Archive for ‘Digestion’

April 19, 2013

What Should I Be Taking Daily to Stay Healthy?

brick_wall2We get this question a lot  from customers when they come in for the first time. Although we can never prescribe, we can give great information on the highest quality products available, because that’s all we carry!

A standard for everyone who wants lifelong, vibrant health are the “FOUNDATION 4” supplements. They include: Vitamin/minerals, Omega 3 fatty acids, Digestive enzymes and Probiotics. Anyone, from seniors down to toddlers can benefit with those four products. Of course dosages will be different depending on age and health status, but the foundation four products carry over through all generations.

It’s important to remember that many of our foods are depleted of certain nutrients as modern corporate farming methods have resulted in soils that are lacking in many nutrients. Add to this extensive processing, improper storage, etc., and its little wonder that many of the foods that reach our tables cannot meet our nutritional needs. This means for optimum health, it is necessary to get nutrients in the form of supplements.

#1.  A High Potency, Whole-Food Based, All-Natural Multivitamin/Mineral

Not all vitamins are created equal!  Vitamin supplements can be divided into two groups; synthetic and natural.  Synthetic vitamins are produced in labs from chemicals that mirror their counterparts found in nature. Natural vitamins are derived from food sources so your body recognizes them as food and utilizes them more efficiently.

Supplements that are not labeled natural may also include coal tars, artificial coloring, preservatives, sugars, and starch, as well as other additives like aluminum (YES, aluminum!). You should be aware of these harmful elements when you purchase any supplements. Even vitamins that state they are natural, may not be extracted from whole food sources. Read labels carefully and remember that you get what you pay for! Don’t expect to feel more energy when taking a mass produced, low-potency “once daily” that you picked up in the vitamin aisle at the local grocery or dollar store. You may as well take the money you spent and flush it right down the toilet because with the coatings and binders used manufacturing synthetic multis, they aren’t going to break down and absorb anyway.

Look for a vitamin that is extracted from whole food concentrates that does not contain an entire list of “other ingredients” like binders, fillers, artificial colors, coatings and such. Natural vitamins do not contain any of those things. One to try:  Pure Essence Lab’s One ’n Only or Life Essence.  They are long-time Baum’s Best Sellers!

#2. Essential Fatty Acids from Fish Oil

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are considered “essential fats” because they are required for good health but cannot be produced by our bodies.  Research has determined that in order to prevent deficiency and ensure optimal health, EFAs should be taken daily.

Proper cell function is dependent on a balanced intake of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats. The American diet is so overloaded with Omega-6 fats from processed foods, refined vegetable oils and meat that it is nearly impossible to maintain a proper balance. When Omega 6 is out of balance in the body, it causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation causes disease. Omega 3’s are absolutely necessary to keep the Omega 6’s in check, keep inflammation to a minimum and help prevent disease. The list of the benefits of Omega 3 is long. It includes:

  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Joint Health
  • Brain/Memory/Attention
  • Eye/Vision Health
  • Healthy Skin
  • Healthy Mood
  • Immune System Support

Quality is extremely important when purchasing fish oil.  If you open a bottle of fish oil and it stinks or smells “fishy,” throw it out!  Good quality fish oil, should never smell bad or give you rancid fish burps. Baums only buys the highest quality fish oils on the market, so YOU can too! One to try: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega with D3

#3 Digestive Enzymes

One of the major theories behind the inclusion of digestive enzymes as a foundation supplement stems from the work of physician Edward Howell. In the 1930s and 1940s, he did extensive research on enzymes and declared them essential. He noted that the cooking and processing of foods, destroys enzymes that naturally occur in foods.  According to Dr. Howell, “our overly cooked and processed diet led to dramatic changes in the ability of modern men and women to digest foods and remain healthy.”

Let’s use beans as an example. You rinse them, drain them and cook them for a long time. Any enzymes contained in the beans were destroyed by this process. Without enzymes, what happens? You eat the beans, you get bloated, gassy and uncomfortable. The beans haven’t digested properly and they ferment instead, causing gas. If you had taken a digestive enzyme supplement prior to eating those beans, they would have been better digested and the chance of gas would have been greatly reduced. You also are able to absorb much more of the nutritional value when enzymes are available to help break down foods.

Beans are just one example. Anything you see in a box, sitting on the shelf of the grocery store, has almost certainly been stripped of its enzymes.  Without  enzymes, packaged foods can sit on the shelf much longer without spoiling.

Enzyme Experts recommend that you take a digestive enzyme blend prior to meals to ensure proper digestion. A blend will cover all types of food, including protein, carbohydrates, fiber & fats.
What to Try? Baums Veggie Zymes (Adults) or Nature’s Plus Tummy-Zyme (Kids)

#4 Probiotics (good bacteria)

Chances are you’ve heard of probiotics – especially if you’ve seen a yogurt commercial in the last couple of years – but do you have any idea as to what they really are, how they work, or why we really need them?

Probiotics are naturally occurring bacterium that live in our intestinal tract. The most abundant being acidophilus and bifidobacterium. Probiotics help keep balance in our bodies, from fighting-off harmful bacteria we ingest, to fighting off allergies.

Most people don’t know that most of their immune system is located in the gut as a vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue). The probiotics in our gut are constantly interfacing with the GALT and essentially priming the immune system for contact with other bacteria. One way probiotics keep us healthy is by breaking-down other bacteria in the foods we eat. This helps prevent food-born illnesses such as salmonella. They also populate themselves in healthy numbers so that when other bacterium are ingested, the healthy ones crowd them out, preventing illness.

It’s important to remember that when anyone takes an antibiotic that is prescribed by a doctor, it kills ALL bacteria in the body. Both good and bad. Often this causes diarrhea or even constipation. It is vitally important to restore those good bacteria for optimal health and wellness. You can take probiotics and antibiotics at the same time, just take them as far apart from each other as possible.

Baums carries probiotics for everyone, from newborns all the way through the senior years. Come in and pick up more great information on probiotics and the wonderful ways they keep us healthy!
Baums Best Seller: Jarrow Formulas, JarrowDophilus EPS or Baums 35 Billion Probiotic

Please purchase your supplements from a health food store where the employees are knowledgeable and the quality of supplements is top shelf.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

September 27, 2012

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Reblogged from organicfacts.net

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc

How is Lauric Acid Used by our body?

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, though its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Center has compiled various references on scientific research done on coconut oil.

Hair Care:

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrition for hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair providing them a shiny complexion. Regular massage of the head with coconut oil ensures that your scalp is free of dandruff, lice, and lice eggs, even if your scalp is dry. Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. Most of the people in these countries apply coconut oil on their hair daily after bath. It is an excellent conditioner and helps in the re-growth of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair. It is therefore used as hair care oil and used in manufacturing various conditioners, and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.

Skin Care:

Coconut oil is excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skins including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Further, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin with the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Therefore coconut oil forms the basic ingredient of various body care products such as soaps, lotions, creams, etc., used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

Heart Diseases:

There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for the heart. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. However, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems including high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as it happens in case of other vegetables oils. It does not lead to increase in LDL levels. It also reduces the incidence of injury in arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Weight Loss:

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.

Digestion:

Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Immunity:

Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

Healing and Infections:

When applied on infections, it forms a chemical layer which protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and virus. Coconut oil is most effective on bruises as it speeds up the healing process by repairing damaged tissues.

Infections:

Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, etc. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, etc. Coconut oil is also effective on fungi and yeast that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash, etc.

Liver:

The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases as they substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing work load on the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.

Kidney:

Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps in dissolving kidney stones.

Pancreatitis:

Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.

Stress Relief:

Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head followed with a gentle massage helps in removing mental fatigue.

Diabetes:

Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also helps in effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones:

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for development of bones. Thus coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

Dental Care:

Calcium is an important element present in teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption of calcium by the body, it helps in getting strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.

HIV and Cancer:

It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing viral susceptibility of HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown indications of the effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).

Finally, coconut oil is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease:

There are reports of  research conducted by Dr. Newport stating that coconut oil is useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge or coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer’s. It was also not known traditionally that coconut oil helps in the brain function.

Why is Coconut Oil Solid?

Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degress Celcius or 76-78 Farenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperatures go high. Hence, if you buy a bottle of coconut oil and find it solid, don’t think that there is some problem with it. Coconut oil is like this only. And of course, don’t keep it in your refrigerator.

How to Use Coconut Oil?

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you need not switch to coconut oil completely, as you will miss the benefits of other oils and dairy products.

Can I Use Coconut Oil for Cooking?

Yes, in most of the tropical coastal regions, people use coconut oil for cooking.

I Don’t Like the Taste of Coconut Oil. What Should I do?

Try using coconut oil in some different recipe. That may help. If you get nauseated after eating coconut oil, don’t force yourself. As it happens with any other food item, your body may be allergic to coconut oil and it is best not to consume it.

For more information on coconut oil check out our other blog post here or stop in at any of our locations! Baums carries several high quality brands of coconut oil for every purpose!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 9, 2012

Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics

From Harvard Medical School’s Family Health Guide

Bacteria have a reputation for causing disease, so the idea of tossing down a few billion a day for your health might seem — literally and figuratively — hard to swallow. But a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics (from pro and biota, meaning “for life”), because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.

Enthusiasm for such foods has lagged in the United States, but interest in probiotic supplements is on the rise. Some digestive disease specialists are recommending them for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies have established that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.

Self-dosing with bacteria isn’t as outlandish as it might seem. An estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) generally don’t make us sick; most are helpful. Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.

The best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea. Controlled trials have shown that Lactobacillus GG can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children (but not adults). Although studies are limited and data are inconsistent, two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60%, when compared with a placebo.

Probiotic therapy may also help people with Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Clinical trial results are mixed, but several small studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease and the recurrence of pouchitis (a complication of surgery to treat ulcerative colitis). Because these disorders are so frustrating to treat, many people are giving probiotics a try before all the evidence is in for the particular strains they’re using. More research is needed to find out which strains work best for what conditions.

Probiotics may also be of use in maintaining urogenital health. Like the intestinal tract, the vagina is a finely balanced ecosystem. The dominant Lactobacilli strains normally make it too acidic for harmful microorganisms to survive. But the system can be thrown out of balance by a number of factors, including antibiotics, spermicides, and birth control pills. Probiotic treatment that restores the balance of microflora may be helpful for such common female urogenital problems as bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and urinary tract infection.

Many women eat yogurt or insert it into the vagina to treat recurring yeast infections, a “folk” remedy for which medical science offers limited support. Oral and vaginal administration of Lactobacilli may help in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, although there isn’t enough evidence yet to recommend it over conventional approaches. (Vaginosis must be treated because it creates a risk for pregnancy-related complications and pelvic inflammatory disease.) Probiotic treatment of urinary tract infections is under study.

Probiotics are generally considered safe — they’re already present in a normal digestive system — although there’s a theoretical risk for people with impaired immune function. Be sure the ingredients are clearly marked on the label and familiar to you or your health provider. There’s no way to judge the safety of unidentified mixtures.

In the United States, most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process that drugs do. Manufacturers are responsible for making sure they’re safe before they’re marketed and that any claims made on the label are true. But there’s no guarantee that the types of bacteria listed on a label are effective for the condition you’re taking them for. Health benefits are strain-specific, and not all strains are necessarily useful, so you may want to consult a practitioner familiar with probiotics to discuss your options. As always, let your primary care provider know what you’re doing.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 2, 2012

Introduction To Probiotics

Our intestinal tract is filled with an enormous number of helpful bacteria called probiotic bacteria. They are called probiotic bacteria because the term “probiotic” means “for life,” as opposed to the term “antibiotic” which means “against life.” Our bodies are actually designed to have a symbiotic relationships with these probiotic bacteria. They help us digest our food, kill harmful microorganisms and keep us functioning properly in a number of ways.

As we look into the intestinal tract we find that there are only a few probiotic bacteria in the stomach because it is highly acidic. However, the further down the intestinal tract we move, the number of these good bacteria increases dramatically with the biggest numbers being found in the large intestine.
We need to have a large population of probiotic bacteria to aid with digestion and to keep the harmful, disease-causing microorganisms in check. If the percentage of good bacteria is too low, compared to the bad bacteria, our bodies function poorly. Over time we are likely to have many health problems.

For the average adult, the intestinal tract will contain about 4 pounds of bacteria. Normally there should be a balance of about 85% probiotic bacteria and 15% harmful bacteria, but many people are so far off that their intestinal tract contains only 15% probiotic bacteria and 85% harmful bacteria.
Scientists are studying the benefits of taking probiotics and are finding it to be very beneficial.

Why We Need Probiotic Supplements

Our bodies are designed to function best with millions of friendly probiotic bacteria living in our intestinal tract. In the past, we replaced the probiotics in our system by constantly eating organic vegetables grown in dirt that was rich with soil-based organisms or drinking raw milk straight from the cow. I myself remember walking into the garden, pulling up young carrots, brushing as much dirt off them as possible and eating them on the spot. Think of the probiotics that were going into my system before I could wash them down the kitchen drain or boil them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Today we need probiotic supplements because there are so many influences that prevent us from getting the probiotics our bodies need.

Today, at least in the United States, many people eat a horrible diet composed of highly processed foods that are filled with chemicals and simple sugars and carbohydrates. Potato chips and Oreo’s are utterly devoid of anything living as are most of the boxed and prepared foods sold in the grocery stores.

Because of the modern agricultural practices, such as the heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, the soil-based microorganisms are no longer living in the dirt of most farms. We need probiotic supplements to replace what is missing in our food.

The use of antibiotics (remember the “anti” means “against”) directly kills all bacteria in our intestinal tract.

Drinking chlorinated water destroys our intestinal flora. The reason we put chlorine in the water is because it is able to kill bacteria and, unfortunately, it gets the good ones along with the bad when we drink it.

The medical treatment of radiation and chemotherapy also destroys our intestinal flora as well as damaging our immune systems. Any course of chemotherapy absolutely must be followed with heavy doses of probiotic supplements.

Farm animals are continuously fed antibiotics to keep diseases down. When people eat them they also are taking in these antibiotics which then harm the beneficial bacteria in their systems.

Many people who are concerned with health use colonics for detoxification. These practices can wash some of the good bacteria out of their systems.
Alcoholic beverages tend to harm probiotics by killing them directly, encouraging harmful bacteria and yeast overgrowth.

Unfortunately most people simply do not know that the health they experience right now has a direct connection to the billions of beneficial microorganisms that live in their gastrointestinal tract. These are microorganisms which help the body to break down and absorb foods, produce essential elements, while at the same time helping to clean putrefaction and waste, plus kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast.

One to Try:

Strains in Jarro-Dophilus EPS® promote healthy intestinal microflora, which in turn helps to support intestinal health and immune function. Bifidobacteria Iongum BB536 has been clinically shown to stimulate immune response and promote healthy intestinal microfloral balance. L. rhamnosus R0011 is a unique, high producer of polysaccharides that facilitate colonization and stimulate intestinal immune response. L. helveticus R0052 assists in breaking down lactose (milk sugar), which may improve digestion of dairy products by those individuals who are lactose intolerant. Lactococcus and Pediococcus help reduce spoilage caused by unfriendly bacteria in fermented foods.

Jarro-Dophilus EPS® is on sale for $5 off all this month at Baum’s!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

May 17, 2012

Digestive Enzymes and Benefits

Enzymes are energized protein molecules essential for the digestion of food, brain stimulation, tissue, cell and organ repairing and generating cellular energy. Even though they are a catalyst for many biochemical reactions they do not change or get consumed in the process. There are three types: metabolic, digestive and food.

Digestive

Digestive enzymes are secreted along the gastrointestinal tract and break down the food in the body so that the nutrients can be absorbed. Enzymes are present in the food you eat which is why there is great importance placed upon having plenty of raw foods in the diet. The enzymes in raw food help start the process of digestion which reduces the body’s need to secret digestive enzymes.

Food enzymes are destroyed when cooking at moderate or high temperatures. They are “turned off” at a dry-heat temperature of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your body has to rely too much on its own digestive enzymes the result is more stress is placed on your system and organs leaving less time and energy for other jobs such as rebuilding and replacing damaged cells and tissue and keeping your immune system strong.
A diet that consists mainly of cooked food requires the pancreas to “work overtime” and the extra effort leaves it exhausted. If the pancreas is always having to produce enzymes that could come from food it will eventually cease to function properly. The late Dr. Edward Howell suggested that when a person eats an enzyme-poor diet consisting of lots of cooked food, the result is illness, lowered resistance to stress and a shortened life span.
Eating lots of raw foods and taking a high-quality enzyme supplement can help avoid depletion of the body’s own enzymes thereby reducing stress.

In the book, The Healing Power of Enzymes, Dr. DicQie Fuller talks about the importance of enzymes and says:
“Eighty percent of our body’s energy is expended by the digestive process. If you are run down, under stress, living in a very hot or very cold climate, pregnant or a frequent traveler, then enormous quantities of extra enzymes are required by your body. Because our entire system functions through enzymatic action, we must supplement our enzymes. Aging deprives us of our ability to produce necessary enzymes. The medical profession tells us that all disease is due to a lack or imbalance of enzymes. Our very lives are dependent upon them!”

Importance of Digestive Enzymes

There are approximately 45 essential nutrients that the body needs to carry out normal bodily functions. Essential means that the body cannot manufacture them and they must come from outside sources.
There are at least 13 kinds of vitamins and 20 kinds of minerals, in addition to fats, carbohydrates and water that are required for proper metabolic function. When food is consumed it gets broken down for absorption and transported by the blood stream.

Nutrients, including enzymes, work synergistically which means they cooperate with each other acting as catalysts. This promotes absorption and assimilation. The importance of digestive enzymes resides in the fact that the human body cannot absorb nutrients in food unless digestive enzymes break them down.

The body progressively loses its ability to produce enzymes with major drops occurring roughly every ten years of life. At the beginning it may not be that noticeable, however, later on you will discover that you cannot tolerate or enjoy certain foods like you did before. This may also be accompanied by a feeling of reduced stamina. Yes, you’re running low of enzymes.

How Do You Know if You Are Lacking Enzymes?

Heartburn, gas, constipation, bloating, allergies, ulcers, lack of energy and reduced functioning of the immune system may occur when there are not enough enzymes.

Digestive Enzymes Benefits

Digestive Enzymes can be beneficial for more things than most people think. They have been shown to benefit people with:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • GERD, Indigestion
  • Candidiasis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Food allergies
  • Low Back Pain
  • Sinusitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • and more…

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

April 26, 2012

Benefits of Saffron

Saffron is basically a flowering plant which is widely used as a culinary spice. It is also used in herbal supplements due to its varied health benefits. Right from treating depression, asthma, atherosclerosis and stressful menstrual cycles, saffron’s benefits extend to even treating cancer and helping to lower bad cholesterol levels.

Saffron is in fact, an expensive spice made from the saffron crocus flower. Research indicates that a few compounds in saffron do promote anti-cancer activity. It also helps in stimulating the secretion of stomach acids which supposedly assists in the contraction of muscles, for instance, as in the uterus.

Health benefits and uses of saffron- Reddish golden in color, saffron is used basically as a seasoning agent in cooking and also as a coloring agent. In fact, saffron is one of nature’s highly powerful herbs. From time immemorial, saffron is known to have helped relieve stomach aches and kidney stones. It also improves circulation of blood.

A vital herb with multiple benefits, it is believed that in ancient days, grand moms used to mix a few sprigs of saffron in hot milk as a night cap for their grand children, to induce sound sleep and good health. It’s been scientifically proven that saffron contains carotenoids which play a vital role in inhibiting skin tumors, improving vision and relieving aches and pains of arthritic conditions. It’s been proven after a recent trial that this aromatic golden herb may prove instrumental in preventing loss of vision in the elderly. This is a proven fact in scientific circles that saffron helps to regain vision in the instances of cataract.

Saffron contains a compound by the name “crocin” which is helpful in promoting learning, memory retention and recall capacity to a great extent. Several studies have shown encouraging results that saffron might be great in the treatment and management of age related mental impairment.

Saffron contains certain active constituents which are known to produce positive effects in patients suffering from neuro-degenerative disorders. In case of soreness or inflammation of the mouth and tongue, try massaging gums with saffron. Discomfort is relieved almost immediately.

Medical studies over the years have proven beyond doubt that this golden herb enhances oxygen diffusivity in plasma and other liquids. It also improves pulmonary oxygenation. High levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides can be lowered by including saffron as a dietary intake, or as an herbal supplement.

For those suffering from conditions of acute dryness of skin, application of saffron cream typically on affected areas will help relieve the symptoms. In combination with other herbs, saffron is also reputed to be a good remedy for insomnia, coughing, indigestion and even baldness.
How to find out genuineness of saffron ?

How to find out genuineness of saffron ?

While buying saffron, to ascertain its genuineness, and to find out whether it is fake or adulterated, immerse a tiny piece of it in warm water or milk. If the milk or water colors immediately, then it is adulterated. Genuine saffron takes about ten to fifteen minutes of soaking in warm water or milk before it can turn a deep red color or emanate a wonderful aroma.

As mentioned previously, this highly valued spice helps to protect your eyes from being damaged by harmful UV rays. It is known to slow down considerably the progression of eye diseases like macular degeneration, which can in turn cause blindness.

Saffron has unique compounds like crocin and safranel which belong to a family of carotenoids. This includes beta carotene and this is which gives saffron it’s color. Not only do these compounds play a major role in preserving eye sight, they possess anti cancer properties too. Besides, they help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies reveal encouraging reports regarding macular degeneration patients, who were fed on a diet containing saffron, and they began showing signs of cell recovery and improved vision. Saffron affects the genes, regulating the fatty acid control of the cell membranes, which in turn makes vision cells tougher and resistant.

The compounds of crocin and safranel have anti tumor effects as well. Saffron greatly boosts immunity by aiding in the maturation of white blood cells, as well as accelerating the levels of enzymes that help the body to track down toxins.

For those suffering from acute premenstrual syndrome, saffron is like an answer to fervent prayers. It eases irritability, depression, and mood swings, symptoms typical to this syndrome.

Apart from numerous health benefits, saffron when added to a dish turns it into a truly exotic one, with appetite enhancing aromas wafting out of it. Even as it boosts the appetite, it improves digestion too. It’s a well known fact that this spicy aromatic herb is used in the treatment of kidney, bladder and liver disorders and also assists in improving circulation to the digestive system. While coating the membranes of the stomach and colon, saffron gently aids in soothing symptoms of gastro intestinal acidity and colic. For those afflicted with gastro intestinal disorders, acidity and related problems, saffron is like the boon from high heavens.

Over ninety disorders can be treated using this wonderful golden spice. Saffron is a great blood purifier and displays anti-inflammatory properties too. For those afflicted with severe inflammatory arthritis, intake of saffron provides relief from joint pains.

Saffron is just great for athletes as it eases fatigue and muscle inflammation by aiding tissues to get rid of lactic acid, which gets stored in joints after strenuous exercise regimen. It has mild sedative properties and can be safely used to provide ample rest during influenza and fever, and also to cure insomnia. Saffron helps in stepping up of oxygen content in blood, promoting over all health and well being in a person. This golden spice is a highly plausible remedy for a variety of illnesses, ranging from fatigue, sore gums, to heart disease and cancer. Research studies on saffron continue to reveal yet more eye opening results to benefit the human race.

Saffron does more than just add flavor and color to food. It can proudly boast of a three thousand year history of medicinal uses. This aromatic spice can even speed up the healing of burns and cuts. It is the anti inflammatory properties of saffron that is responsible for speeding up the healing process.

This amazing spice is always full of delightful surprises and can, over the years greatly benefit man kind in an amazingly astounding manner.

Reposted from NaturalHealthCure.com

Be sure to stop into Baum’s to pick up your bottle today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

December 15, 2011

Would You Like To Lose Weight Without Much Effort?

Me too!  Did you see the Dr. OZ show where he talked about a certain fiber that he and his wife both use and have easily lost weight?  That fiber is called Konjac Root (aka. Glucomannan) and is just one of the great fiber sources in PGX from Natural Factors.

PGX is a complex of water-soluble plant fibers, developed after many years of research on the link between blood sugar imbalance, appetite, and weight gain. PGX safely and effectively restores proper blood sugar levels, reduces appetite, and inhibits weight gain.

To understand how one product can do so much, you need to understand the link between blood sugar, appetite and weight gain. Many overweight people do not realize that they are on a blood sugar roller coaster.  Blood sugar levels rapidly rise and fall throughout the day. The brain pays close attention to this cycle. Minute by minute it monitors blood sugar levels, because a rapid drop is as threatening to the body as a loss of oxygen. When blood sugar falls, the brain sends out powerful messages designed to bring blood sugar back to appropriate levels. “Eat!” the brain demands. These messages that we recognize as food cravings are almost impossible to ignore.

To lose weight effectively, appetite needs to be corrected. To many this involves trying to suppress appetite, but this is a short-term, ineffective solution. For long term success, appetite needs to be corrected through blood sugar balance. PGX has been clinically proven to correct appetite, helping you lose weight, control and balance blood sugar levels, and even lower cholesterol.

PGX is taken with meals and is available at Baum’s in a softgel capsule or in granular form that you mix with water or food.  Let’s all LOSE weight this winter with PGX!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
December 8, 2011

Could Gluten Be Ruining Your Day?

Ever imagined that a quick bite of bread you had for lunch could actually give you a major headache? Probably not, but this could be the honest truth for almost 1 of every 130 people. Wheat Intolerance is one of a handful of common food intolerances. It’s not because of something you caught or something you did, it’s in your genes.

Wheat and gluten sensitivity is a major cause of headaches, especially migraines. Ten percent of the population is sensitive to wheat & gluten and this problem may result in a wide variety of symptoms, not just digestive ones that would come to mind first.

Gluten is the elastic, rubbery protein present in wheat, rye, barley and to a lesser degree in oats. It binds the dough in foods such as bread and other baked goods. It contributes to the spongy consistency. Rice and corn do not contain gluten, however, gluten is only one protein found in wheat, rye and barley. These foods, like all other foods, contain a number of different proteins that can result in  reactions, like:

  • fatigue
  • anemia
  • nerve pain
  • memory loss
  • osteoporosis
  • infertility
  • flatulence
  • diarrhea
  • digestive tract distress

Gluten refers to a group of proteins that are difficult for humans to digest. One group of proteins called gliadin is thought to do most of the damage to the intestinal lining. Glutenins are another group of proteins found in gluten and thought to be associated with autoimmune skin diseases and asthma. Gluten proteins are extremely resistant to intestinal digestion, despite grinding, cooking, processing and digestive juices.

It should be remembered that wheat or gluten intolerance is different from wheat allergy. Wheat allergy refers specifically to adverse reactions involving immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to one or more protein fractions of wheat Since, gluten is the more commonly known wheat protein, wheat allergy is often wrongly known as gluten allergy. The majority of allergic reactions to wheat involve the albumin and globulin fractions. Allergic reactions to wheat can adversely impact a person’s health.

Allergic reactions may be caused by ingestion of wheat-containing foods or by inhalation of flour containing wheat (also called Baker’s asthma). True food allergies, such as wheat allergy, often produce quite violent reactions, from swelling of the lips and tongue, a red rash to, in extreme cases, fatal anaphylaxis.  Additional wheat allergy symptoms can include asthma and hives.

On the other hand, food intolerances will not trigger a life-threatening immune response, but may trigger symptoms such as migraines, bloating or skin rashes, and in some cases can worsen the effects of conditions such as asthma, eczema or migraines.
A recent study showed that many patients who reported to be having frequent attacks of migraine headache had sensitivity to gluten. By switching to a gluten-free diet

Do Not Despair!

It’s easier than you think to eat a gluten-free diet!  Any of the following everyday foods are gluten-free:

  • Fresh meat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Poultry
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese (not cheese spreads)
  • Milk
  • Rice
  •  Corn

Baum’s carries an entire section of wheat-free/gluten-free foods to make it even easier!  We have gluten-free breads that actually taste… like bread!  We carry cookies, pasta, crackers, cereal, chips, and different flours for baking.

There are some great books available about gluten-free cooking & what to order when eating out. Get involved with “GIG” (Gluten Intolerance Group) online for tons of information.
Baum’s carries a great new product called Gluten-Ade specially formulated to break down wheat proteins that may be ingested accidentally (like when eating away from home).

If you are having trouble with any of the symptoms listed, try eliminating wheat and gluten containing foods from your diet and give Gluten-Ade a try to deal with any missed gluten sources.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

November 24, 2011

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving: 5 Tips to Avoid Overindulging

During Thanksgiving, it’s easy to go overboard with the calories and consumption. Temptations of gooey pecan pie and dense sweet potatoes topped with crackly marshmallows make it seem impossible to be disciplined.

But eating healthfully on Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to forgo all your favorite foods, said Jennifer K. Nelson, a registered dietitian and director of clinical dietetics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

“If you’ve got your eating under control for the majority of the time, go ahead and have a piece of pie — just don’t lose control entirely,” Nelson told MyHealthNewsDaily. “Keep your willpower and your wits about you.”

Here are five ways experts recommend you can avoid overdoing it on one of the greatest food days of the year – while still leaving room for dessert.

1. Stick to healthy portions.

Just one plate of Thanksgiving food is all you get, Nelson said. Fill up half your plate with vegetables, fruit and a whole wheat roll, a quarter of it with mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes, and a quarter of  it with turkey or ham. And, the more colorful your plate, the better – so get lots of leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers and beets in your veggie spread, Nelson said.

“If you fill up on those lower caloric density and higher nutrition things, you’re going to feel full, but not bloated and tired, because it’s a lighter fare,” she said.

It’s a holiday, so indulge a bit if your diet allows it. But if you’re going to eat dessert, make sure you allot for the calories elsewhere – don’t go back for that second helping of marshmallow sweet potatoes, and instead opt for the cranberry salad, said American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist.

If you’re going for the pie, pick fruit or pumpkin pies because they tend to have fewer calories than chocolate or pecan pies, Sandquist said.

Try also to stick to single servings of the more unhealthy foods, she said. Aim to have a half-cup of mashed potatoes — about the size of a regular-sized cupcake wrapped — and a 3-ounce serving of turkey – about the size of a checkbook.

2. Eat before you indulge.

Don’t starve yourself during the early part of Thanksgiving Day, with the idea that you’re just “saving room” for all the food, or that this will make it okay for you to overeat later. It’s a recipe for overeating, Sandquist said.

If you’re going to a Thanksgiving lunch, be sure you eat breakfast before. If you’re going to a dinner, be sure you eat lunch or have a snack in the afternoon.

“You definitely want to have your normal meals because otherwise, whenever we get over-hungry, we overeat,” she said.

3. Substitute healthy ingredients for unhealthy ones.

There are plenty of ways to make Thanksgiving fare healthier. For mashed potatoes, Nelson suggested mixing in chicken broth, herbs or roasted garlic to perk up the flavor instead of adding in butter.

For green bean casserole, swap out fried onions with toasted almonds for a less-oily alternative, and instead of having cranberry sauce, opt instead to make a cranberry salad, Sandquist said. And for dips, use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream — the consistency is similar, but yogurt has less fat and more protein, she said.

Another easy way to cut fat out of your meal is to avoid eating the skin on the turkey. Dark meat has a little more fat than white meat, but limiting your helpings of unhealthy sides or dessert will have a much bigger impact than just eating white meat instead of dark, Sandquist said.

If you’re baking homemade pie, opt for whole wheat pie crusts and substitute low-fat or skim milk for evaporated milk, she said.

4. Drink lots of water and take a walk after eating.

Many times when people think they are hungry, they are actually just thirsty, Sandquist said. By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you’ll lower the risk of overeating.

It’s also a good idea to take a walk after eating to get your metabolism going instead of laying on the couch, she said.

5. Avoid snacking throughout the day.

Abide by the “out of sight, out of mind” mantra, Sandquist said: Once you’ve filled your plate with food, cover up the food and put it away.

“It’ll help you avoid mindless munching,” she said. When you snack throughout the day, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve eaten.

Re-posted from MyHealthyNewsDaily.com

November 3, 2011

Let Me Break it Down for You….

Digestion is the key to your health. No ifs, ands or buts about it. The way your body processes the foods that you eat, plays a major role in how you feel, how you look, and how much the people around you can tolerate. It’s not fun when you get gassy and bloated after you eat.  Belching may bring relief but how can you do that if you’re around other people who don’t know your quirky digestive system?  What can you do?  Staying at home everyday isn’t really an option, being a social outcast isn’t really an option either…

Let me introduce a gut’s best friend… ENZYMES!

If you eat a diet of only fresh, raw foods, you are getting all of the enzymes you need from those foods.  Most of us, however, eat mostly cooked or processed foods which contain little to NO enzymes.  Heating food while cooking destroys the naturally occurring enzymes and when food is processed by a manufacturer, enzymes are either destroyed or removed. This allows them to sit on a store shelf for long periods of time without spoiling.

This leaves our digestive system in distress. Our bodies can only do so much with the highly-processed, chemical laden foods we use to nourish our bodies. That’s why supplementing with enzymes is so very important!

Digestive enzymes specifically, are little miracle workers that start working right away when saliva is mixed with the food that you’re chewing. Amylase is the enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates. When you chew carbs, they becomes sweeter as you chew because the mechanical action of your teeth and amylase in the saliva are breaking the carbohydrates down to their component sugars.

Next, the food goes to the stomach where it stays about 60 minutes or more as it is further digested by the stomach acid and pepsin. Pepsin is a protease enzyme released into the stomach. If you take plant enzymes, most are quite stable in the stomach environment and go right to work. Plant enzymes can be working on food for at least an hour before the food proceeds to the small intestine where it is absorbed.

Once the food enters the small intestine, plant enzymes continue to work. At this point, any pancreatic or animal enzymes kick in. . Some enzymes are released by the small intestine lining as well.
Anything that disrupts the small intestine may also disrupt the production and release of these enzymes. If you have a leaky gut, inflammation, yeast, or something else which hampers the small intestine, then you are likely to also have trouble digesting the foods these enzymes work on.

Animal versus Plant Enzymes

Plant enzymes are much more stable over a wider pH and temperature range. The stomach is very acidic whereas the small intestine is more alkaline. This is why plant enzymes can work effectively in the stomach, whereas animal-derived or pancreatic enzymes cannot. Most pancreatic enzymes need to be coated to survive stomach acid.

Stop The Bloating and Indigestion Fast!

Baums has worked closely with a top-of-the-line manufacturer of enzymes and has come out with our very own proprietary enzyme formulas. The 1st is called Ultra Veggie Enzymes which is a plant based enzyme formula. You take one capsule right before you eat and it starts breaking down hard to digest foods that can cause problems.

Superzymes is a second enzyme formula we had put together for us.  Superzymes contains the animal/pancreatic enzymes that help with the breakdown of proteins and fats and are taken after meals.

People who no longer have a gall bladder deal with difficulty digesting most fats and proteins. When the digestive process is disrupted due to the lack of bile that the gall bladder used to secret to emulsify fat, Superzymes can supply what is missing & help get digestion back on track.

We’ve had some great feedback on these products already and feel strongly about the benefits they offer! Pick some up before the holiday eating season begins!  Why be bloated, lethargic and miserable if you don’t have to?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.