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February 2020


HEALTHY HEART the best diet, exercise, and supplement advice to keep your ticker ticking



ELECAMPANE the latest research on this timetested respiratory remedy



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Try Something New Michel et Augustin

Shortbread Cookie Squares These scrumptious buttery shortbread cookie squares are filled ith a rich chocolate ganache. Satisfying but not too s eet they are made ith ingredients you could find in your itchen. The ne -pac s are perfect for sharing or not Dark Chocolate has a rich dar chocolate ganache filling ith a sprin le of sea salt. Milk Chocolate Caramel has a creamy caramel layer ith mil chocolate ganache.


Luna Mash-Ups Bar ash-ups combine all the goodness of your t o favorite flavors into one holesome delicious on-the-go snac bar for a feel-good brea anytime any here. These bars offer - grams of protein and are made ith organic oats. hoose from Lemonzest + Blueberry or Peanut Butter + Fudge. Gluten free and non-G O.

Nordic Naturals

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Garden of Life

Collagen Super Beauty linically studied and organically gro n olimel rench SO -rich melon e tract asta anthin and vitamin are ingredients proven to boost your s in s elasticity and resistance to A related s in damage.* ombined ith grass-fed collagen peptides this formula supports beauty from the inside. lend into your favorite smoothie or sha e mi ith ater or use in ba ing. lueberry A ai flavor.

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Little Secrets

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Trace Minerals

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Try Something New Enzymedica

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Mushroom Superfood Daily Boost Capsules OM makes mushrooms convenient by supplying organic, USA-grown, functional mushrooms in an easy-to-take daily capsule. Lion’s Mane supports memory, focus and nerve health; Cordyceps supports energy, stamina and endurance; Reishi provides immune support and balance.* These capsules are all gluten free and vegan.


Vitamin B12 Liquid Sigform offers metabolically active vitamin B12 in easily absorbed liquid form. Methylcobalamin and L-Methyl Folate are highly absorbable forms of vitamin B12 and folic acid.* Adequate intake of vitamin B12, folic acid and vitamin B6, encourages healthy serum homocysteine levels, helping to support cardiovascular health.* B12 also supports energy production in the body.* Available in 5,000 mcg or 10,000 mcg potencies.

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Garden Greens

Celery Power Powder Staying on trend, Garden Greens introduces organic whole food celery juice powder, loaded with polysaccharides and antioxidants. Celery juice supports health digestion and helps cleanse and detoxify, which helps reduce bloating and water weight.* Recent research also suggests the non-starch polysaccharides in celery help protect again inflammation in the digestive tract.* Celery Power provides the goodness of celery without the mess of juicing.

Jarrow Formulas

Prebiotic XOS + Acacia Gum XOS and Acacia Gum are prebiotic fibers that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial intestinal microbial species such as bifidobacteria.* They support a balanced gut microbiota, intestinal functions and health, enhance host defense mechanisms, promote regularity and help support other metabolic or physiological functions such as glucose and lipid metabolism.* Mix with water or other beverages for a nutritious boost for your gut health.*

North American Herb & Spice

Black Seed Oil Cardio-Plus Get total cardiovascular support with this combination that packs three power-houses together: Thymoquinone-rich black seed oil, Mediterranean pomegranate concentrate, and Muscadine skin concentrate. This supplies thymoquinone, which works in the heart and on the brain stem, plus antioxidant resveratrol, ellagic acid, and punicalagins. CardioPlus is the perfect blend for heart and arterial support.*


Clean Lean Protein This premium European golden pea protein powder contains 20 grams per serving and is very low in fat and carbs. It supports healthy weight management and muscle recovery.* This protein mixes smooth into a delicious, nutritious drink—just add water! It is vegan, dairy free, soy free, gluten free and paleo friendly. No added sugar and no fillers.

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Sip your way to better health.

p. 22

February 2020

features 18 How to Keep Your Heart Healthy Eating right and exercising can each cut risk for heart disease in half. Does that mean you’ll be free of heart problems forever if you do both? No one has tested the premise, but you’ll certainly be in better health. Here’s a look at the best ways to keep your ticker in tip-top shape.

22 6 Fruity Smoothies

We all know that we should be eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day—which is often easier said than done. But what if we could drink those all-important nutrients instead? Sip your way to better health with these delicious concoctions.

departments NEWS FLASH



Hot Off the Press. The latest news from the world of natural health.



Multivitamin Myths: Part 2. We take on five more common misconceptions about this nutritional staple.



Quiet Your Cough with Elecampane. Modern science is verifying the benefits of this time-tested remedy.




Dry Skin Savers. The natural prescription for winter woes.



No heart-health regimen is complete without these three keys to blood vessel health.




Safe, gentle ways to regain your emotional balance.



If you find yourself tossing and turning all night, these natural remedies can help.



Exotic Oils. Potent, indigenous oils are packed with nutrients that can nurture your skin and hair.

Sexual Vitality. Spice up your love life with these libido-boosting foods.



The amazing health benefits of crimson-hued foods.



Going Primal for Valentine’s Day. Express your love with these Paleo-friendly ideas—including a decadent Chocolate Avocado Mousse.



Easy Mac-n-Cheese. A quick-and-easy take on the comfort-food classic.

February 2020

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editor’s letter Express Your Love

For me, February means only one thing: pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. But for most of the rest of the country, it’s all about Valentine’s Day, when we set aside time to let the special people in our lives know just how much we love them. And there’s no better way to express your love than through the gift of health, which is what this issue of The Healthy Edge is all about. There’s no better place to start than “Going Primal for Valentine’s Day” (p. 30), a selection of Paleo diet-friendly ideas for putting together a healthy, romantic dinner right down to dessert— a deceptively decadent mousse that’s sure to be a hit. “Sexual Vitality” (p. 12), takes this idea to the next level by showcasing six foods with libido-lifting properties. From endorphin-stimulating chocolate to testosterone-boosting oysters, they’re a delicious way to spice up your love life. And since we’re focused on affairs of the heart, we should also give thought to the real thing. “How to Keep Your Heart Healthy” (p. 18) offers research-based ways to keep your ticker in top shape, including diet, exercise, and supplement ideas for people on prescription blood thinners or other heart-related medications. With tips from holistic cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD, this article is the definitive natural guide to heart health.

Editorial Director Nicole Brechka Executive Editor Jerry Shaver Copy Editor Elizabeth Fisher Beauty Editor Sherrie Strausfogel Contributing Editors Helen Gray and Vera Tweed Graphic Designer Judith Nesnadny

Business & Editorial Offices 512 Main Street, Suite 1 El Segundo, CA 90245 310.873.6952 Integrated Media Sales Director Kevin Gillespie Eastern U.S. and International 603.305.5106 Integrated Media Sales Director Candice Smith Western U.S. 603.361.5762 Retail Development Group 2400 NE 65th Street, Ste. 623 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308 800-443-4974, ext. 702 General Manager Rob Lutz Director of Retail Sales Joshua Kelly jkelly@aimmedia.com 800-443-4974, ext. 702 Accounting & Billing Yolanda Campanatto ycampanatto@aimmedia.com

Chairman & CEO Andrew W. Clurman Senior Vice President, CFO, and Treasurer Michael Henry Vice President, IT Nelson Saenz VP, Audience Development Tom Masterson VP, Production & Manufacturing Barbara Van Sickle VP, People & Places JoAnn Thomas AIM Board Chair Efrem Zimbalist III

Jerry Shaver Executive Editor Have a question or comment? Email us at healthyedgemag@gmail.com.


THE HEALTHY EDGE. Vol. 12, No. 1 Published monthly by Active Interest Media, Inc. 300 N. Continental Blvd., Ste. 650, El Segundo, CA 90245; 310.356.4100; fax 310.356.4111. (c)2011 Active Interest Media, Inc. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed by the columnists and contributors to THE HEALTHY EDGE are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable advertising is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all advertising content and for any claims arising therefrom. Articles appearing in THE HEALTHY EDGE may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. The information in this magazine is provided to you for educational purposes under Section 5 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and is not intended as medical advice. To obtain more in-depth information, contact your health care professional or other reliable resources.

February 2020

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newsflash CBD RELIEVES PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY A common complication of diabetes, peripheral neuropathy can also be caused by chemotherapy or various health conditions that damage nerves in the hands or feet. It’s difficult to treat—but topical CBD in a cream or lotion can help, according to a study of 29 patients led by Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. Compared to a placebo, daily application of a topical CBD product containing 250 mg of CBD per 3 fluid ounces for four weeks significantly reduced intense or sharp pain and cold and itchy sensations, with no adverse effects.

Theanine Boosts Mental Performance Theanine, a calming substance found in tea, is known to reduce stress and enhance sleep, even when taken in a single dose. But a longer-term Japanese study found that when taken daily for four weeks, the supplement also enhanced mental performance. Published in the journal Nutrients, the study compared the effects of a placebo and 200 mg daily of theanine in a group of healthy people who had not been diagnosed with any psychiatric condition but were experiencing some difficulties with sleep and stress. After taking the supplement at bedtime for four weeks, those in the study fell asleep faster, stayed asleep longer, felt less anxious, and experienced a better mood. In addition, tests showed improved mental performance. The supplement tested in this study, Suntheanine, is a patented form of theanine that can be found as an ingredient in many supplement brands. It’s usually taken during the day to relieve stress and enhance attention span, and before bedtime to improve sleep without causing morning drowsiness. The theanine content of green tea ranges from 8–30 mg per cup. White, oolong, and black teas contain smaller amounts.

43% of Antibiotic

Prescriptions Are Inappropriate

Among 130.5 million antibiotic prescriptions analyzed by researchers in Portland, Ore., only 57 percent were appropriate for the condition being treated. The rest were either incorrectly prescribed or had no evidence to support their use in the situation.

The 10-Hour Eating Plan Eating only during a 10-hour window each day can help you lose weight, lower blood pressure and harmful cholesterol, and sleep better, as well as reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease, according to a study by the University of California, San Diego, and the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Such an eating pattern restores your body’s natural circadian rhythms, and it’s easier to follow than completely revamping your diet. “Eating and drinking everything (except water) within a consistent 10-hour window allows your body to rest and restore for 14 hours each night,” says study co-author Emily Manoogian, PhD. Most people in the study ate the first meal of the day a bit later and the last one a bit earlier, but did not skip meals. Although they were not asked to reduce calories, many did so spontaneously, simply because less of their day included eating.


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supplement advisor

By Vera Tweed

multivitamin myths: part 2 Five more misconceptions about this fundamental part of every health regimen


ast month, we took a look at five of the most common misconceptions about multivitamins. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Here are five more persistent myths about this foundational nutrient.

1. You shouldn’t take a multivitamin if you take prescription drugs. There are many scary warnings about combining supplements and drugs. However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, one of the National Institutes of Health, has concluded that multivitamins containing no more than 100 percent of the Daily Value of vitamins and minerals typically do not cause a problem with medications, with one exception. If you take warfarin (Coumadin or Jantoven), to thin blood, vitamin K will decrease its effectiveness. Your doctor can adjust the dose of the drug to compensate, or you can take a multivitamin without vitamin K. Other blood thinners may not react this way, but to be sure, check with your doctor before taking vitamin K in a multivitamin or other supplement if you take blood thinners.

2. If you take a multivitamin every day, it doesn’t matter what you eat. Supplements, by definition, are meant to supplement nutritious food rather than replace it. If your diet consists of junk food, supplements can help, but you’re fighting an uphill battle. Foods contain many more nutrients than anyone could pack into pills. 3. If your urine turns yellow or orange, something is wrong. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) turns your urine yellow or orange when you excrete amounts your body can’t use. It’s quite normal and nothing to worry about. If you don’t like the color, drink more water. 8

DAILY VALUES: WHAT THEY MEAN Daily recommended amounts, which are estimated to be adequate for most men or women at a certain age, have been established for many basic nutrients. Daily Values, usually listed in Supplement Facts on labels as “%DV,” are not recommendations but are designed to be a guide for comparing products. HOW DAILY VALUE IS CALCULATED

The Daily Value is based on the highest recommended amount of a nutrient. For example, women need 700 mcg of vitamin A, while men need 900 mcg. The Daily Value of vitamin A is 900 mcg—the higher amount. If %DV is 100, the product contains 900 mcg of the vitamin, and if %DV is 50, it contains 450 mg. INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

Daily Values don’t take individual needs into account. Vegans and older people, for example, are likely to need extra B12 in addition to a multivitamin. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should take a multi designed for those situations. Some products also include herbs or other natural ingredients for specific benefits, such as joint health or easing menopause or stress. For optimum benefits, it makes sense to choose a product designed for your specific needs.

4. All multivitamins are basically the same. The number of nutrients in a multivitamin can vary from a few to more than two dozen. Although products with few ingredients can be beneficial, they don’t provide as much nutritional insurance. For example, only 10 percent of American adults get enough choline, which is essential for the brain and nervous system, but only some multivitamins include it. In addition, some products are formulated for women or men at different stages of life, as requirements vary. In the case of iron, which can be toxic in high doses, premenopausal

women require 18 mg daily, but women after menopause, as well as men of all ages, require only 8 mg.

5. It doesn’t matter if your multivitamins are old. Multivitamin products have expiration dates for good reason: Their potency will eventually decline. If you’ve had a product for a long time, check the date. If it’s expired, get a new one. Store supplements away from moisture and heat, not near a stove or microwave, not on top of the fridge, and not in a bathroom cabinet. A cool kitchen cupboard or drawer is a good storage option.

February 2020

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herbal advisor

By Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH

quiet your cough with elecampane An exceptionally effective, easy-to-use, household remedy for respiratory complaints


hen Helen of Troy was kidnapped, beautiful bright yellow flowers sprouted from the ground where her tears fell. Or so the story goes. Today, we know “Helen of the campaign” flower as elecampane, and is a major player in the lineup of global superstar herbs. Elecampane (Inula helenium) is a perennial member of the daisy (Asteraceae) family, and is native to Europe and Asia. It is especially common in the British Isles, where it serves as a popular traditional medicine. According to British herbalist David Hoffmann, it grows “where the tree falls in the forest.” The root is thick, with a slight odor of camphor. The taste of elecampane is quite potent, being described as acrid, bitter, aromatic, and pungent, with a smell to match. Simmering elecampane root tea brings to mind a wet goat. You’ve been warned.

Better Breathing European herbalists call elecampane root their number one lung healer, and I agree. It’s a hard call, but I would put this root at the top of my global list of general lung-supportive herbs. In any condition that involves the lungs, elecampane is likely to produce some benefit. It’s not the best herb for any given action, but, as an overall respiratory remedy, it’s hard to beat. That makes it an ideal herb to use at the


first sign of sniffles, cough, sore throat, or sinus infection. We can use elecampane root in just about any respiratory condition, but it specializes in cold conditions with substantial mucus and “wet asthma,” because it heats the body and dries tissues by opening the pores, releasing sweat, and thinning fluids. This useful herb is widely employed for its expectorant and antitussive qualities, and it’s great for relieving irritating bronchial coughs, especially in children. Although it has a profound healing effect, it’s safe for kids, and is often used at the first sign of pediatric lung congestion or cough. In the 19th century, the Eclectics made it famous for bacterial infection with heavy, thick, yellow to green mucus, and elecampane has been used historically to treat asthma, bronchitis, and chronic cough in the elderly. The herb’s antimicrobial properties have been confirmed in scientific studies. Researchers from Ireland found that elecampane kills drug-resistant staph. And

a 2019 study showed anti-inflammatory effects in the lungs

Liver & Joint Support Elecampane is also respected for its action on the liver, particularly as a hepatoprotective. Recent experiments with elecampane have born this out. And research is slowly unearthing new uses. Chinese research from 2017, for instance, found benefit for rheumatoid arthritis, which fits with elecampane’s anti-inflammatory profile. The active constituents of elecampane are not well established, but are thought to be bitter terpenoids and sesquiterpenes, including the stearoptene helenin.

How to Take It

Elecampane root combines well with herbs with similar qualities, mullein leaf and yerba santa leaf, especially as tea. Traditionally, the roots are used in European medicine, but the flowers are used for the same bronchial symptoms in traditional Chinese medicine. Although this herb is considered safe, some authorities caution against its use in pregnancy, although their reasons aren’t Aromatherapists recommend elecampane clear. Since elecampane is essential oil for clearing a relatively mild herb, tea is lung congestion and your best choice as a preparastrengthening immunity. tion. Decoct 10–30 grams of dry, chopped root for a daily dose. As tincture, use 1 Tbs. per day.

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February 2020

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healing edge

sexual vitality


f your love life’s lackluster, there’s time to get back on track before Valentine’s Day. Try these six foods to inspire desire:

Saffron From the stigmata of the crocus flower, saffron has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac, and modern studies support its benefits. In one study, women who suffered from lower libido as a result of taking antidepressants showed increased arousal and lubrication, decreased pain, and improvement in sexual function after taking saffron. In another study, men who took 200 mg per day of saffron for 10 days also had improvements in symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED). Try this: Crumble saffron into tomato sauce; steep it in warm water and drink with honey; add a generous pinch of saffron threads to a pint jar of olive oil and allow to infuse for five days.

Oysters Because they resemble female genitals, oysters (as well as mussels and clams) have long been considered aphrodisiacs. And there’s truth behind the legend: oysters are the richest dietary source of zinc, necessary for healthy testosterone levels. And increased zinc levels have been shown to improve sexual performance. Zinc also inhibits the body’s production of prolactin, a compound that contributes to decreased libido. Try this: Dredge oysters in bread crumbs and fry until golden, then serve over arugula with hot sauce; top oysters in the shell with a mixture of puréed garlic, spinach, onions, butter, breadcrumbs, and anise-flavored liquor, then sprinkle with shredded Parme12

Six foods to put you in the mood

san, and broil; simmer oysters in fish stock, white wine, tarragon, and shallots, then serve with lemon aioli.

cocoa powder with chickpeas, coconut oil, and honey for an edgy chocolate dessert hummus.

Tuna Tuna is loaded with omega-3 fats, which have been shown to increase levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that increases sexual motivation and performance. It’s also a great food source of vitamin B12, which has been linked with decreased risk of ED. Try this: Mix canned tuna with mayonnaise, Sriracha, black sesame seeds, and cilantro; grill tuna steaks, then thinly slice on the diagonal and serve on a bed of greens with olives, green beans, hard boiled eggs, and tomato wedges; toss raw sushi-grade (or cooked) tuna with cubes of avocado, baby spinach, and a dressing of mirin, ginger, lime, sesame oil, and tamari.

Pomegranates A centuries-old symbol of romance and passion, pomegranates were traditionally associated with fertility. (In classical mythology, Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, planted the first pomegranate tree.) Modern studies show that pomegranates are rich in antioxidants that support blood flow and can improve ED. One study also found that pomegranate juice lowered cortisol levels, linked with increased testosterone in both women and men. Try this: Toast flatbread, then top with ricotta cheese, minced parsley, and pomegranate seeds; combine pomegranate juice with sparkling water, and add a sprig of rosemary; toss pomegranate seeds with cubes of cooked butternut squash, pistachios, and crumbled goat cheese.

Chocolate It’s a rich source of phenylethylamine (PEA), a compound that triggers the release of endorphins and can stimulate sexual desire. In one study, women who ate dark chocolate on a regular basis enjoyed and desired sex more than those who did not. It’s also high in magnesium, which can reduce the body's levels of sex hormonebinding globulin (SHBG), a compound that suppresses testosterone. Because chocolate also increases levels of mood-boosting serotonin, it can reduce stress and make you more amorous. Try this: Stir cocoa powder and honey into plain almond or peanut butter, and spread on apples; purée bananas, coconut milk, and bittersweet chocolate until smooth, then freeze in an ice cream maker; blend

Red wine It contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that can treat ED and improve sexual function in men. Studies show that red wine can also enhance sexual function in women; in one, women who drank one or two glasses of wine per day had increased desire, lubrication, and overall sexual function than teetotalers or women who drank more than two glasses a day. Try this: Mix red wine with grape juice for a lower-alcohol drink with the same benefits; combine red wine with rosemary, orange juice, and orange zest for an easy marinade; simmer tomatoes, onions, garlic, and red wine, purée until smooth, and stir in capers and chopped olives.

February 2020

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By Lisa Turner

Trio of Truffles Makes 30 truffles You'll need separate bowls to make this set of three truffles—saffron, pomegranate, and red wine. 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips ½ cup heavy cream or coconut cream Fillings: 1 Generous pinch saffron threads (saffron truffle) 3 Tbs. pomegranate seeds (pomegranate truffle) 3 Tbs. red wine (red wine truffle) Toppings: ¼ cup dark cocoa powder (saffron truffle) ¼ cup finely chopped shredded coconut (pomegranate truffle) ¼ cup coarse sugar (red wine truffle)

1. Finely chop chocolate or chocolate chips, and transfer to large bowl. Bring cream to a boil, pour over chocolate, and let stand 1 minute. Stir mixture until creamy and smooth, and divide into three small bowls. 2. In one bowl, crumble saffron over chocolate, and stir to mix. In second bowl, stir in pomegranate seeds. In third bowl, stir in wine. Refrigerate all three bowls, uncovered, 2 hours, or until firm. 3. Using a cookie scoop or large melon baller, scoop out balls of each mixture, and roll with hands to smooth. 4. Roll saffron truffles in dark cocoa powder. Roll pomegranate truffles in coconut. Roll wine truffles in sugar. Arrange all on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately. Per saffron truffle: 80 cal; 1g prot; 5g total fat (4g sat fat); 9g carb; 5mg chol; 15mg sod; 1g fiber; 6g sugars Per pomegranate truffle: 90 cal; 0g prot; 6g total fat (5g sat fat); 9g carb; 5mg chol; 15mg sod; 0g fiber; 6g sugars Per red wine truffle: 90 cal; 0g prot; 4.5g total fat (4g sat fat); 13g carb; 5mg chol; 15mg sod; 0g fiber; 11g sugars

The Healthy Edge

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expert’s corner

dry skin savers

By Melissa Diane Smith

An inside-out guide to nourishing your skin


Why are my cuticles and skin so dry all the time? I’ve heard that fish oil can help. Am I deficient in omega fats? What are other nutrient imbalances that cause dry skin? —Leanne W., St. Cloud, Minn


You’re right to think that fats are key. And especially in winter, a low-fat diet combined with cold temperatures can really stress the skin. Luckily, there are simple, natural ways to support skin health and get your glow back. Almost all skin care salons emphasize exfoliation. But you can do this much less expensively, and daily, in the comfort of your home with dry skin brushing. I highly recommend this pleasurable ritual as part of your self-care routine. I use a long handled Bass or Yerba Prima fairly stiff bristle brush first thing in the morning, after drinking a big glass of water. Brush the belly clockwise (to follow the large intestine) and up the limbs, front and back, towards the heart. Use the long handle to scrub down the back. I like to use a softer Bass or Sephora brush for my face and neck—brush upwards on the face. Another tip for beautiful skin is to moisturize within 3 minutes of stepping out of the shower. Water removes natural oils from the skin, and this is especially true if you use soap. I don’t recommend soap for bathing unless you really have dirt or grease streaks on your skin, and even then, oil will actually remove stains more gently. It’s okay to soap up your hairy parts, but many people use too much soap, too often, and this contributes to dry skin. Also avoid putting petroleum-based products (such as Vaseline or Eucerin) on your skin. They can plug up your pores and lead to blackheads or boils.

Supportive Fats In terms of nourishing your skin, nails, and hair from the inside, minimally processed fish or vegetable oils are excellent options. 14

If you like fish, the “SMASH” species— salmon, mackerel, anchovy, sardine, and herring—are good options. These small fish are less likely to be contaminated with mercury than larger fish. If you don’t eat a lot of fish, take 3,000–4,000 mg per day of a high-quality fish oil supplement. For a vegetable-based skin nutrient that can be used topically and taken internally, coconut oil can’t be beat. It has been shown to improve the appearance of fine skin wrinkles and speed exfoliation of the outer layer of dead skin cells. In addition, coconut oil (especially its lauric acid component) is anti-microbial, effectively reducing fungal, bacterial, and viral skin infections. You can buy a tub of organic coconut oil quite inexpensively. Try rubbing a small amount (¼ cup) all over your body right after a shower. It’s really fantastic. Other ingredients that will contribute to smooth, moist, beautiful skin—which can be eaten or applied topically—include shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and aloe vera (juice for internal, gel for topical). Olive oil is particularly great for dry hair. Rub up to a cup of olive oil into your scalp a half-hour before washing your hair, then wrap your head in a hot, thin, wrung-out towel. The heat helps the oil penetrate more deeply into the scalp and hair follicles. Dry skin may also be a sign of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. These oils work with water to keep skin smooth and hydrated. Omega-3 fats help normalize the good fats present in your skin and prevent dehydration. They’re also anti-inflammatory, so they calm irritated skin when taken internally. Consider increasing your dose during the winter months. It’s also easier to forget to drink water when the weather

is cooler and you’re not sweating as much. So remember to stay hydrated!

The Skin-Saving Diet Dietary tips for healthy skin are the same as for a healthy life. Eat fresh vegetables— they’re critically important to good health, and should be the centerpiece of every meal. Veggies are by far the most nutrientdense of all the food categories, packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healing pigments. They’re moist foods, thus contributing to hydration. And eating a diet high in carotenoids from carrots, squashes, and robust greens will eventually impart a gently bronzed look to the skin that’s much healthier than going to a tanning booth. Gut health has a huge impact on skin health because the gut is where good nutrients are absorbed. In fact, there is a good amount of research showing that a healthy gut microbiome can help reduce acne, among other skin conditions. Fermented foods promote the growth of good bugs in the gut, which help to break down food and make nutrients easier to absorb. If you don’t care for fermented foods, take a high quality probiotic. To keep your skin (and yourself) as healthy as possible, try to avoid processed grains and sugars, and any “food” that comes in a box. Instead, fill up your pantry with apples, squashes, whole grains and legumes, seaweed snacks, tangerines, and nuts. (Keep nuts in the fridge so they don’t go rancid.) At work, keep tinned fish, durable fruit, and hard-boiled free-range eggs on hand for snacking. And just say no to crackers, chips, cookies, and baked goods that came from a box. Your skin— and the rest of you—will appreciate it.

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Go with the Flow: 3 Keys to Blood Vessel Health BY MARY ANN O’DELL, MS, RDN

WE HEAR SO MUCH about heart health, but less about arterial health. With every heartbeat, blood is pumped throughout the body through a complex circulatory system of blood vessels. This system of arteries, veins, and capillaries running through your body is over 60,000 miles long! These vessels carry oxygen-rich blood, nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to organs and throughout the entire body. And yet, this is something most of us don’t even think about. Maybe it’s time to give your vessels a little love since maintaining their health is critical for maintaining overall heart health. Boost Antioxidants & Fiber. Controlling cholesterol and inflammation are keys to maintaining healthy blood vessels. A diet high in soluble fiber and rich in antioxidants is the first step in controlling cholesterol and inflammation levels, so load your plate with colorful vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, and fruit. Manage Blood Pressure. Even mildly elevated blood pressure can cause damage over time. To help control blood pressure, keep sodium in check, and increase potassium-rich foods in the diet. Calcium, magnesium, and potassium help maintain electrolyte balance and are necessary for a regular heartbeat and normal blood pressure. Beets contain naturally high levels of

nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes and widens blood vessels, which helps lower blood pressure. Maintain Blood Flow. Beets come into play again with blood flow. Nitric oxide from beets not only helps with blood pressure, but it also helps maintain blood flow. Omega-3 fatty acids, from


Full Spectrum Omega


fish and seeds, have been shown to help lower triglycerides (a type fat in the blood), control inflammation, and slow the buildup of plaque in arteries, all of which contribute to healthy blood flow. In addition to these natural substances, exercise promotes blood flow and enhances circulation, so get out there and move to keep your blood flowing and your blood vessels healthy.


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WHEN YOU THINK OF RED, what comes to mind? Love? Anger? No color is more emotionally intense than red. Studies on color have shown that when people see the color red, their blood pressure elevates and their breathing becomes more rapid. In foods found in their natural state, the color red can also have a powerful physical effect on us because fruit and vegetable colors come from the presence of carotenoid and anthocyanin antioxidants. Antioxidants play the crucial role in our bodies of protecting our cells. One goal nutritionally is to get a broad spectrum of antioxidants, and one of the best ways to do that is to eat a broad spectrum of colors in our diets. The focus of this article is red foods and how they can enhance our health. Here are some red foods that you may want to include in your diet: Cranberries. These small red berries, from the blueberry family, contain powerful compounds that have been shown to help keep bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall, thus supporting health urinary tract function. Cranberries are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and flavonoids, and these compounds all play a role in heart health. Recent studies have shown that cranberry juice concentrate may help protect against heart disease, improving good HDL cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure. Use 100 percent cranberry juice in a smoothie, or use fresh cranberries to create sauces and chutneys. Beets. Beet is the newest friend to the athlete since it may help improve vascular function and delay the onset of fatigue in healthy adults. But this benefit seems to extend beyond athletes, as nitrate-rich beet juice may help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function in adults with high cholesterol. Try adding chopped beets to salads, or use beet juice powder as an addition to smoothies. Goji Berries. Goji is a fruit that has been used in Tibet for over 1,000 years for its health benefits. Traditionally used

for kidney and liver problems, goji berries may also lower cholesterol, support immunity, and boost energy, according to recent studies. Use goji berries as a snack, or to top salads or yogurt. Tomatoes. Tomatoes are naturally rich in the antioxidant carotene lycopene, which gives them their bright red color. Studies have found that increased levels of lycopene may decrease risk of certain cancers, especially prostate cancer. Studies have also shown lycopene benefits heart health. Tomatoes are a versatile fruit that can be used fresh in salads and sandwiches, or cooked to make sauces, soups and casseroles.


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The Healthy Edge

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HEALTHY The latest evidence on the best diet, exercise, and heart supplements—even if you take prescription drugs to reduce harmful blood clots, cholesterol, or blood pressure by Vera Tweed


eing physically fit and eating a heart-healthy diet can each cut risk for heart disease in half. Does that mean you’ll be free of heart problems forever if you do both? No one has tested the premise, but you’d certainly be in better health.

Best Foods for a Healthy Heart Despite decades of a low-fat diet being promoted as the answer, recent evidence paints a different picture. In fact, the key drivers of heart disease are sugary and starchy foods, rather than fat. A major U.S. study found that people who get 25 percent of their calories from added sugar (sodas and other sweetened drinks are major sources) are more than twice as likely to die from 18

heart disease as those consuming less than 10 percent of calories from added sugar. Another study found that eating foods that trigger high blood sugar— including sweetened drinks and starchy foods—contributes to atherosclerosis and doubles risk of heart-related death. In contrast, eating more seafood rich in omega-3 fats, non-starchy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds has a protective effect on the heart. A moderate amount of full-fat dairy foods and unprocessed red meat are also good. In other words, aim to eat more vegetables (other than potatoes), more fish and seafood, more fresh fruit, and some nuts and seeds. Some dairy and meat are fine as well. Go easy on grains, because many of today’s dishes are overloaded with them—big bowls of

pasta, large buns for burgers and sandwiches, and pizza with thick crusts are common examples.

Heart-Healthy Exercise When it comes to exercise, spending endless hours on a treadmill is not the most effective regimen for heart health. Activities such as brisk walking or running at a moderate, steady pace have been the standard for improving fitness, but they aren’t the best. An analysis of studies following nearly 1,000 people with heart disease found that interval training—short spurts of intense activity alternated with movement at a relaxed pace—is more effective. Here’s an example: Instead of walking at the same pace for 20–30 minutes, walk as fast as you can for a block and then walk at a slower, more comfortable pace for one or two blocks and repeat the cycle multiple times. Weight lifting is an alternative. A study at the University of Iowa looked at 13,000 people and found that just lifting weights—

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twice per week—reduced risk for heart attacks and stroke by 49–70 percent. Spending more than hour a week on weight lifting didn’t produce any added benefits. The key is to challenge muscles.

Supplements and Drugs Three out of four American adults take supplements, and heart health is a leading reason. However, despite the growing use of drugs to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, or harmful blood clots, there’s a scarcity of research about how to safely combine these with supplements for optimum benefits. Both supplements and drugs are typically tested in isolation, and warnings about interactions can be unnecessarily alarming. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Concerns about herb-drug interactions are often not based on rigorous research. Most herb-drug interactions identified in current sources are hypothetical, inferred from animal studies, cellular assays, or based on other indirect means.” That said, some drug-supplement combinations can be dangerous. Studies have found, for instance, that St. John’s wort, popular for depression, can reduce drug potency and should not be taken with prescribed drugs unless closely monitored by a physician. Based on research and his clinical experience, Stephen Sinatra, MD, a pioneer in integrative cardiology and author of The Sinatra Solution: Metabolic Cardiology also recommends avoiding: Licorice with blood pressure drugs, as the herb can raise blood pressure. Extended-release niacin with cholesterol-lowering statins, as the combination can put too much stress on the liver. Specific blood-thinning nutrients and herbs with drugs that thin blood, as the combination could lead to dangerous bleeding. On the other hand, medications can deplete nutrients that are vital for heart health, and the right supplements are

Heart-Healthy Supplements for Everyone Whether you take prescription drugs or not, these are Stephen Sinatra’s top supplement recommendations for a healthy heart. Don’t take vitamin K2 if you’re taking warfarin. Otherwise, all these can be taken with blood thinners, statins, and blood-pressure drugs—just let your doctor know about any supplements you take. COQ10: After age 30, take 50–100 mg daily of CoQ10 (preferably Ubiquinol). After age 60, take 100 mg daily. If taking statins, try 100 mg, and if there’s no improvement in the way you feel, take 200–300 mg daily. If you take warfarin, make sure to get regular blood tests and tell your doctor that you’re taking the supplement. VITAMIN K2: After age 50, take 150 mcg daily of the MK-7 form (but not if you’re taking warfarin). FISH OIL: Add the amount of EPA and DHA in a product. Take at least 1,000 mg of an EPA/DHA combination daily. MULTIVITAMIN: If taking medications, take a daily serving of a product that contains no more than 100 percent of the Daily Value (% DV in Supplement Facts) of each nutrient. Otherwise, take any multivitamin of your choice. MAGNESIUM: Take 400–800 mg daily. If you get loose stools, decrease the dosage. CURCUMIN: It reduces inflammation that can damage the heart. The dosage for patented forms (e.g., BCM-95, CurcuWIN, or Meriva) range from 250–750 mg daily; for all other brands, follow label guidelines. RESVERATROL: A strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance found in red grapes and wine, it protects the heart and helps control blood sugar. Take 10–50 mg daily. ASTAXANTHIN: An antioxidant that gives salmon and other seafood their red color, it protects the heart, skin, eyes, and brain. Take 6–12 mg daily. It’s always best to take supplements with food. If you’re taking any medication, take supplements a couple of hours after the drug. The Healthy Edge

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essential to counteract such depletions, reduce some drug side effects, and improve heart health and overall wellbeing. Can supplements replace the need for drugs? Along with diet and lifestyle changes, perhaps—in some cases. “Certainly there are large numbers of the population with mild to moderate hypertension, for example, or borderline type 2 diabetes, who can certainly come off pharmaceutical drugs with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, eating a better diet, and taking targeted nutritional supplements,” Sinatra says. But, he adds, “Pharmaceutical drugs are life-saving in many situations, especially in heart failure or arrhythmias.” If you’re taking medications, Sinatra emphasizes that it’s vital to tell your doctor about your supplements. If it’s possible that you could reduce or eliminate medications, it’s a process that must always involve your doctor.

Blood Thinner Warnings Blood thinners help prevent harmful clots that can trigger a stroke or heart attack. The oldest blood thinner, warfarin (brand names are Coumadin and Jantoven) works by blocking vitamin K, which is needed to form clots and stop bleeding. Taking vitamin K supplements or eating too many vitamin K-rich foods reduces the drug’s effectiveness. In addition, warfarin should not be combined with supplements that thin blood, says Sinatra, especially nattokinase, ginkgo

The Most Studied Heart-Healthy Herb More than 750 studies and scientific articles have documented the benefits of Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) for heart health. Some highlights:

AGE slowed the accumulation of arterial plaque by 80 percent and reduced levels of existing plaque, effectively slowing down and even reversing atherosclerosis. When taken for at least 2 months, AGE reduced harmful LDL cholesterol by up to 10 percent. AGE lowered blood pressure by an average of 5.1 mm Hg in systolic pressure (the top number) and 2.5 mm Hg in diastolic pressure.

In studies that produced these types of benefits, daily doses have ranged from 1,000–2,400 mg per day. An average recommended dose for heart health is 1,200 mg daily.

biloba, garlic, ginger, and vitamin E in doses of more than 400 IU daily. On the other hand, Sinatra says that these heart-healthy supplements should not be problematic: fish oil in doses of 1,000 mg daily of an EPA/DHA combination, magnesium, a low-dose multivitamin (without vitamin K), and CoQ10. However, there have been some case reports of excessive bleeding or reduced drug effectiveness when CoQ10 was combined with warfarin, so its use with the drug should be monitored by a doctor. Anyone taking warfarin routinely requires blood tests, usually every few weeks. Newer blood thinners, such as Xarelto, Pradaxa, or Eliquis, don’t affect vitamin K so there’s no need to avoid it. But the other warfarin cautions also apply to the newer drugs.


Essential Supplements with Statins and Blood Pressure Drugs Other than St. John’s wort, licorice with blood-pressure drugs, and extendedrelease niacin with statins, supplements should not be a problem with statins and blood pressure medications, says Sinatra. Rather, it’s vital to avoid these nutrient depletions:

COQ10: Statins are known to deplete CoQ10, and the depletion contributes to side effects such as muscle weakness and pain. Taking supplemental CoQ10 can alleviate these symptoms. Drugs to lower blood pressure and blood sugar can also deplete the nutrient. CoQ10 is essential for the heart to produce energy. It reduces fatigue and risk for heart attacks and heart failure. Exposure to pollutants also depletes it, and levels naturally drop as we get older.

VITAMIN K2: Depleted by statins, vitamin K2 is essential to prevent calcium deposits from blocking arteries and to enhance calcium absorption in bones. For anyone over age 50 who is not taking warfarin, Sinatra recommends taking vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 (menaquinone-7).

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In addition to keeping your doctor apprised of your supplement regimen, it’s prudent to have your medications reviewed to make sure there are no potential interactions.

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Big on flavor and relatively low in calories, these smoothies are the perfect way to boost your wellness all year long


n the constant struggle to get more fruits and vegetables into our diets, we could all use a little help. Enter smoothies. Easy-to-make and oh-so-delicious, these clever concoctions are loaded with antioxidant-packed fruits, plus other wholesome ingredients such as yogurt, green tea, and tofu. Just give a couple of these recipes a try, and sip your way to better health.

Serves 4

1⅔ cup apple juice ⅔ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt 2½ cups fresh peaches, sliced and partially frozen ½ cup raspberries, partially frozen 2 cups ice chips Blend all ingredients in blender, and enjoy. Per serving: 100 cal; 3g prot; 1g total fat (0g sat fat); 22g carb; 5mg chol; 25mg sod; 3g fiber; 17g sugar


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Serves 4

This smoothie uses cream of coconut for rich coconut flavor. Don’t mistake it for coconut milk, which is not sweetened. ¾ cup skim milk 1 cup nonfat frozen vanilla yogurt 2 Tbs. cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez) 2 cups fresh pineapple, diced and partially frozen 1½ cups crushed ice cubes Fresh pineapple wedges for garnish Pour milk into blender. Add yogurt, cream of coconut, pineapple, and ice. Blend until ice is incorporated and very fine, about 30 seconds. Stop and stir if blender slows or stalls. Garnish each serving with pineapple wedges. Per serving: 130 cal; 4g prot; 1.5g total fat (1g sat fat); 26g carb; 5mg chol; 70mg sod; 1g fiber; 18g sugar

Serves 1

1 frozen banana ⅔ cup almond milk 1 cup ice ½ cup 2% plain Greek-style yogurt 2 Tbs. PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter with Premium Chocolate 1 tsp. vanilla extract Blend all ingredients in blender, and enjoy. Per serving: 320 cal; 20g prot; 6g total fat (1.5g sat fat); 51g carb; 5mg chol; 270mg sod; 5g fiber; 30g sugar

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Serves 4

2½ cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, diced, and partially frozen 1 Tbs. lemon juice, freshly squeezed ¾ cup apple juice 1¼ cups nonfat frozen vanilla yogurt ¼ cup sugar-free caramel syrup 1¼ cups ice chips Blend all ingredients in blender, and enjoy. Per serving: 110 cal; 3g prot; 0g total fat (0g sat fat); 26g carb; 5mg chol; 80mg sod; 2g fiber; 16g sugar

Serves 1

1 cup frozen diced mango ½ cup each shredded carrot ½ cup 2% plain Greekstyle yogurt

½ cup double-strength chai green tea (such as Yogi Tea) 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger

Blend all ingredients in blender, and enjoy. Per serving: 200 cal; 13g prot; 3g total fat (1.5g sat fat); 34g carb; 5mg chol; 85mg sod; 3g fiber; 27g sugar

Serves 1

½ banana ½ cup frozen blueberries

½ cup açai-blueberry juice ¼ cup soft silken tofu

¼ cup plain soy milk 1 tsp. lemon juice

Process all ingredients in blender until smooth. Per serving: 230 cal; 6g prot; 3.5g total fat (0g sat fat);46g carb; 0mg chol; 45mg sod; 4g fiber; 33g sugar


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Flower Essences: A Gentle Approach to Emotional Balance BY MARY ANN O’DELL, MS, RDN

FLOWER ESSENCES, or remedies, are made as an infusion of the flowering part of a plant. Unlike herbs or essential oils which contain physical components extracted form a plant, flower essences contain just that, the essence of the plant. Its closest partner in natural remedies is homeopathy, since they both contain the essence of the original plant and are both used to treat the person more so than the condition. The biggest difference is that homeopathy works more at a metabolic level, while flower essences are utilized based on emotional patterns. For this reason, homeopathy and flower essences can be combined for effectiveness. Flower essences came on the scene back in 1930 through the interest and study of British doctor and homeopath Edward Bach. He introduced 38 remedies based on flowers and shoots—each one corresponds to a personality type, innate emotional pattern, or an acquired emotional coping trait. Each remedy is designed to support mind-body health. Bach also created a 5-flower rescue blend of high-stress and traumatic situations. While studies are not prevalent, there are several clinical studies that have shown flower essences to be effective alternative approaches for anxiety, depression, and environmental stressors in adults, and for ADHD in children. Someone using flower essences may experience more confidence and better focus, creating better relationships and having more joy. While more study is needed, flower essences are very gentle and offer a safe alternative to add into a regimen for dealing with stress or other conditions. To determine the best remedy, find the ones that most closely match the imbalances you are 26

experiencing, or find a combination remedy that speaks to your experiences. Traditionally, up to seven remedies can be used at one time, although some qualified practitioners may combine as many as twelve. Flower essences are easy to use, and are safe and effective for everyone—adults, children, and even pets.


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Get Some Sleep!


REST—MOST OF US DON’T GET ENOUGH OF IT. And yet we all need it. Getting adequate sleep is important for physical and mental restoration each day, but getting a good night’s sleep is a problem for millions of Americans. According to the American Sleep Association, 50–70 million Americans suffer from sleeping disorders, making us a very tired group of people! Research shows that some of the most effective treatments for sleep-related disorders come from nature. Here are 3 natural solutions for achieving better sleep:

BEGIN IN THE GUT Since scientists have discovered the second brain—neurons in the intestinal tract that communicate like neurons in the brain— there has been increased interest in this gut-brain connection. What research has found is that the gut microbiome affects everything from skin and energy to weight, mood, and sleep. The gut microbiome produces many of the same sleep-enhancing neurotransmitters as the brain, including serotonin and GABA. Melatonin, the hormone produced in the body to help maintain sleep cycles, is also produced in the gut.

TAKE A DEEP BREATH Deep breathing before bed can help calm the body and mind. In addition to deep breathing, aromatherapy can support restful sleep. Essential oils of lavender, bergamot, and ylang-ylang help promote relaxation and calming. Place a couple of drops on your

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pillow or use a diffuser next to your bed to help create a calming, soothing environment for sleep.

ADD GENTLE SUPPORT It is well known that certain nutrients and herbs can support sleep. L-tryptophan or 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a precursor to the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin produces a sedative effect, calming the body. A deficiency of the mineral magnesium is associated with insomnia and anxiety, so maintaining magnesium status can help improve relaxation and rest. And valerian is one of the more popular herbs used for sleep. It’s mild sedative effect can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep.

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pure beauty

exotic oils

By Sherrie Strausfogel

Potent, indigenous oils are packed with nutrients that can heal and nurture your skin and hair


xotic oils from the far corners of the world are fueling the beauty oil ❋ Black Seed Oil: Made craze. They’re highly versatile—you can mix a few drops into your from the Nigella sativa regular moisturizer or hair conditioner, add them to a bath, or simply plant and revered by use them as-is. And they’re concentrated, so you need only a few drops. An added benefit to many of these beauty oils is that their ancient Egyptians, this To insure that you’re purchasing high-quality oils, Tammie Umbel, harvesting provides economic spicy oil is used both founder of Shea Terra Organics, says, “Look for oils that are unrefined opportunities for struggling communities in remote topically and interto maximize their benefits. They should have color and an herbal aroma. villages. nally. It’s packed with Expensive oils are often cut with inferior quality oils. Argan oil, for antibacterial and antifungal example, is often cut with sunflower oil. Choose oils from companies that phytochemicals, as well as buy straight from the source and can provide information about the origins and essential fatty acids that promote production of their oil.” skin healing. Massage into irritated An added benefit to many of these beauty oils is that their harvesting and processskin to soften and decrease inflaming provides economic opportunities for struggling communities in remote villages. mation. Rub a few drops into your The conservation of these valuable plants and trees also protects wildlife habitats. scalp to stimulate hair growth. Here are five exotic oils to try:

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Nourish, smooth, and soften the appearance of dry skin with Andalou Naturals Kukui Body Butter with Argan Oil.

Soften and smooth skin, hair, and cuticles, and soothe the senses with Acure Radically Rejuvenating Rose Argan Oil.

Gently clean and exfoliate skin with Nubian Heritage Honey & Black Seed Bar Soap. Black seed, wild honey, and shea butter help retain moisture while cleansing.

Get benefits both internally and topically with Heritage Store Cold-Pressed Black Seed Oil.

Calm rashes and sun damage, treat acne and scars, and prevent wrinkles with Aura Cacia Nourishing Tamanu Oil.


❋ Tamanu Oil: Truly a medicine cabinet in a bottle, this multipurpose oil is derived from the nuts of the Calophyllum inophyllum tree, which is native to Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. It’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal, and is effective for sunburns, rashes, insect bites, wounds, acne, scars, wrinkles, and dry skin. ❋ Marula seed oil: Collected from the nuts of the African marula tree, the lychee-like marula fruit produces pink oil that is rich in fatty acid and antioxidants. This oil helps repair sun-damaged and aging skin. ❋ Pomegranate seed oil: Native to the Middle East and Mediterranean, pomegranate seed oil has powerful anti-inflammatory powers. Studies suggest it may help prevent skin cancer by inhibiting enzymes that assist in cancer cell formation. ❋ Argan Oil: The argan plant is found only in a small region of Morocco. A close relative of the shea tree, argan fruit kernels produce an oil that is high in vitamin E and other antioxidants, plus hydrating fatty acids. Argan helps moisturize and nourish skin, nails, and hair.

February 2020

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clean eating

going primal for valentine’s day Use simple whole-food ingredients to prepare a low-fuss romantic meal for two


mong the many great things about the Paleo/Primal Diet is that it’s easy to use a handful of quality, whole-food ingredients to prepare a decadent, gourmet-tasting dinner with little fuss. Grains and legumes take a lot of time to cook. By cutting out these ingredients, you can really cut down on the prep time. Just think about your preferences, and decide on red meat, poultry, or seafood. Then add some tastily prepared vegetables and a yummy, easy-to-fix dessert.

Animal Protein: If you and your significant other love red meat, buy grass-fed organic steaks or lamb chops. Season them with salt, pepper, and herbs, and broil on both sides to desired doneness. If you prefer kabobs, try broiled olive-oil-and-herb-marinated steak or lamb kabobs on skewers. If poultry is more your thing, try broiled marinated chicken kabobs. Or you could do something more ambitious, such as roast an organic chicken. If you’re seafood lovers, consider making shrimp scampi or seared scallops. These tasty morsels are fun to share. Vegetables: Try making sautéed

mushrooms—a seductive choice to go with steaks. Steamed globe artichokes, dipped in liquid coconut oil and seasoned with a little salt and garlic powder, are another sensuous option. Or prepare roasted asparagus with olive oil and salt and pepper. It’s a simple-but-elegant vegetable side that serves as a nice companion to red meat, poultry, or seafood. With dishes like shrimp scampi and seared scallops, try a vegetable-based pasta—either spaghetti squash with pesto sauce, which takes more time and effort to prepare, or zucchini noodles, which can be made in a jiffy by buying Organic Veggie Spirals by the Veggie Noodle Co. Simply sauté the zucchini noodles in olive oil or The Paleo and Primal coconut oil for 3–4 minutes. eating plans both avoid Salad is another vegetablegrains and legumes, which drastically cuts based staple. Make a Greekdown prep time. style salad with lettuce, olives, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs. Or, for something special, splurge and buy a bottle of Primal Kitchen Caesar Dressing and lightly toss it with romaine lettuce leaves and vegetables of your choice. 30

February 2020

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Did You Know?

By Melissa Diane Smith

Dessert: Let’s face it: Most people are going to want something chocolate for dessert. It can be super simple—Chocolate Avocado Mousse, for example (see recipe below). If you’re not a chocolate lover and don’t have time to fuss, consider buying Hail Merry Coconut Vanilla Crème or Meyer Lemon Tarts. Made with an almond cookie crust and a virgin coconut oil-based filling, these tarts have a luscious mouth feel. Finally, if you or your significant other avoid concentrated sweeteners of any type, fruit can serve as the ultimate after-dinner treat. Serve bowls of thawed frozen cherries—they’re delicious all on their own. Or have playful, romantic fun feeding each other organic orange segments or grapes.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse Serves 2 2 medium avocados 3 Tbs. cacao powder 1 Tbs. vanilla 1–2 Tbs. honey (or coconut nectar) 1 tsp. cinnamon 2–3 Tbs. unsweetened almond milk, optional 1. Combine avocados, cacao powder, vanilla, honey (or coconut nectar), and cinnamon in food processor, and blend to desired consistency. Add unsweetened almond milk, if desired, for a fluffier mousse..


Per serving: 470 cal; 9g prot; 34g total fat (7g sat fat); 37g carb; 0mg chol; 35mg sod; 20g fiber; 11g sugar

PALEO VS. PRIMAL: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Both the Paleo Diet and the Primal Diet are based on the same principles. They start from an ancestral perspective of what our Paleolithic huntergatherer ancestors ate: animal protein, plenty of vegetables, and fruit, nuts, and seeds. Some people think there are big differences between the two diets, and particularly think that the Primal Diet is more lenient with dairy products. That’s not true. Both diets have evolved and now, for the most part, are identical. The truth is that whether you follow a Paleo or Primal Diet, pasteurized and homogenized dairy products should be avoided, but raw and fermented dairy products can be eaten (unless you’re allergic to them). People also think that the Paleo diet is opposed to saturated fats. But that’s not really true either. Both Paleo and Primal Diet advocates approve of saturated fats from “clean,” non-polluted sources. The main difference between the two diets, according to Jeremy Hendon, of Paleo Living magazine, is their origins. Loren Cordain, PhD, popularized the Paleolithic diet with his 2002 book, The Paleo Diet. Mark Sisson wrote The Primal Blueprint in 2009. And that’s basically the difference. The best advice? Follow the diet that resonates the most with you, and focus on the improved health you can achieve by complying with the principles of either one.

The Healthy Edge

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natural gourmet

easy mac-n-cheese

A quick-and-easy take on a comfort-food classic

Mac-imize Your Mac-n-Cheese Turn any bowl of mac-n-cheese into a meal with veg-friendly add-ins:


hink making mac-n-cheese from scratch is a chore? Get outside the box with this delicious recipe that comes together almost as quickly as that processed, prepackaged stuff.

Cheesy Macaroni

Serves 6

Cilantro gives this classic—and super easy-to-make dish—a Mexican flare and more complex flavor. To make this dish vegan, simply swap the cheddar for a non-dairy brand such as Daiya or Follow Your Heart. 1 3

lb. dry elbow macaroni cups shredded cheddar cheese ½ cup minced fresh cilantro ¼ cup sliced scallions Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; reserve ½ cup pasta water, and drain pasta. 2. Combine cheddar, cilantro, and scallions in large bowl. Add macaroni and pasta water, and stir until cheese melts; season with salt and pepper.

over the top for a quick and comforting dinner.

 MEATLESS SAUSAGE—slice and add after the mac-n-cheese is done cooking.

 MEATLESS MEATBALLS—serve alongside mac-n-cheese or mix together before serving.



 SOY BACON—crumble and add right before serving.

 VEGAN TUNA—add a can of Vegan Toona for a tuna meltstyle dish.

Per serving: 510 cal; 24g prot; 20g total fat (12g sat fat); 57g carb; 60mg chol; 350mg sod; 3g fiber; 3g sugars

February 2020

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our standards. Everything we sell fulfills our Hardcore Healthy Commitment. So when you shop here, you can trust that whatever you pick up is truly healthy, natural and good for you.

HARDCORE HEALTHY No junk, No joke.

Artificial sweeteners

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This inf ormation is presented as general inf ormation and is not meant to replace medical advice. B ecause persons and circumstances can vary, self treatment may not be right f or you. C onsult a q ualif ied health care practitioner f or advice pertaining to any particular person or case or bef ore beginning any new ex ercise, diet, or supplementation program. U se products only per label direction.

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