemists and other professional researchers. You are encouraged to make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Tags :  stresssolutions
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Back to School Focus: For kids, back to school doesn’t have to mean back to stress.- Friday, August 01, 2014

By Bryan Bradford, Chief Nutrition Officer of Sunflower Shoppe Natural Foods

August 1st, 2014

As the summer draws to a close, and we turn our attention to the upcoming school year, we know our children need pencils, paper and new clothes, but you may be wondering what else you can do to prepare your child for the challenges ahead.

Many children suffer from anxiety during the school year, and this stress can affect their ability to focus and concentrate. High stress levels, inadequate sleep, lack of exercise and high sugar diets can combine to trigger attention deficit and concentration problems. School places high demands on our young ones. They are under pressure socially, academically, artistically, athletically etc. and are often required to focus and comprehend information that they might find boring or uninteresting. That’s a hefty load! Many kids struggle with this balance, and more and more children are having such difficulty that they are being diagnosed and medicated just to get through the day.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) as of 2011.

The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011.

Rates of ADHD diagnosis increased an average of 3% per year from 1997 to 2006 and an average of approximately 5% per year from 2003 to 2011.

With new school year comes plenty of anxiety, but there are measures we can take to help our kids have a healthy and productive school year.

When kids are overwhelmed and stressed out, it can affect their ability to focus and concentrate, and it also can have a negative impact on their immune systems.

  1. Rest. Kids need some down time and plenty of sleep at night. Aim for 8-10 hours.
  2. Exercise. It is important for children to expend any extra energy they have built up over the day. Walk or ride a bike to school, if possible. Include physical activity after school before sitting down to focus on homework.
  3. Diet. Protein at every meal and snack will help prevent blood sugar crashes that make them feel tired and grumpy and prevent their minds from thinking clearly. A great way to start each day is to have a protein-only breakfast. Also include protein in the after school snack to make homework time easier.
  4. Supplements. Supplementation can be a vital part of your plan to support your efforts. There are several great products on the market formulated specifically to help improve focus and concentration. Look for ingredients such as Vitamin B complex, DHA (an omega 3 fatty acid), DMAE, Magnesium and Zinc. 

For more information about nutrition and supplements to help your back-to-schooler stay calm and focused, come visit us at the Sunflower Shoppe and we will help you get this year off to a great start.


The content and opinions expressed in this “Shoppe Talk” blog are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or to provide medical advice. We are not medical doctors and we do not prescribe medication. If you have any questions about the relationship between nutrition and supplements, we recommend that you seek the advice of a qualified and licensed health practitioner. Our opinions are based on the literature and data from a variety of medical doctors, chiropractors, naturopathic physicians, biochemists and other professional researchers. You are encouraged to make your health care decisions based on your own research and the advice of a qualified health care professional.

Tags :  schoolkidsstress
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