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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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All about alkaline water - Monday, June 30, 2014

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

June 30th, 2014

Thirsty? Consider what you will choose to quench that thirst. Will it be water? If so, choose a water that is more than just wet, choose a water that has the ability to support the natural healing process of your body.  Alkaline water is a better choice than tap or bottled water because it acts as an antioxidant in our body counteracting the damage of free radicals.

Alkaline water has many reported health benefits. Research has shown alkaline water to increase hydration, and alkalize the blood and urine. Unlike conventional drinking water, pH 8.8 alkaline water instantly denatures pepsin, rendering it permanently inactive. Pepsin damages esophageal mucosa possibly leading to silent reflux. In addition, it has good acid-buffering capacity, and so the consumption of alkaline water may have therapeutic benefits for patients with reflux disease.

Other reported benefits of alkaline water include:

* Neutralizes the acidity and washes acid waste products from cells and tissues.

* Hydrating more than regular tap water.

* Acts as an antioxidant, scavenging for and neutralizing harmful free radicals.

* Enhances the immune system.

Sunflower Shoppe is proud to offer our customers a new Alkaline Water System by the gallon that uses Reverse Osmosis filtration to produce water with an alkalinity of 9.0 (+ or - .2). Reverse Osmosis water filtration removes lead, the parasite cryptosporidium, sodium and reduces fluoride.


SOURCES:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20836884 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22844861 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17417109 

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/silent-reflux-epidemic 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2579005/ 

http://www.undergroundhealth.com/the-5-major-benefits-of-drinking-alkaline-water/ 

http://www.livestrong.com/article/415551-the-health-benefits-of-reverse-osmosis-water/


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 :  alkalinewater
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GMOs: The latest news you need to know.- Friday, May 30, 2014

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

May 30th, 2014

Big news in Vermont gives consumers the ability to see what the foods they eat are made of, allowing them to make choices.

On May 9, 2014 lawmakers in Vermont passed a bill requiring foods sold on their grocery store shelves must list information on the package stating whether the product has been genetically modified or if any included ingredients have been genetically modified. They believe it is the consumers right to know.

This legislation could eventually impact not only food labeling practices in Vermont, but have an impact in every state across the country.


So, what are GMO’s?

GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.


Crops are currently modified to survive herbicide treatment, produce their own pesticides and resist certain diseases. Here is a list of the most genetically modified foods currently in the market.

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

Most people in the United States don't realize that they've been eating genetically engineered foods since the mid 90s. 

In 1994, genetically modified Flavr Savr tomatoes became the first commercially produced GMOs. They were brought out of production just a few years later, in 1997, due to problems with flavor and ability to hold up in shipping. The modification was designed to allow the tomato to delay ripening after picking. Currently there are no genetically engineered tomatoes on the market. As you can see, the trend is heading toward more, not less of this activity, so it is important to educate ourselves in order that we can make informed decisions on whether or not to include them in our diet. There is still much debate on the safety of genetically modified foods and human testing has not yet proven them safe (or unsafe). So here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pros:

  • It secures the livelihood of farmers, and can make more food available to feed more people.
  • It can enhance the quality and flavor of food.
  • GMOs can resist deadly viruses, insect infestations, weed killer and be more drought tolerant, thereby surviving conditions that could reduce or wipe out crops altogether.

Cons:

  • No research to prove safety for human consumption.
  • Creation of "super" weeds and other environmental risks.
  • Introducing allergens and toxins to food.


More to consider:

GMO ingredients are found in 80% of packaged foods in the US. Currently, the U.S. has no restrictions on these ingredients, yet in 40 other countries there are significant restrictions or outright bans on foods containing GMOs.

It’s important to know what’s in the food we eat, and there are organizations that can help. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building the non-GMO food supply, educating consumers and providing verified non-GMO choices. Look for products stamped with the Non-GMO verified label. They believe that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.

We here at Sunflower Shoppe couldn’t agree more.
For more information about GMOs or other health topics, come see us at Sunflower Shoppe, where great health is just a way of life!


SOURCES:

http://www.nongmoproject.org/

http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/food-safety.aspx

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/issues/311/ge-foods/about-ge-foods#

http://healthresearchfunding.org/pros-cons-genetically-modified-foods/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/24/vermont-lawmakers-pass-gmo-labeling-bill_n_5203569.html


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.

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Garcinia Cambogia- Friday, May 16, 2014

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

May 16, 2014

Ever since Doctor Oz first talked about this supplement on his show several months ago, we have been hearing from our customers wanting to know more about the supplement Garcinia Cambogia. I will address some of the most common questions we get for you today.

What is it?

Garcinia Cambogia (pronounced Gar-SIN-e-ah Kam-boh-jee-uh) is a fruit that is native to Indonesia. The rind contains a constituent called Hydroxycitric acid (HCA). Another name for it is Citrimax.


How does it work?

According to research studies, this supplement works in several ways.

Appetite Reduction- If you take the supplement up to an hour before you eat, and before you get very hungry, it has been reported to reduce cravings and appetite causing you to eat less at your next meal and stay full on the smaller amount for longer.

Serotonin Production- When you are tired, sad, under stress or angry you will reach for food high in simple carbs and sugar because this will naturally increase the amount of serotonin that is available for the body. Serotonin helps your moods and helps you sleep better. Garcinia Gambogia will increase the amount of this neurotransmitter available so you won’t be tempted to indulge in unhealthy foods.

Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels- Unstable blood sugar levels are the main catalyst for inflammation in our bodies. Garcinia Cambogia helps by slowing down the digestion of the food we eat, which keeps sugar levels from getting too high or too low. When our levels get too high our body has to work hard to get the level back to a normal range and the hormone insulin will send signals to the body to store all extra calories as fat. When the levels become too low and crash after they were too high, we will feel tired, irritable, shaky and get a headache.

Cholesterol- This supplement shows positive effects on cholesterol HDL and LDL levels.

Efficient Fat Use- It causes the body to use extra calories for energy rather than storing them as fat. It also encourages the body to release stored fat to meet your body’s energy needs.

Overall Gut Health- Some research even shows a benefit for gastrointestinal health such as bowel cramps, carminative (relieves and helps lessen intestinal gas), rheumatism (joint pain) and stomach ulcers.

Please refer to the attached Science.gov research studies.


Are there any cautions or concerns I need to be aware of?

You should always check with your doctor before beginning any supplement. You should not take this supplement if you are pregnant or nursing, on a prescription anti-depressant, or taking a blood thinner of any kind. It is also wise to monitor your blood sugar levels while taking this supplement. Do not take this supplement if you are on prescription statins or if you suffer from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Also ask your pharmacist if you are on any prescription before taking this supplement.

*No supplement can replace a healthy diet and regular exercise program, but supplementation with the right products can help support your efforts.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

For more information about this or other health and wellness topics, come see us at Sunflower Shoppe where great health is just a way of life!


SOURCES:

http://www.science.gov/scigov/result-list/fullRecord:garcinia+cambogia/#ResultList=0%7C0%7C_%7CRANK%7C0


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.

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