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.


Collagen for Bone Health and Increased Bone Flexibility

Collagen supplements are something that have been around for a long time. They’re well known supplements that have many great uses with benefits for skin, joints, digestive health, and even bone health (which I will write about more in depth in this article).

Collagen supplements are available in many forms including powders, chews, pills, and even in its natural form as bone broth- here’s an article from our website on bone broth and its benefits:

Bone Broth is Amazing for Joints, Digestive Issues, and More

Other than bone broth and bone broth concentrates and powders, the reason why collagen supplements are generally taken in powders or chews is that you need to take a fair amount of it to make a real difference, and if taken as a pill or softgel, generally you would need to take a good handful to  get the recommended amount (which is doable, but sometimes powders can be easier).

We recommend bone broth especially when it comes to wanting to take a collagen supplement. There are two mail types of collagen (more on that below) and with supplements they will usually focus on one or the other. Both types have different benefits though most everyone would benefit from both, which is why bone broth is nice, since it contains a more complete collagen profile. We in particular recommend Jarrow’s Bone Broth Powder. It makes a delicious broth which can be very warming and comforting on a cold day (it’s available in both beef or chicken).

Another collagen powder supplement that we recommend is by NeoCell. It is a hydrolyzed collagen, which means the collagen has been broken up into smaller particles so it is easier for the body to absorb. The reason we most like NeoCell powders is that they are odorless and tasteless, so it can easily be added to foods or drinks without issue.

Collagen for Bone Health

Collagen is absolutely crucial for bone health. While our bones are made up of calcium crystals, they are held together in a bone collagen matrix. Collagen helps to make up our actual bone structure, and gives our bones flexibility and durability. When one thinks of “brittle bones” lack of collagen is a major factor contributing to that. Collagen helps to make the bones more stable and elastic.

Interestingly, in addition to helping with joint flexibility (which is part of the way our bodies avoid fractures) type 1 collagen can actually help to stimulate osteoblast formation, cells that help to regulate passage of calcium into the bones. Type 1 collagen can also help to reduce the formation of cells that break down the bone matrix.

Type 1 collagen is found in both skin and bones. While we can’t see our bones without a bone scan, we can see our skin. It’s easy to see the effects of collagen loss in our skin- as we age our skin becomes thinner with reduced elasticity and even becomes more fragile. Those can be outward signs of collagen loss, which affects our bones in similar ways that we cannot see, with our bones becoming more brittle and less flexible.

There are different types of collagen (there are more than two types, though I am only focusing on the first two since they have the most benefit). Type 1 collagen is the kind most found in skin, tendons, and bones; while type 2 collagen is more present in bone cartilage and being beneficial to digestive health. Bone broth contains both kinds, being  a whole food product, and we like going that route since the two types of collagen have different but wonderful benefits). We have a great bone broth powder concentrate by Jarrow available at the store, which is much more economical than buying liquid bone broth. We also have supplements of powders or chews which focus more on specific types of collagen with more specific benefits. Stop by the store so we can help you find the collagen products which are best for your specific needs.

Preventative Immune Health for Kids and Adults

Now is the time for preventative immune health for both kids and adults, particularly since it’s been such a warm fall, transitioning to cooler, damp weather can sometimes be a shock to the system- not to say that cold weather causes illness, but being indoors more frequently with other people’s germs makes falling prey to illness more likely. Also, interestingly, some viruses like rhinovirus (the cause of the common cold) replicates better at cooler temperatures, and the flu virus is thought to survive better in cool, dry temperatures.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m going to post some links to previous articles about a variety of immune boosters which can help both prevent and reduce the duration of illness.

Our Favorite Immune Boosting Supplements

This article really runs down the full list of immune supplements and how they work.

Zinc Lozenges: Clinically Proven to Boost the Immune System

A Natural, Herbal Version of Tamiflu for Flu Recovery

Experts are already forecasting a bad flu season for this year (I can’t imagine how they know that, but I’m inclined to believe it). If there’s one thing that is best against the flu virus (and that’s backed up by research), it’s elderberry.

Vitamin D, How Much to Take?

Ester C, a Better Form of Vitamin C for Boosting Immune Function

Keeping Kids Healthy This Winter

We also have a new kid’s probiotic that I wanted to mention, a chewable kids probiotic from Renew Life called Ear, Nose, and Throat. It contains a combination of probiotics that have been specifically chosen for their researched benefits for the entire respiratory system (literally the ears, nose, and throat, like the name), one of the probiotics it contains has even been positively researched for its benefit in helping to prevent strep throat and other bacterial infections.

One study published on PubMed found that kids with recurrent strep throat who took this specific probiotic strain and had an 80% reduction in streptococcal infections when compared with the control group. I do feel like certain kids are more prone to strep throat for whatever reason, so while this probiotic would be great for all kids during cold and flu season, I would definitely recommend it for those kids who have had recurrent strep throat.

Eating fish may not be the best way to get your Omega 3s

Omega 3s are absolutely crucial for our health; they’re called essential fatty acids because they must be obtained through either our diet or supplements and cannot be manufactured in the body. Omega 3 fish oil is beneficial to cardiovascular health, brain function, and joint health. Omega 3s can help to lower cholesterol, boost mood, and reduce inflammation in the body, and have been the subject of countless positive research studies for a long list of ailments over the years.

In the past, if a person ate fish a couple times a week, they would usually think that their omega 3 needs would be covered, though new research is finding that eating fish might not be equal to fish oil supplements.

Unfortunately, most of the fish available to us in the United States are farmed fish, which aren’t as high in omega 3 fatty acids. Additionally, popular fish like tilapia are more concentrated in omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3s. The American diet is very high in omega 6 fatty acids from vegetable oils and other sources, and low in omega 3s. Another popular fish, cod, stores very little omega 3 fatty acids in its flesh, and is often cooked in omega 6 oils.

Another concern, other than the lower omega 3 content of many fish, is the unfortunate impurity of our ocean waters. Many fish are now found with very high levels of mercury, including tuna, swordfish, orange roughy, king mackerel, tilefish, and more. Pregnant women are advised to avoid these fish, but in truth, no amount of mercury or other ocean contaminants are good for us.

In contrast, quality fish oil supplements (not all brands, so be sure to check) are tested to be free of mercury, lead, and other toxic metals. Additionally, omega 3 supplements will list exactly how much EPA and DHA (the beneficial parts of the omega 3 oils) that they contain.

95% of the American population does not consume enough EPA and DHA to benefit heart health, and since the potency of fish oil supplements can vary widely, it’s important to choose a product that is specifically made to have a high potency of EPA and DHA per pill, so you get the best benefit from your fish oil supplements.

A fantastic, high quality fish oil supplement that we recommend is Carlson’s Elite Omega. Carlson is a family owned Illinois company that specializes in wild caught, sustainably sourced fish oils from Norway. Their Elite Omegas have an amazing 1,600mg of omega 3s per serving, and also contain a bit of lemon oil inside their softgels, which can take care of any of the fishiness some people may experience from fish oil supplements.

Our Carlson Elite Omega Fish Oil Supplements will be on sale for 20% off for the month of October, so it’s a great time to give them a try!

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