New Favorites! New Probiotics & Collagen Peptide Powder

We have two new products this month that I wanted to highlight since they’re both fantastic and a great value (and are both on sale this month).

The first are a new line of shelf stable probiotics by Nature’s Plus. They have both men’s and women’s formulas at a potency of 60 billion per capsule- the highest shelf stable potency we’ve found. They’re amazing probiotics, and they’re also a really good value- much less expensive than others we’d found previously. Also, we have them on sale for 20% off for the month of March, so it’s an even better deal!  They also have a great kid’s shelf stable probiotic that we would recommend that has a 7 billion per capsule potency- again, the highest potency we’ve seen for a kid’s shelf stable probiotic, and for a great price. We’d definitely recommend trying them!

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The next product I wanted to mention is a new Collagen Peptide Powder by Nature’s Plus. I’ve written about collagen previously (here’s the link) and how its beneficial for so many things including joints, bones, digestion, and skin. Out body’s collagen production starts to slow after age 18, and lack of collagen is easily seen in our skin as we age, but the effects are just as pronounced inside out bodies.

The trouble with collagen is that there are several different types, with different benefits for each. Most collagen supplements focus on just one type, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but just would only have that one benefit rather than the full spectrum of benefits.

The nice (and unique) thing about this new collagen peptide supplement is that it contains all the major forms of collagen, so  you’re getting all the benefits collagen has, not just one. Previously you had to take bone broth to get the full spectrum and full benefits of all the types of collagen, and while I do like bone broth, sometimes you don’t want to drink a cup of chicken or beef broth every day. This new collagen peptide powder by Nature’s Plus is especially nice since it’s completely tasteless in a glass of water. It can also be easily added to foods or smoothies. This collagen from Nature’s Plus uses collagen from the best possible sources- grass fed beef, sustainably caught fish, and cage free chicken. The collagen is also in a hydrolyzed form, which means that the particles are broken down into small “peptides” that are easy to digest and absorb, since as with all supplements, the thing that matters is what your body is actually absorbing that makes the difference.

Both the new collagen peptide powder and the new shelf stable probiotics by Nature’s Plus are on sale for 20% off, so it’s a great time to try them, and I just want to reiterate that both of these products are such a good value, even if they weren’t on sale. Be sure to check them out!

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The Many Scientifically Researched Benefits of Black Seed Oil

I wanted to write about Black Seed Oil, also known as Black Cumin Seed Oil, since it has been gaining in popularity, though it seems to have a vagueness that surrounds it as to what it actually does.

Most articles on black seed oil seem to say that it’s “cures everything”, a claim that always makes me extremely skeptical since it brings to mind the unscrupulous snake oil salesmen of the last century.

The more I looked into black seed oil, however, I found that there has been study after study done on its benefits, with great results. Research has found it to have beneficial effects on so many different aspects of health, including metabolic syndrome (a condition characterized by excess weight and high blood sugar), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, respiratory health, skin conditions, and more. It’s impressive due to the sheer volume of studies that have been done that have shown benefit for so many vastly different things.

Here’s a link to a review on Black Seed Oil studies.

This is another review on the researched benefits of black cumin seeds.

One of my favorite benefits for black seed oil is its effect on the immune system. One of black seed oil’s natural compounds is thymoquinone, a potent immune booster that strengthens and activates the immune system’s T-cells (the white blood cells that help to identify harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses). Research has shown black seed to have antibacterial and antiviral effects against a number of infectious diseases including strep and h. pylori bacteria and viruses like hepatitis and even HIV. That isn’t to say that black seed oil is necessarily a cure-all for those conditions, but that it has been found to have beneficial antibacterial and antiviral effects against those diseases.

In addition to immune boosting effects, black seed oil has further benefits to the respiratory system itself, including being extremely helpful for asthma patients. In one study, people with asthma used black seed oil daily for three months and experienced impressive benefits in respiratory functioning and a reduction in asthma symptoms.

The interesting thing about black seed oil is that it does not just seem to have immune boosting effects, but rather has shown to have an immune modulating activity- boosting the immune system when needed, but also helping to calm down the excessive immune response seen in autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. One placebo controlled study on rheumatoid arthritis found that women who took black seed twice daily for a month found a reduction in their symptoms of RA.

Black seed oil also appears to have protective effects for a number of the body’s different systems and organs, reducing destructive, toxic effects on the brain, liver, lungs cardiovascular system, and the digestive tract. This article has more in-depth information on the significant protection black seed has from toxic damage from a variety of sources (scroll down to about halfway through to read more about black seed oil’s beneficial protective effects).

Black seed oil can also have beneficial effects on eczema and psoriasis and for those conditions can be taken both internally and used topically for relief.

I feel like I’ve gone on and on already about the benefits of black seed oil, but in truth, there are so many more and I’ve only mentioned a few. Black seed oil has a long history of use for a variety of ailments. It is native to the Middle East and Africa, and has been mentioned in both the Old Testament and the Quran. The prophet Muhammad is even quoted as saying, “Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for all diseases except death.” Suffice it to say that it has a long history of impressive benefits and use- even back to the time of the Egyptians!

The black seed oil we recommend is by a company called Talya. As many of you know, we’re particular about the brands and products we carry. We chose this brand of black seed oil specifically since it has the highest amount of the beneficial active ingredients in black seed oil and is unrefined and cold pressed. Also, Talya does third party testing on each batch of black seed oil for potency and to make sure that it is free from pesticides, herbicides, as well as other chemicals and contaminants. Talya’s black seed oil meets France’s standards for “Eco Certification” and is in the process of undergoing organic certification processes by the USDA.

The recommended dosages for black seed oil is one teaspoon twice daily for preventative health or two teaspoons twice daily, up to as much as six teaspoons a day (in divided doses) for acute needs or for recovering from an illness.

Black seed oil should be taken with food to help absorption and it’s also important to shake the bottle vigorously before using it, since its beneficial compounds can separate when the bottle sits.

We will have a representative in the store on Saturday, March 9th from 10-2 to offer samples of our Talya black seed oil and to offer further information. Be sure to stop by!

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A New Fish Oil + Lutein for Kids to Protect the Eyes from Electronic Devices

We’ve written about fish oil many times before, especially on how great it is for kids.

I’ve read a few new studies lately that have made me want to highlight it again, plus we’ve just found a new fish oil for kids by Barleans that has added lutein, which is the first kid’s product I’ve ever seen combining the two nutrients.

The benefits of omega 3 fish oil for kids are many, with a whole list of researched and documented benefits including better performance at school- especially reading scores, better impulse control and behavior, and even a new study that reported that kids who took omega 3 fish oil slept better at night than those who didn’t.

In addition, supplementation of omega 3 fish oil for kids is especially important since omega 3s must be obtained either through diet or supplements since the body cannot make the nutrient itself. Many adults eat fatty fish multiple times a week, but it’s extremely rare for that to be the case with kids (and if you’re the rare person whose child is eating salmon four times a week, I definitely commend you!), so in most cases, supplementation of omega 3 fish oil is necessary.

Fish oil as a kid’s supplement is something that has been around for many years, but the fantastic addition of lutein can really make a difference in kid’s health.

Many adults take lutein to protect and preserve their vision, but new research is highlighting the importance of lutein  (a nutrient related to vitamin A) to protect children’s eyesight against strain and damage from exposure to blue light from electronic devices like phones and tablets.

Research suggests that continued exposure to blue light from electronic devices can lead to damage in the cells in the retina, damage that is most often manifests over the years as macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is something usually seen in older adults, and is the leading cause of vision loss as we age. Scientists are now speculating that the ubiquitous use of electronic devices among children (now starting at younger and younger ages) may, as time passes, cause vision problems earlier than ever seen before.

This unique new kid’s fish oil and lutein combination we’re recommending by Barleans is called Omega Pals Hooty Fruity Tangerine Fish Oil + Eye Nutrition, which is kind of a mouthful. It combines not only omega 3 fish oil with lutein, but also has added zeaxanthin and astaxanthin, two other eye nutrients that work with lutein to further protect the eyes- particularly the retina and the macula, the two parts of the eye crucial to sharp, clear vision where damage is most often seen over time.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that these kid’s fish oils by Barleans are absolutely delicious. Most parents laugh at the idea of trying to get their kids to take liquid fish oil, but Barleans has found a way to make a flavored fish oil that is not at all fishy tasting, but also one that is made in a way that keeps it from being oily- it’s more of a creamy or custardy consistency, with a nice orange flavor. I have given my daughter the kid’s liquid fish oils from Barleans since she was about two years old, and she absolutely loves the taste. I even have a picture from years ago, when she was in her highchair and had somehow gotten a hold of the Barleans liquid fish oil I had on the table (it was a lemon cream flavor that they had at the time), and she  had grabbed the bottle and was literally pouring it into her mouth since she liked the taste so much!

The nice thing is that there is no downside to supplementation with lutein and eye supplements for kids, only benefits. There is no conclusive proof that has shown that years of exposure to electronic devices, beginning in childhood, will absolutely cause eye damage and degeneration. That’s because this has never happened before. Children growing up now are the first generation to be exposed to electronic devices practically since birth. The light now coming from computers, phones, and tablets is something different than any of us grew up with.

If thirty or forty years from now all those kids who were using electronic devices so much as kids grow up to have perfect eyes, well that would be wonderful, but the possible (and exceedingly likely) alternative- an entire generation of adults who will grow up to have vision problems like macular degeneration, appearing earlier and younger than ever before, is something to be prevented if at all possible.

Macular degeneration, as many adults know, is something that cannot be treated. There is no way to reverse it, but it can be prevented or slowed by proper nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin which help to protect the eyes against damage.

This new product by Barleans containing both fish oil and eye supplements for kids is something that can make a real difference for kids, both for their health now as well as eye health long term.

Stop by the store for more information and so we can help you further!

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Barlean’s Omega Pals Hooty Fruity Tangerine Fish Oil + Eye Nutrition:

  • For children ages 1 year+

  • Made with Barlean’s ultra-purified, Fresh Catch® fish oil

  • Contains Lutemax 2020® Lutein & Zeaxanthin plus Astaxanthin to protect eyes from digital device use*

  • 500mg Omega-3 EPA & DHA per serving

  • Sweet taste and creamy texture

  • Emulsified for 3X better absorption

  • Non-GMO, gluten Free, sugar free, dairy free

  • No artificial flavors or colors

  • No fish burps!


New Delicious Elderberry Zinc Gummies for Both Kids and Adults

We have a new product for the winter “Fight Against Illness” in stock that I’ve been really impressed with- our new Zand Elderberry Zinc Gummies. Zinc is a fantastic immune booster, and has also been shown in numerous studies to help reduce the duration of colds and respiratory infections. 

The trouble with zinc is that it generally tastes terrible (sorry zinc lozenges, but you know it’s true). I don’t know what kind of witchery Zand has performed on these gummies, but they taste amazing (and they still contain a bunch of zinc).

Elderberry is a potent antiviral, and taking zinc at the very first signs of illness has been shown to help reduce the duration of colds.

These new gummies are perfect for picky kids (or adults) as an immune boosting treat. I’ve been putting a couple in my daughter’s lunch every day and she loves them (honestly, she says like they taste like candy).

Best of all, they’re on sale this month for 25% off, so be sure to give them a try!

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Acid vs. Alkaline Foods and the Benefits of an Alkaline Diet

Q: My brother has been talking a lot about how important it is to try to alkalize my body, and that a lot of health problems are caused by too much acid in the body. Is there any truth to this? What do you think?

A: Your brother is right, it is very important to have our bodies be in an alkaline state rather than an acidic one. Acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation, and weight gain are all symptoms of having an overly acidic body.

As I have said before, the human body is a miracle. Our bodies are able to repair and thrive through a seemingly endless chain of checks and balances. One way that is especially amazing is with our body’s pH. If the pH of our blood starts to become unbalanced the body will quickly make the changes necessary to get it back into balance through different buffering systems. To compensate from an overly acidic diet and stress (which also causes excess acid in the body) the body has to work harder and use alkalizing minerals like calcium, magnesium, iodine, and potassium to help bring things back into balance.

Since the body is able to maintain a balanced blood pH, even when subjected to processed, acid causing foods, one might wonder what the big deal is. The problem with constantly having the body work to bring itself from an acid state to an alkaline state is that it takes a toll on our overall health.

As microbiologist Dr Robert Young has said, “The pH level of our internal fluids affects every cell in our bodies. The entire metabolic process depends on an alkaline environment. Chronic over acidity corrodes body tissue, and if left unchecked will interrupt all cellular activities and functions, from the beating of your heart to the neutral firing of your brain. In other words, overacidity interferes with life itself.”

Too much acid forming foods in the diet contributes to digestive problems and a host of other ailments. Many people have been able to stop taking medications for acid reflux by switching to a more alkaline diet. Too much acid in the body can also impact bone health, as the body takes calcium from the bones to help counteract an overabundance of acid in our system.

Having an alkaline diet can also bring the body to a better state of overall health, since research that has found it is more difficult for harmful organisms and bacteria to flourish in a body that is in a more alkaline state.

So where does this excess acid come from? Unfortunately, the typical American diet of too many processed foods and too much animal protein is a great recipe for excess acid (also known as acidosis). Chemical sweeteners, coffee, and soda are also extremely acid forming. You may have even heard how cola can remove rust from a car- if it’s able to do that, what do you think it’s doing to your body?

Now, I’m not trying to say that to be healthy you can never have a can of pop or a cup of coffee. It’s about moderation and incorporating more alkalizing foods in our diet. Some great alkalizing foods are asparagus, cantaloupe, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes, lentils, and green leafy vegetables. The two super stars of alkalizing the body are lemons and apple cider vinegar, which seems odd because both seem like they would be acidic to the body, but in fact both are very alkalizing.

A little apple cider vinegar in the morning and before meals can go a long way to helping the body to be more alkaline, and help in reducing acid reflux and upset stomach. Not all apple cider vinegar is the same however. If you’re taking apple cider vinegar for health reasons it’s important to get an organic variety that contains natural enzymes, also known as the “mother”. I would say hands down that Bragg’s apple cider vinegar is the best on the market.

We also have pH strips available at the store, which can be used to test saliva or urine to see how acidic your body is. Alkalizing waters like Evamor and Essentia that we carry can also be very helpful to bring the body to a more alkaline state.

Acid/Alkaline balance is a fascinating subject, and it very important for maintaining overall health.

Here is a link to a fantastic pdf of acid and alkaline foods grouped by food group.

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Holiday Help: Stress, Depression, and More

We wanted to share a few articles from our website that might be helpful this month:

Help for Stress Free Holidays

This month’s focus is on having a happy, healthy, and stress-free December. The holidays are a time of togetherness and love, but it can also be a time of heightened stress, anxiety, and depression for many. There are a number of very effective natural products which can help each of us to make it through these weeks in more calm, positive state. Read more on our website.

 

Holiday Wellness Survival Guide 

The holidays are a wonderful time of joy, togetherness, and goodwill… but they can also be a time of stress, anxiety, digestive maladies, and weight gain. We put this Holiday Wellness Survival Guide together to hopefully cope with the latter so we can experience more of the former. Read more on our website.

 

Irwin’s Sunny Mood + CBD for a Better December

December can be a month of excitement and joy, but for many it can also be a time of stress, sadness, and depression, due to a combination of the holidays and the darkening days of winter where it may feel like you hardly see the sun. Irwin Naturals has a supplement called Sunny Mood, which really does help with encouraging a positive mood. We’ve written about the original formula and how well it works on our website here, but now Irwin has come out with a new formula combining the original Sunny Mood with CBD Oil- making an effective blend even better since CBD is amazing for helping with reducing anxiety and stress. We’ll have the new blend, CBD + Sunny Mood, on sale through the end of December for 25% off- I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

A New Favorite: Renew Life’s Organic Prebiotic + Probiotics

We have a new line of probiotics that I wanted to write about since I’ve been really impressed with them. It’s a new line of probiotics from Renew Life that combine well researched probiotic strains with organic prebiotics.

Prebiotics are special fibers that help good bacteria to flourish in our bodies. Prebiotics are a newer ingredient, and the idea of combining them with probiotics into a supplement seems like a really smart one to me, since you’re not just taking probiotics, you’re giving those good bacteria what they need to multiply and be sustained in your body.

I’ve been taking their Strong and Ready Organic Prebiotic + Probiotic for a little over a month now, and have been really happy with it. They’re in easy to swallow vegetarian capsules, which I love, and the strains contained in that formula have been researched to help specifically with boosting the immune system and preventing respiratory infections, which definitely sounds good to me!  They’re also gluten, dairy, and soy free, which I appreciate.

They also have several different formulas with targeted probiotics for a variety of issues like constipation or diarrhea or even for women’s health that contain cranberry for preventing UTIs as well as unique strains that help with vaginal health.

The nice thing about these blends are that they address specific conditions, while still having the basic strains needed for everyday health. I feel like this is especially noteworthy, since we have several probiotics at the store that we would especially recommend for specific, acute issues, but they are just kind of focused on those problems, and wouldn’t fill the role of your “every day probiotic” for general digestive and immune health.

Another thing about these prebiotic + probiotic blends is that they contain documented types and amounts of prebiotics (the substances that help to feed and support the body’s own good bacteria) that have been shown in scientific research to make a true difference. In speaking to an educator at Renew Life about these new products, he had a quote I wanted to share since I really liked it. He said a lot of probiotics (and I would say many supplements in general), “Shout on the front, whisper on the back”, meaning that prebiotics have become a buzzword of sorts, and that many products have advertising “shouting” something on the front of the label, but then will have just a whisper (or a tiny, negligible amount) of actual beneficial ingredients on the back of the label where it lists the nutrition facts. That’s what we’re about at Pass Health Foods- finding and offering supplements that make a real difference, that are scientifically documented as being effective, beyond whatever the advertising says.

Since we’re featuring them this month, we’ll be having all the new organic probiotic + probiotics from Renew Life on sale for 25% off from now through the end of December. Additionally, we have a good supply of $3 off coupons for them, so with the sale plus the coupon it works out to a really good deal!  If you’re looking to change up your probiotic, or you don’t take one on a regular basis, this is a great one to try.

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Are Supplements Still Beneficial?

I wanted to address this since I’ve been seeing headlines pop up again and again this past week in my newsfeeds. Headlines like,” Vitamin D And Fish Oil Supplements Mostly Disappoint In Long-Awaited Research Results” or “New study: Fish oil and vitamin D pills no guard against cancer or serious heart trouble”.

It drives me nuts when things like this happen, because the majority of people will read headlines like this, without reading the articles, and conclude that vitamins are worthless. It’s upsetting because these articles are very much click bait. If you actually read the articles, the very same article that says how fish oil and vitamin D does nothing reports, “African-Americans in the study experienced a 77 percent lower risk of heart attack compared with taking a placebo” and for all people found a 25 percent risk reduction for heart attack for all people.

Additionally, Fish Oil and Vitamin D have been the subject of countless studies with a whole assortment of different benefits, from reduced risk of cold and flu with vitamin D and tons of benefits for bone health; whereas omega 3 fish oil has been shown again and again to be beneficial for so many things from brain function to inflammation and joint health to lowering cholesterol, and much, much more. Plus, while fish oil has tons of benefits, cancer prevention is not one that I’ve ever heard of as a reason why to take omega 3 fish oil…

It’s sad in a way, that some people are so excited to find a negative study on vitamins and supplements when there are literally thousands showing positive benefits for all kinds of issues. So our advice is to not throw out the baby with the bathwater, and to read articles like these critically, since that is one of the things with science, that there can be a study with one result and then another with an opposite result, which is often due to dosages or the specific people involved in the actual studies.

It’s important to be your own advocate, and do your own health research, reading articles with a critical eye. Don’t let one article or one study color your views on the many, many documented benefits of vitamins and supplements.

CBD Spotlight

This November we are having a sale on our CBD oils, which I really wanted to highlight since as a rule, our CBD rarely goes on sale. This is because generally, our CBD vendors do not run sales, so since this was a special thing this month, I wanted to make an extra note of it.

CBD oil is absolutely fantastic for a number of different issues, though it is most commonly used for pain and anxiety.

Our CBD from Green Gorilla, Barleans, and CBD blends from Irwin Naturals are all on sale for 20% off this month.

We’ve written about CBD several times now in our newsletters, so I thought I’d post a few links below to past articles:

What is CBD

 

The Many Benefits of Hemp Derived CBD Oil

Why Certified Organic CBD is So Important

Theanine and CBD Oil for Anxiety

 

We also have a new line of CBD products in the store this month by Irwin Naturals. I’m especially fond of these new products since they’ve added CBD to supplements we’ve already tried and recommend, in particular their Power to Sleep and Stress Defy

Both of these are powerful, effective herbal formulas on their own that we use and recommend at the store; adding CBD to these blends just increases their amazingness, so if you’re looking for a supplement for either sleep or stress, I couldn’t recommend these two any higher  Also, like the rest of our CBD oil listed above, these new formulas will also be on sale for 20% off for the month of November.

 

Finally, I wanted to mention that we will have a representative in the store on Saturday, November 3rd from 10-1 to offer free sampling of our USDA certified organic CBD oil from Green Gorilla. If you’ve been on the fence about CBD, I would very much recommend that you stop by that day to see what  all the talk is about!

 

Natural Pet Care

Natural products can work extremely well for helping pets with a variety of ailments, and can actually be significantly less expensive than getting a prescription through a Vet’s office for your pet. As for pet’s human counterparts, we are not at all against doctors and conventional medicine, though if you can do something naturally, that’s always a good place to start.

We don’t have a huge variety of pet supplements at the store, but what we do have, we really stand behind as quality, effective pet supplements (and with everything, if you’re looking for something specific that we don’t have, let us know and we’ll do our best to see if we can order it).

Two supplements I wanted to mention that we really feel are the “best of the best” when it comes to pet supplements is our Green Gorilla Organic CBD for Pets and our Pharm Aloe Crumbles.

As dogs and cats get older, they deal with the very same issues people do- joint pain and inflammation being one of the most common. CBD has become very well known for humans for its benefits for natural pain relief, but those benefits extend to pets as well, in fact, CBD oil for pets has been a miracle for some people in treating their dogs not just for pain, but also anxiety and nervous behavior, and even in treating tremors in aging animals- all of this without causing sleepiness or impairment of any kind.

Dogs are “wired” very similarly to humans when it comes to pain and anxiety and research has shown similar benefits for humans and canines when it comes to CBD. We have both liquid CBD (available in two concentrations) for pets that can be squirted directly in the mouth, rubbed on the gums, or added to foods. We also have new CBD infused dog treats that have drawn some great responses.

 

In addition to CBD, we have another really amazing product for pets that I wanted to highlight- K9 Crumbles by Pharm Aloe (which are not just for dogs- cats and other small animals can benefit from them too). They are little crumbles that are easily added to food containing a mix of aloe, yucca, and alfalfa.

They work in a variety of ways to help pets, helping them to have a nicer coat (people have reported huge benefits especially to animals who have had skin problems or are experiencing dull or patchy fur), as well as helping digestion and appetite. One of the main reasons people use them is to reduce animal gas as well as fecal odor. In one study, the component yucca in the Pharm Aloe Crumbles reduced fecal odor by 49% in cats and 56% in dogs, so using these crumbles can really help with a stinky dog or cat.

We have a limited supply of free samples of the Pharm Aloe Crumbles available at the store, which contain enough for several uses to make sure pets like them. Feel free to stop in to get a sample pack to see if the crumbles are something your pet would like. The benefits can really be astounding.