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iHerb Blog

The Best Nutrients for Your Eyes
The Best Nutrients for Your Eyes

Nutrients play an enormous role in preventing and treating the leading causes of impaired vision in North America–cataracts and macular degeneration. In both conditions, the eye’s normal protective mechanisms are unable to prevent damage to the lens and macula, respectively. Certain nutrients are essential in maintaining eye health, preventing these diseases, and improving visual function when these conditions do develop.

 A diet high in richly colored fruits, particularly berries and grapes, and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables, helps to lower your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. Initially it was believed that this protection was the result of increased intake of antioxidant vitamins and minerals. However, various “nonessential” food components, such as non-provitamin A carotenes like lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and flavonoids, were later shown to be even more significant in protecting against cataracts and macular degeneration than traditional nutritional antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.

If you have any signs of visual impairment, you absolutely must be properly evaluated by a physician. I recommend that you get a baseline eye exam and then follow the program for a minimum of six months before getting retested. Success is achieved if the condition has not worsened or if there are signs of improvement.

 Let’s look at some of the most important nutrients for improving eye health.

 Lutein

 Critical to the health of the macula are the carotenes lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenes function in preventing oxidative damage to the area of the retina responsible for fine vision, and play a central role in protecting against the development of macular degeneration. In one study, subjects with macular degeneration who took 10-15 mg of lutein daily showed significant improvements in several objective measurements of visual function, including glare recovery, contrast...

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Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Sauce
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Sauce

Ring in Spring with this light, veggie-rich recipe.

Spring is in the air, so it's time for light cooking with fresh ingredients. This recipe for zucchini noodles with pesto sauce is packed with vegetables and flavor. This meal serves four and comes together in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

4 medium zucchini

4 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed

3 cloves chopped garlic

⅓ cup olive oil

⅓ cup unsalted walnuts or pine nuts

⅓ cup Parmesan cheese

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

½ tbsp. olive oil 

Instructions: 

1. Wash and trim the ends of the zucchini. Use a spiralizer or mandoline to cut them into noodle shapes. Set aside.

2. Mix the basil, nuts, cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender.

3. Slowly add ⅓ cup olive oil. Blend until pureed.

4. Saute the zucchini in the remaining olive oil over medium heat until just soft.

5. Turn the heat to low. Add the pesto and stir until the zucchini is coated.

Be sure to check out iHerb's Grocery Page for more pantry staples!

Reference:
Senyei, Kelly; Pesto Zucchini Noodles With Shrimp; Just a Taste Website; Accessed 03/23/17

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Natural Support During Chemotherapy
Natural Support During Chemotherapy

For many people the very thought of chemotherapy evokes frightening images of debilitating nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and weakness. However, newer medications have made most chemotherapy regimens much better tolerated than in the past. Nonetheless, chemotherapy can produce a wide range of undesirable side effects. Which side effects will occur has much to do with the type of chemotherapy, the dosage and timing of the treatments, the general health of the patient and the history of prior chemotherapy.

One of the problems with chemotherapy is that it is active against all dividing cells whether cancerous or not. This means that cells lining the intestines, in the bone marrow and in the hair follicles, all of which are also continuously dividing, will also be damaged by chemotherapy. Fortunately, there are natural products that can be used to protect against the damaging effects of chemotherapy while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. The natural measures that I am recommending are definitely worth incorporating into your cancer treatment plan and may mean the difference of life or death.

Along with some basic dietary guidelines, there are five key supplements that can be used to support any form of chemotherapy or radiation.

In addition, it is important to take coenzyme Q10 if you are taking doxorubicin (Adriamycin) or any other chemotherapy agent known to damage the heart. What are the general dietary guidelines to follow? Because of the problem of nausea and vomiting sometimes caused by cancer itself, as well as many chemotherapy agents and/or radiation therapies, many cancer patients develop anorexia – the loss of appetite or desire to eat. This situation is not good at all because it can lead to a condition known as cancer “cachexia” – a wasting syndrome...

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Detox for Spring with Delicious Drink Recipes
Detox for Spring with Delicious Drink Recipes

It's good to do a detox every now and then because you absorb so many toxins from foods, products you use on your body and hair, medicines, and outside factors like pollutants and cleaning products. Even when you try to eat all organic and use healthy products on your body and in your everyday life, you can't escape it all. When you detox, your body gets rid of some of the toxins that have accumulated over time.

The Best Time to Detox 

One of the best times to do a detox is in the spring. At this time, many have just finished a long winter where they ate and drank extra just to stay warm or weren't able to get out so much to breathe in the fresh air and be physically active. Also, sometimes the body builds up an extra layer of fat to stay warm during the cold months. The world around you is renewing itself in spring, and you want your body to do the same.

Detox Benefits

While you may not lose much weight from a detox, the point is not to lose weight. The point is to cut down on the number of impurities in your body (such as heavy metals) and clean out your body so that the immune system is stronger, you aren't so tired, you have a healthy complexion, and your liver and kidneys can do their job better. In fact, some experts say that worthwhile detoxes are the ones that cleanse the liver and kidneys because these organs already do the job of ridding the body of toxins, and they just need to be given a good cleansing and some fuel every once in awhile to do their jobs in the most efficient ways possible.

Detox with Fresh Foods

Some of the foods with the most detoxifying powers are fresh foods like grapefruit; lemons, which have a special ingredient in the peel that works magic; guacamole, which is a mix of fresh foods that are all natural detoxers; asparagus, which helps get rid of toxins and protects the liver; bananas, which decrease bloat by diminishing gas and preventing water retention; and raw greens. As little as 1 1/2 cups is all you need per week. You could...

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Ginseng & Stress
Ginseng & Stress

Nature provides us with several plants that can help our body fight the effects of stress. These beneficial botanicals are often referred to as “adaptogens,” because they help us adapt to, or cope with, stress. For many years, these plants have been used to:

  • Restore vitality in debilitated and feeble individuals.
  • Increase feelings of energy.
  • Improve mental and physical performance.
  • Prevent the negative effects of stress and enhance the body’s response to stress.

Some of the most effective adaptogens are ginseng, rhodiola, lavender, and ashwaganda. This article focuses on ginseng.

 Both Siberian and Chinese ginseng have been shown to enhance our ability to cope with various stressors, both physical and mental. Presumably this anti-stress action is mediated by mechanisms that control the adrenal glands. Ginseng delays the onset and reduces the severity of the “alarm phase” of the body’s short- and long-term response to stress (also known as the general adaptation syndrome).

 People taking either of the ginsengs typically report an increased sense of well-being. Clinical studies have confirmed that both Siberian and Chinese ginsengs significantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For example, in one double-blind clinical study, nurses who had switched from day to night duty rated themselves for competence, mood, and general well-being, and were given a test for mental and physical performance along with blood cell counts and blood chemistry evaluation. The group that was given Chinese ginseng demonstrated higher scores in competence, mood parameters, and mental and physical performance compared with those receiving placebos. The nurses taking the ginseng felt more alert, yet more tranquil, and were able to perform better than the nurses who were not taking the ginseng.

 In addition to these human studies, animal studies have shown the ginsengs to exert significant anti-anxiety effects. In several of these...

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