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Herbsea Nutra
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Herbsea™ Nutra specializes in developing and producing unique health and beauty products for those who live a life of exceptional excellence
Herbsea™ Nutra specializes in developing and producing unique health and beauty products for those who live a life of exceptional excellence

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How to Restore your Qi

You may be hearing more about “Qi” lately; it’s also been spelled “Chi.” It is your life force, your vital energy. It is not only physical, qi is present in your feelings, in your dreams at night, and emanates within you.

Qi is a guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has seen a resurgence, and is beginning to be embraced by Western physicians. Some studies have correlated more prevalence of QDS with age, especially in women. Also, previous studies have shown a close relationship between QDS and age-related chronic disease and conditions, such as hypertension, coronary heart diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cognitive issues.

Currently, more physicians and healthcare researchers are looking at the prevalence of Qi Deficiency Syndrome (QDS) in society, and as a condition separate and unrelated solely to aging.

In one study, participants were identified as having QDS if they manifested at least three of the five following signs and symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath or no desire to talk, spontaneous sweating, swollen tongue with teeth marks on side, and deficient and weak pulse (weak, soft, slippery).

This cross-sectional study was conducted in four hospitals in China, and data from 1220 participants were included. The participants, who spanned a wide range of ages, between 20 and 79, completed questionnaires that recorded prevalence of QDS and severity or frequency of relevant symptoms.
The researchers found that the prevalence, symptom severity and frequency scores of QDS showed a rising trend when physical condition worsened, as opposed to increase in age. Health status, fatigue, shortness of breath, spontaneous sweating, and deficient and weak pulse, rather than increasing age were contributing factors to this syndrome. Distribution of QDS in certain health and age stages showed remarkable irregularities.

In conclusion, the researchers say that “Qi deficiency may be a contributing factor for sub-health (sub-optimal health) and chronic diseases rather than aging. It may play a crucial role in chronic disease pathogenesis of young and middle-aged people, and in sub-health pathogenesis of older adults. Recognition of the warning signs and symptoms of QDS may lead to early intervention and prevention of sub-health, and chronic diseases.”

At Herbsea, this study underscores what we believe – that you can change your status right now, and illness doesn’t have to happen to you. Here are some dietary guidelines to follow that can help restore your Qi – and you can enjoy all aspects of superior well-being.

• Fruits, vegetables for antioxidants; try not to overcook, as this will deplete them.
• Adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, astragalus, ashwagandha
• Good fats that come from sources such as avocado, coconut oil, salmon, tuna, and chia and flax seeds
• Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir
• Sea plants, such as mozuka and wakame. We realize this isn’t so palatable, so we have created Fucosea, which combines numerous healthy race minerals, good fats, fiber and antioxidants to help balance your Qi.

Zhang, et al. “Symptom characteristics and prevalence of qi deficiency syndrome in people of varied health status and ages: A multicenter cross-sectional study” Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences 2015 Jul 2(3): 173-182
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How to Avoid Prediabetes
If you are diagnosed with diabetes type II, it may not be a surprise because there are symptoms associated with this condition that you can feel, namely increased thirst and increased urination. You may also likely be overweight or have trouble losing weight, especially around the middle.

However, diabetes type II is always preceded by a condition called pre-diabetes, of which you rarely if ever feel any symptoms. What characterizes this condition is higher-than-normal blood sugar level, especially fasting blood sugar level (in the morning with nothing eaten or drunk for six to eight hours), determined by a blood test. This number, however, is not high enough to be classified as diabetes type II, hence, “pre-“diabetes: pre-diabetes is blood sugar between 100 and 125. Approximately 86 million Americans 20 and older are pre-diabetic.

This is also the time you can take control of your health and well-being by making some changes that will lower this number and stave off potential of developing diabetes type II. If you let this go, it can lead to further complications in the years ahead such as issues with circulation and the heart, vision problems (diabetic retinopathy) and kidney issues.

In pre-diabetes, your body is starting to lose its ability to manufacture enough insulin (a hormone that helps manage blood sugar) after eating, and/or your body may lose its ability to respond to released insulin as it should.

One of the most widespread hurdles many of us have to preventing prediabetes or reversing it is emotional eating, and this is characterized by turning to junk or “comfort” foods when we are stressed out.

Nutritionist and diabetes expert Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, offers tips to help you stop emotional eating. "Plenty of people who try to adopt healthier eating habits often find themselves waylaid by emotional eating," says Weisenberger, who partnered with the American Diabetes Association to write Prediabetes: A Complete Guide: Your Lifestyle Reset to Stop Prediabetes and Other Chronic Illnesses (American Diabetes Association, May 2018, ISBN: 978-1-580-40674-1, $16.95). "Digging into a carton of ice cream or bag of chips when you're feeling down can quickly derail your health goals."

Keep a log. Record your food intake for two weeks (write or snap a photo with you smartphone). Track what you're eating along with your mood. This process may help you find choice points in which you can learn to change your thinking and behavior and teach you to identify your breaking points before you break.


Imagine handling emotional situations. Notice and label your emotions; when you are feeling anything negative, take a moment to identify it. Instead of reaching for that bad food, think about using that energy to do something productive, like washing the car or organizing your closet.

Practice non-food coping skills. Regularly soothe yourself without calories, Weisberger advises. “Every day, take time for soothing enjoyment, so when the time comes, you have an arsenal of coping strategies at the ready. Some ideas include taking deep-breathing breaks, using adult coloring books, writing in a journal, listening to soothing or uplifting music, chatting with a friend, buying yourself flowers, or soaking in a hot tub.”

Build in food treats. Whatever comfort food you reach for in times of stress probably has some special meaning to you. Whatever it is, be sure to have some now and then. Not as a reward, but simply because you like the way it tastes. Practice enjoying this favorite food in a reasonable amount, perhaps as part of a balanced meal. Simply removing a food's taboo label can be helpful. In this way, you are learning that it's okay to treat yourself and removing the notion of treats as cheats. We all deserve treats, but cheat days are the wrong mindset.

Create a personal wellness vision and review it often. A personal wellness vision is a concrete and motivating picture of you being and feeling healthy, living a healthful life. Imagine yourself at your ideal level of well-being. Review it often because it is easy to forget what really matters when you're under stress or upset.

At Herbsea, we also recommend that you work with your healthcare provider. If you are young, you should still get an annual health exam and know where your numbers are trending – weight, pulse rate, cholesterol profile, blood sugar and blood pressure. Take it easy if you’re under a lot of stress, and take your daily dietary fortification, such as Fucosea. You’ll feel great and love your life!

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New Study Shows Fasting can Regenerate Stem Cells

Aging causes the decline in many systemic functions, including normal regeneration of intestinal stem cells – these produce new intestinal cells. The reduction in regeneration rate often leads to longer periods of recovery from gastrointestinal infections or other intestinal conditions.



According to a new study, this age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast. MIT researchers found that in both aged and young mice, fasting dramatically improved their stem cells' ability to regenerate.

In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, which stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. The researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from GI infections or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, according to the scientists.

"Fasting has many effects in the intestine, which include boosting regeneration as well as potential uses in any type of ailment that impinges on the intestine, such as infections or cancers," said study senior author Omer Yilmaz. "Understanding how fasting improves overall health, including the role of adult stem cells in intestinal regeneration, in repair, and in aging, is a fundamental interest of my laboratory."

Study senior author David Sabatini, commented, "This study provided evidence that fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat. Interestingly, switching these cells to fatty acid oxidation enhanced their function significantly.”

Intestinal stem cells are responsible for maintaining the lining of the intestine, which typically renews itself every five days. When an injury or infection occurs, stem cells are key to repairing any damage. As people age, the regenerative abilities of these intestinal stem cells decline, so it takes longer for the intestine to recover.

"Intestinal stem cells are the workhorses of the intestine that give rise to more stem cells and to all of the various differentiated cell types of the intestine,” Yilmaz explained. “Notably, during aging, intestinal stem function declines, which impairs the ability of the intestine to repair itself after damage," Yilmaz says. "In this line of investigation, we focused on understanding how a 24-hour fast enhances the function of young and old intestinal stem cells."

After mice fasted for 24 hours, the researchers removed intestinal stem cells and grew them in a culture dish, allowing them to determine whether the cells can give rise to "mini-intestines" known as organoids. The researchers found that stem cells from the fasting mice doubled their regenerative capacity.

Further studies, including sequencing the messenger RNA of stem cells from the mice that fasted, revealed that fasting induces cells to switch from their usual metabolism, which burns carbohydrates such as sugars, to metabolizing fatty acids. This switch occurs through the activation of transcription factors called PPARs, which turn on many genes that are involved in metabolizing fatty acids.
The researchers found that if they turned off this pathway, fasting could no longer boost regeneration. They now plan to study how this metabolic switch provokes stem cells to enhance their regenerative abilities.

Reference:
1. Mihaylova, M. et al. “Fasting Activates Fatty Acid Oxidation to Enhance Intestinal Stem Cell Function during Homeostasis and Aging.” Cell Stem Cell, 2018; 22 (5): 769 DOI:
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How to Restore your Qi

You may be hearing more about “Qi” lately; it’s also been spelled “Chi.” It is your life force, your vital energy. It is not only physical, qi is present in your feelings, in your dreams at night, and emanates within you.

Qi is a guiding principle in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has seen a resurgence, and is beginning to be embraced by Western physicians. Some studies have correlated more prevalence of QDS with age, especially in women. Also, previous studies have shown a close relationship between QDS and age-related chronic disease and conditions, such as hypertension, coronary heart diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cognitive issues.

Currently, more physicians and healthcare researchers are looking at the prevalence of Qi Deficiency Syndrome (QDS) in society, and as a condition separate and unrelated solely to aging.

In one study, participants were identified as having QDS if they manifested at least three of the five following signs and symptoms: fatigue, shortness of breath or no desire to talk, spontaneous sweating, swollen tongue with teeth marks on side, and deficient and weak pulse (weak, soft, slippery).

This cross-sectional study was conducted in four hospitals in China, and data from 1220 participants were included. The participants, who spanned a wide range of ages, between 20 and 79, completed questionnaires that recorded prevalence of QDS and severity or frequency of relevant symptoms.
The researchers found that the prevalence, symptom severity and frequency scores of QDS showed a rising trend when physical condition worsened, as opposed to increase in age. Health status, fatigue, shortness of breath, spontaneous sweating, and deficient and weak pulse, rather than increasing age were contributing factors to this syndrome. Distribution of QDS in certain health and age stages showed remarkable irregularities.

In conclusion, the researchers say that “Qi deficiency may be a contributing factor for sub-health (sub-optimal health) and chronic diseases rather than aging. It may play a crucial role in chronic disease pathogenesis of young and middle-aged people, and in sub-health pathogenesis of older adults. Recognition of the warning signs and symptoms of QDS may lead to early intervention and prevention of sub-health, and chronic diseases.”

At Herbsea, this study underscores what we believe – that you can change your status right now, and illness doesn’t have to happen to you. Here are some dietary guidelines to follow that can help restore your Qi – and you can enjoy all aspects of superior well-being.

• Fruits, vegetables for antioxidants; try not to overcook, as this will deplete them.
• Adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng, astragalus, ashwagandha
• Good fats that come from sources such as avocado, coconut oil, salmon, tuna, and chia and flax seeds
• Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir
• Sea plants, such as mozuka and wakame. We realize this isn’t so palatable, so we have created Fucosea, which combines numerous healthy race minerals, good fats, fiber and antioxidants to help balance your Qi.

Zhang, et al. “Symptom characteristics and prevalence of qi deficiency syndrome in people of varied health status and ages: A multicenter cross-sectional study” Journal of Traditional Chinese Medical Sciences 2015 Jul 2(3): 173-182
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Euromonitor Identifies 10 New Consumer Trends

As formulators of natural health products, you always have a target audience in mind, providing solutions for when they need help.

There have been fast forces at work that have dramatically changed consumers’ behavior and lifestyles. Global market research specialist Euromonitor International has identified 10 new consumer groups in their new report, “Top 01 Global Consumer Trends for 2018” by Alison Angus. We summarize the most pertinent for our industry here.

Clean Lifers: These individuals highly value minimalistic lifestyles, moderation and integrity. They tend to be educated 20- to 29-year-olds. They are skeptical and less tolerant, having strong beliefs and ideals. Family and home are very important to this group.

The Borrowers: These are the ultimate share-economy consumers (Lyft/Uber, Airbnb, etc.) because they value access over the burden of ownership and possession. They reject material goods in favor of experiences and a freer lifestyle. These consumers want affordability, sustainability and convenience.

Call-Out Culture: These are the folks who feel the need to be heard and are “hashtag activists.” They like to use petition platforms such as change.org. In its report, Euromonitor cited a 2017 Sprout Social survey noting that 46% of US consumers posted online an opinion about a brand. When seeing a complaint on social media, 65% of consumers said they would research the brand before purchasing, 32% would like or share the message, adding reinforcement and 50% would boycott a poor brand response.

It’s in the DNA—I’m So Special: Curiosity about one’s genetic makeup and hence, individuality is spiking with such testing companies as 23andme, and Ancestry DNA that map genetic codes. Further, according to Euromonitor’s report, “A new wave of companies aims to provide I’m So Special consumers with genetic findings related to their general health, fitness and nutrition. The likes of FitnessGenes, DNAFit, Orig3n and Nutrigenomix identify genes that affect muscle mass, endurance, fat burning ability and metabolism. They can tell how well consumers tolerate caffeine, and whether they are likely to be lactose-intolerant or deficient in certain types of vitamins. Some offer personalised training and nutrition plans based on their findings. Others combine genetic testing with other methods to give a better overall picture of health.”

Sleuthy Shoppers: Consumers from Generation X to Generation Z are mistrustful, and are thus investigative; they are skeptical of mass-produced products, so will research as much as they can, including the full production process from materials and ingredient sourcing to distribution to retailers or online. According to the report, “The best way to build trust is to be vulnerable and truly showcase the history of the product and the experiences of the people who made it.”
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New Study Shows Fasting can Regenerate Stem Cells

Aging causes the decline in many systemic functions, including normal regeneration of intestinal stem cells – these produce new intestinal cells. The reduction in regeneration rate often leads to longer periods of recovery from gastrointestinal infections or other intestinal conditions.



According to a new study, this age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast. MIT researchers found that in both aged and young mice, fasting dramatically improved their stem cells' ability to regenerate.

In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, which stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. The researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from GI infections or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, according to the scientists.

"Fasting has many effects in the intestine, which include boosting regeneration as well as potential uses in any type of ailment that impinges on the intestine, such as infections or cancers," said study senior author Omer Yilmaz. "Understanding how fasting improves overall health, including the role of adult stem cells in intestinal regeneration, in repair, and in aging, is a fundamental interest of my laboratory."

Study senior author David Sabatini, commented, "This study provided evidence that fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat. Interestingly, switching these cells to fatty acid oxidation enhanced their function significantly.”

Intestinal stem cells are responsible for maintaining the lining of the intestine, which typically renews itself every five days. When an injury or infection occurs, stem cells are key to repairing any damage. As people age, the regenerative abilities of these intestinal stem cells decline, so it takes longer for the intestine to recover.

"Intestinal stem cells are the workhorses of the intestine that give rise to more stem cells and to all of the various differentiated cell types of the intestine,” Yilmaz explained. “Notably, during aging, intestinal stem function declines, which impairs the ability of the intestine to repair itself after damage," Yilmaz says. "In this line of investigation, we focused on understanding how a 24-hour fast enhances the function of young and old intestinal stem cells."

After mice fasted for 24 hours, the researchers removed intestinal stem cells and grew them in a culture dish, allowing them to determine whether the cells can give rise to "mini-intestines" known as organoids. The researchers found that stem cells from the fasting mice doubled their regenerative capacity.

Further studies, including sequencing the messenger RNA of stem cells from the mice that fasted, revealed that fasting induces cells to switch from their usual metabolism, which burns carbohydrates such as sugars, to metabolizing fatty acids. This switch occurs through the activation of transcription factors called PPARs, which turn on many genes that are involved in metabolizing fatty acids.
The researchers found that if they turned off this pathway, fasting could no longer boost regeneration. They now plan to study how this metabolic switch provokes stem cells to enhance their regenerative abilities.

Reference:
1. Mihaylova, M. et al. “Fasting Activates Fatty Acid Oxidation to Enhance Intestinal Stem Cell Function during Homeostasis and Aging.” Cell Stem Cell, 2018; 22 (5): 769 DOI:

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Euromonitor Identifies 10 New Consumer Trends

As formulators of natural health products, you always have a target audience in mind, providing solutions for when they need help.

There have been fast forces at work that have dramatically changed consumers’ behavior and lifestyles. Global market research specialist Euromonitor International has identified 10 new consumer groups in their new report, “Top 01 Global Consumer Trends for 2018” by Alison Angus. We summarize the most pertinent for our industry here.

Clean Lifers: These individuals highly value minimalistic lifestyles, moderation and integrity. They tend to be educated 20- to 29-year-olds. They are skeptical and less tolerant, having strong beliefs and ideals. Family and home are very important to this group.

The Borrowers: These are the ultimate share-economy consumers (Lyft/Uber, Airbnb, etc.) because they value access over the burden of ownership and possession. They reject material goods in favor of experiences and a freer lifestyle. These consumers want affordability, sustainability and convenience.

Call-Out Culture: These are the folks who feel the need to be heard and are “hashtag activists.” They like to use petition platforms such as change.org. In its report, Euromonitor cited a 2017 Sprout Social survey noting that 46% of US consumers posted online an opinion about a brand. When seeing a complaint on social media, 65% of consumers said they would research the brand before purchasing, 32% would like or share the message, adding reinforcement and 50% would boycott a poor brand response.

It’s in the DNA—I’m So Special: Curiosity about one’s genetic makeup and hence, individuality is spiking with such testing companies as 23andme, and Ancestry DNA that map genetic codes. Further, according to Euromonitor’s report, “A new wave of companies aims to provide I’m So Special consumers with genetic findings related to their general health, fitness and nutrition. The likes of FitnessGenes, DNAFit, Orig3n and Nutrigenomix identify genes that affect muscle mass, endurance, fat burning ability and metabolism. They can tell how well consumers tolerate caffeine, and whether they are likely to be lactose-intolerant or deficient in certain types of vitamins. Some offer personalised training and nutrition plans based on their findings. Others combine genetic testing with other methods to give a better overall picture of health.”

Sleuthy Shoppers: Consumers from Generation X to Generation Z are mistrustful, and are thus investigative; they are skeptical of mass-produced products, so will research as much as they can, including the full production process from materials and ingredient sourcing to distribution to retailers or online. According to the report, “The best way to build trust is to be vulnerable and truly showcase the history of the product and the experiences of the people who made it.”

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May is National Healthy Vision Month

Of all our five senses, vision has the most impact. We tend to take seeing for granted, until objects become blurry either near or far, or we feel like there’s a layer of grit between our eyes and eyelids (dry eye). Anything that disrupts vision can be fearsome at worst, or annoying at best.

May is Healthy Vision Month and the National Eye Institute encourages everyone to get their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist, especially those who never had one before. It’s more than just reading the eye chart, though.

You may not know if your eyes are healthy, so visiting an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. Your ophthalmologist will closely inspect each eye to discern any signs of common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Annual comprehensive dilated eye exams are generally recommended starting at age 60. It’s also especially important for people with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated exam at least once a year because of their high risk of developing an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy.

Ophthalmologists look for age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. These are typically issues that develop beginning in mid-life but can happen earlier. Key tests in a comprehensive eye exam include tonometry (a test for glaucoma), visual field test, which measures your peripheral (side) vision, and a visual acuity test (the eye chart).

Experts at the NEI explain that dilation “is an important part of a comprehensive eye exam because it enables your eye care professional to view the inside of the eye. Drops placed in each eye widen the pupil, which is the opening in the center of the iris (the colored part of the eye). Dilating the pupil allows more light to enter the eye the same way opening a door allows light into a dark room. Once dilated, each eye is examined using a special magnifying lens that provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve.”

You may not (thankfully) exhibit any signs of impending eye diseases, but your vision may lose strength or clarity, meaning you can develop farsightedness (hyperopia, you can’t see closely), nearsightedness (myopia, you can’t see far), and astigmatism (blurred vision), all of which may require prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Newer on the eye-health horizon is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, neck/should pain and eye strain. These symptoms tend to go away once the flat-screen viewing ceases. Today’s children are at risk of developing these symptoms early, so make sure break time (maybe going outside to play) occurs every day.

Also, wear protective eyewear – this includes wearing sunglasses even on cloudy days (as sunrays do filter through). As discussed in a previous blog, ensure you give your eyes (and mind) a break from all the flat-screen viewing (read a book, magazine or newspaper).

You can eat – and supplement – to support your vision and healthy eye structure. Omega-3 EFAs (DHA and EPA) have been touted in numerous studies to preserve vision health and protect eye structure. The market now offers you both fish/marine-source EPA and plant-based.

Carotenoids (antioxidant pigments found in fruits and vegetables) are also key for eye health nutrition – among them are beta-carotene and astaxanthin.

Our Fucosea is a potent supplement with wide-ranging nutrients all naturally sourced, including eye-friendly antioxidants. Follow our tips and try Fucosea and “see” how great you feel!
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Post has attachment
May is National Healthy Vision Month

Of all our five senses, vision has the most impact. We tend to take seeing for granted, until objects become blurry either near or far, or we feel like there’s a layer of grit between our eyes and eyelids (dry eye). Anything that disrupts vision can be fearsome at worst, or annoying at best.

May is Healthy Vision Month and the National Eye Institute encourages everyone to get their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist, especially those who never had one before. It’s more than just reading the eye chart, though.

You may not know if your eyes are healthy, so visiting an ophthalmologist for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. Your ophthalmologist will closely inspect each eye to discern any signs of common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. Annual comprehensive dilated eye exams are generally recommended starting at age 60. It’s also especially important for people with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated exam at least once a year because of their high risk of developing an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy.

Ophthalmologists look for age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. These are typically issues that develop beginning in mid-life but can happen earlier. Key tests in a comprehensive eye exam include tonometry (a test for glaucoma), visual field test, which measures your peripheral (side) vision, and a visual acuity test (the eye chart).

Experts at the NEI explain that dilation “is an important part of a comprehensive eye exam because it enables your eye care professional to view the inside of the eye. Drops placed in each eye widen the pupil, which is the opening in the center of the iris (the colored part of the eye). Dilating the pupil allows more light to enter the eye the same way opening a door allows light into a dark room. Once dilated, each eye is examined using a special magnifying lens that provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula, and the optic nerve.”

You may not (thankfully) exhibit any signs of impending eye diseases, but your vision may lose strength or clarity, meaning you can develop farsightedness (hyperopia, you can’t see closely), nearsightedness (myopia, you can’t see far), and astigmatism (blurred vision), all of which may require prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Newer on the eye-health horizon is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) or digital eye strain. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, neck/should pain and eye strain. These symptoms tend to go away once the flat-screen viewing ceases. Today’s children are at risk of developing these symptoms early, so make sure break time (maybe going outside to play) occurs every day.

Also, wear protective eyewear – this includes wearing sunglasses even on cloudy days (as sunrays do filter through). As discussed in a previous blog, ensure you give your eyes (and mind) a break from all the flat-screen viewing (read a book, magazine or newspaper).

You can eat – and supplement – to support your vision and healthy eye structure. Omega-3 EFAs (DHA and EPA) have been touted in numerous studies to preserve vision health and protect eye structure. The market now offers you both fish/marine-source EPA and plant-based.

Carotenoids (antioxidant pigments found in fruits and vegetables) are also key for eye health nutrition – among them are beta-carotene and astaxanthin.

Our Fucosea is a potent supplement with wide-ranging nutrients all naturally sourced, including eye-friendly antioxidants. Follow our tips and try Fucosea and “see” how great you feel!
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Dark Chocolate to the Health Rescue!

Many of us remember that, to be healthy, eating any chocolate was a “no no.” Researchers, in very recent years, however, have shown that dark chocolate can benefit health and wellness.

A 2014 published study in the FASEB Journal showed that eating dark chocolate can help preserve and restore arterial flexibility and also prevent adherence of white blood cells to blood vessel walls. Both arterial stiffness and white blood cell aggregation are known factors contributing to development of atherosclerosis. Hence, dark chocolate is good for your heart.

Two new studies have shown that dark chocolate also contribute positively toward regulating mood and stress, memory, immunity and inflammation. The research that was presented at the Experimental Biology 2018 annual meeting in San Diego suggested that consuming dark chocolate containing a high concentration of cacao (minimally 70% cacao) has positive effects on health. While it is well known that cacao is a rich source of flavonoids, this is the first time the effect has been studied in human subjects to determine how it can support cognitive, endocrine and cardiovascular health, according to Lee S. Berk, PhD, lead researcher for both studies.

"For years, we have looked at the influence of dark chocolate on neurological functions from the standpoint of sugar content -- the more sugar, the happier we are," Berk said. "This is the first time that we have looked at the impact of large amounts of cacao in doses as small as a regular-sized chocolate bar in humans over short or long periods of time and are encouraged by the findings. These studies show us that the higher the concentration of cacao, the more positive the impact on cognition, memory, mood, immunity and other beneficial effects."

The flavonoids found in cacao are strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, with known mechanisms beneficial for brain and cardiovascular health. The two studies presented were:

1. “Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao) Affects Human Gene Expression: Cacao Regulates Cellular Immune Response, Neural Signaling, and Sensory Perception”: This pilot study examined the impact of consuming 70% cacao chocolate on the immune system, specifically immune and dendritic cell gene expression, and also on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Study findings show cacao consumption bolsters immune response, specifically by up-regulating several intracellular signaling pathways that activate T-cells, as well as genes involved in neural signaling and sensory perception.

2. “Dark Chocolate (70% Organic Cacao) Increases Acute and Chronic EEG Power Spectral Density (μv2) Response of Gamma Frequency (25-40Hz) for Brain Health: Enhancement of Neuroplasticity, Neural Synchrony, Cognitive Processing, Learning, Memory, Recall, and Mindfulness Meditation”: This study assessed the electroencephalography (EEG) response to consuming 48 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao) after 30 minutes and after 120 minutes. Results showed that this treat of 70 percent cacao boosts neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience.


Dr. Berk said that further studies are encouraged, specifically to reveal and substantiate the significance of how dark chocolate impacts immune cells and the brain in larger study populations. He also related that research is underway to clarify how dark chocolate (70% cocoa) affects the brain and behavior.

At Herbsea, we love healthy treats. Add a bit of dark chocolate (remember, 70% cacao) and Fucosea daily for more wholesome immune support and resistance to stress.
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