NorthStar Nutritionals Blog

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  1. Get These 9 Essential Brain Nutrients in Everyday Foods

    nutrients brainNo one thinks about brain nutrients when they’re younger.

    Memories are sharp, decisions are easy, and learning is a snap.

    Then you have your first “senior moment” and you realize that maybe it’s time to start thinking about brain health, specifically, along with overall health in general.

    Those brain nutrients become a little more important.

    Luckily, the brain nutrients you need to stay sharp for years to come are easy to find, and come wrapped in delicious packages!

    1. Berries for antioxidants. Antioxidants fight the free radicals and oxidative damage that can destroy memories and reduce overall cognitive function. Berries promote a healthy inflammatory response, which keeps structural damage to a minimum. And they protect the brain’s ability to learn, think, and function. Plus, they actually promote brain cell growth. So not only are they preventing damage, they’re supporting new cells! The brighter the berry, the better! Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, any berry, and you’re not going to go wrong.

    2. Whole grains for carbohydrates. Yes, your brain – your whole body – needs carbohydrates. They convert into sugar, which gives your brain energy. The key is to get the carbohydrates, and therefore the sugar, from the right sources: whole grains. No added sugars. No blood sugar spikes. Just steady, brain-supporting energy.

    3. Salmon, herring, and mackerel for omega-3s. Arguably one of the most important brain nutrients of them all, omega-3 fatty acids are a vital part of the brain’s structural foundation. Omega-3s can reduce the effects of aging on the brain, promote a healthy inflammatory response, and keep brain signals firing properly. It’s even been linked to better mood and sharper focus, where deficiencies in omega-3s have been connected to memory loss and confusion. Not a fan of fish? You can get your omega-3s in certain oils, vegetables, and nuts, too!

    4. Eggs for B-vitamins (specifically B-6, B-12, and folic acid). Scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, it doesn’t matter. The B-vitamins in eggs help protect the brain’s blood flow and function. And they may make learning easier as you age, as well. Finally, there’s some indication that eggs help slow or even prevent brain shrinkage. You can order brain health for breakfast.

    5. Avocado for…just about everything. It might be easier to list which brain nutrients you can’t get in avocado. It’s an excellent source of omega-3s and the B-vitamins we’ve already discussed. But it also provides important brain nutrients vitamins C, E, and K that are essential for brain health and function. And as if that wasn’t enough, avocados help our body absorb other vitamins from other sources that your brain needs to function at its top level. The bottom line? Eat avocados.

    6. Dark chocolate for flavonoids. Where to start? Flavonoids protect most aspects of your brain as it ages. They keep information flowing, and protects brain structure by keeping brain cells alive longer. This helps protect memory, focus, and the ability to problem solve. This brain nutrient may even help protect against age-related short-term memory loss in seniors.

    7. Broccoli for vitamin K. Since avocado shouldn’t be your only source of vitamin K, reach for broccoli as well. Not only with it supply your brain with the vitamin K you need to boost brain power, it’s also a source of vital compounds called “glucosinolates.” These help your nervous system function so your brain cells keeps clicking!

    8. Walnuts for polyphenol. Walnuts for…what? It’s okay if you don’t recognize polyphenol. What you need to know is that walnuts come with a brain nutrient that promotes a healthy inflammatory response and acts as a powerful antioxidant! It may even reverse certain markers of age in the brain. Reaction time, learning, memory – walnuts (and polyphenol) can help strengthen all of it.

    9. Pumpkin seeds for zinc (and magnesium, too). Now that autumn is here, it’s the perfect time to grab some pumpkin seeds! Zinc enhances memory and helps overall cognitive function. And it’s not the only brain nutrient you get from pumpkin seeds. Magnesium helps with mood, too!

    There you go – nine essential brain nutrients and the foods they’re in! Delicious, healthy, easy to find and prepare. The only problem is actually eating all of them.

    That’s the one issue with getting all the brain nutrients you need from diet alone, so much food! Which is why we developed Sense of Mind, our brain health supplement.

    Support memory, cognitive function, focus, and problem solving, all with two capsules a day. It makes easy even easier.

    With diet, and Sense of Mind, you can get the brain nutrients you need to forget about senior moments!

  2. How Much Exercise is Enough Exercise?

    exercise enoughEveryone talks about the fact that staying active is vital to maintaining overall health and independence.

    Nobody talks much about what that means, though.

    How much exercise is enough? What kind of exercise do they mean?

    What’s the difference between exercise and activity? The list of questions goes on and on.

    So we’ve compiled all the information you need in one place.

    From activity to exercise to avoiding over exercising. You’ve got questions. We’ve got the answers…

    What’s the Difference Between Activity and Exercise?

    While this can seem confusing, there’s a very simple way to break it down – activity is anything you do when you’re not sitting or lying down.

    Walking to the kitchen? That’s an activity. Doing laundry? Activity. Wandering the grocery store – activity. It doesn’t need to get your heart rate up. It doesn’t need to make you sweat.

    But it’s still very important. We’re learning that leading a stationary lifestyle can be as harmful as smoking! So it’s vital that you move throughout the day.

    Aim for a total of 10,000 steps and you’ll be getting plenty of daily activity.

    Now, those 10,000 steps can, and should, include your exercise, not just your activities. Exercise falls into one of three groups: aerobic, anaerobic, and balance/flexibility.

    Aerobic exercise works your cardiovascular system. It’s what keeps your heart, lungs, and brain healthy. Good overall health requires an aerobic exercise routine.

    Anaerobic exercise works your muscles. It’s the strength training component of your exercise routine. Strong, lean muscles contribute to independence because you can carry your own groceries, climb stairs, and take care of yourself.

    Plus, strong muscles help protect joints, and burn more calories so you stay fit.

    Balance and flexibility exercises help keep you on your feet. It’s balance and flexibility that will allow you to get in and out of the shower by yourself, not to mention reach everywhere that needs to be reached, as you get older.

    These are the exercises that will help protect you against falls and the infirmity that can follow.

    In order to optimize your health, you need to make time in your week for all four categories: activities, aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, and balance/flexibility exercise.

    How Much of Each Exercise are We Talking About?

    In terms of activity, you really can’t be too active during the day. Feel free to be out and about as much as you like.

    For aerobic exercise, there are two recommendations –

    1. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week OR

    2. 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week

    The good news is that you can exercise for 30 minutes straight, five days a week. Or you can break it up. The key is to get at least ten minutes of aerobic exercise at a time, for a total of 150 or 75 minutes.

    For anaerobic exercise, aim to work on muscle strength at least two days per week.

    For balance and flexibility, your goal is three days a week.

    What Counts as Exercise?

    When it comes to moderate aerobic exercise, your heart rate will go up, you’ll feel warmer, and your breathing will be harder.

    You should still be able to hold a conversation, but not sing a song. Aim for an exertion level of 5-6 on a 10-point scale.

    Examples of moderate aerobic exercise are:

    • Walking
    • Water aerobics
    • Dancing
    • Cycling on flat ground

    Vigorous exercise is obviously going to be harder. Your breathing will come hard and fast, you’ll probably work up a good sweat, and you won’t be able to hold a conversation easily without slowing down.

    Aim for a 7-8 on that 10-point scale.

    Examples of vigorous aerobic exercise are:

    • Jogging
    • Fast or hilly cycling
    • Aerobics classes

    Strength exercises are measured in sets and reps or repetitions rather than time. If you’re just starting out, begin with one set of 8-12 reps.

    As you get stronger, increase the number of sets you do. Your goal is for it to be difficult but not impossible or painful to finish the set. You can use equipment or your own body weight.

    Examples of strength exercises are:

    • Pushups
    • Sit-ups
    • Weight lifting
    • Resistance bands
    • Strength yoga

    A quick note about strength training – you won’t bulk up simply by doing strength exercises. Not even if you lift weights. The people who bulk up and look like that have a very different routine and have to work very hard to get that appearance.

    It won’t happen by accident. This kind of strength training will simply make you stronger, leaner, and sexier.

    Balance exercises are some of the easiest to work into your day, because you don’t need special clothing, equipment, or even time.

    You can work on your balance at your desk, while you’re doing dishes, or even watching TV. Just be sure to have something to help you balance until you can safely do them on your own.

    Examples of balance exercises are:

    • Standing on one foot
    • Walking heel toe
    • Knee lifts

    Can I Do More?

    Absolutely! These are minimum exercise recommendations. If you’re ready to exercise more, go for it. People who get 300 minutes of moderate exercise per week have shown even greater health benefits.

    Just be sure to listen to your body. If it feels like you need to bring it down a notch, or that you may be over-exercising, then pay attention to that feeling.

    How Can I Avoid Over-Exercising?

    First, talk to your doctor before starting or increasing any exercise routine. Even the most basic exercise can be over-exercising if you’re not up to it. And always listen to your body.

    You’re not in competition with anyone, not even yourself.

    More specifically, though, follow these guidelines to avoid over-exercising:

    1. Rest your muscles. If you worked your biceps yesterday, focus on your legs or your trunk today. Give your arms a chance to recover. When possible, have two or three aerobic exercises that you enjoy so that you aren’t using the same muscles every time you work out. Go for a walk one day, and stop into an aerobics class another. And take at least one day a week completely off from exercise. It’s okay to be active that day, just give the official exercise a day off.

    2. Sleep. This is different from rest. Rest is giving your muscles a break. Sleep is sleep. Your whole body restores itself in your sleep. That’s important, regardless. But now that you’re making even more physical demands of it, sleep and that chance to rejuvenate is vital. You need a minimum of six hours of sleep a night, and eight is even better. The good news is that you’ll sleep really well once you’re exercising and active!

    3. Stretch. After every workout, you need to cool down and stretch. Otherwise, you’ll end up stiff, in pain, and at greater risk of injury. Everything you’re trying to avoid by getting enough exercise!

    Activity and exercise. They go hand in hand, but they’re not the same.

    Find ways to get both into your daily life and you’ll be amazed at the difference!

  3. The Foolproof Plan to Stop Dieting for Good

    dieting stopLosing and gaining, and losing and gaining again – there’s reason to believe yo-yo dieting is as unhealthy as being overweight.

    And yet it’s a cycle so many people have fallen into.

    Luckily, others are finally coming to realize the dangers of fad diets and are trying to stop dieting for good.

    If you’re ready to get off the diet roller coaster, you can.

    There are ways to be healthy, lose weight, and stop dieting. Continue reading

  4. Improve Blood Flow in 60 Seconds

    blood flow improveOften, when men are looking to improve performance in the bedroom they focus on two things: stress levels and diet.

    These are essential factors to an exciting sex life, but they aren’t the only ones.

    Too often, men forget about the need to improve blood flow in order to get the physical response they’re looking for.

    Don’t be one of these men!

    Blood flow is the key to a strong, powerful, long-lasting erection.

    But you can’t just focus on what’s going on between your legs.

    Improve blood flow throughout your entire body, and blood flow will increase where you need it most.

    Remember, poor blood flow in any part of the body probably means poor blood flow in every part of the body. Continue reading

  5. Why Am I So Thirsty?

    thirsty soBeing thirsty occasionally is normal.

    Everyone goes too long without a drink of water.

    But if it seems you are just so thirsty all of the time, then you may be wondering what’s going on.

    Let’s look at seven common conditions that might cause you to be thirsty.

    Then, you can deal with them appropriately, instead of guessing! Continue reading

  6. 5 Muscle Trigger Points to Ease Pain

    trigger points muscleWhen you’re in pain, you want it to stop. That’s a given.

    But when you have long-term, ongoing pain, you know it’s not always as easy as popping a pill.

    After all, you want the pain to stop, but you don’t want to live your life constantly on medications, either.

    That’s what makes muscle trigger points that ease pain such an important tool in your pain management skill set.

    They are a completely natural, medication-free way of easing pain.

    You read that correctly: muscle trigger points do not use medicine to ease your pain.

    If you’re familiar with acupressure, those are the muscle trigger points we’re talking about.

    If you’re not familiar, or you want to know more, here’s how it works… Continue reading

  7. Eliminate Bloating and Gas: 9 Quick Fixes That Last

    bloating and gas eliminatingIt’s embarrassing. It’s uncomfortable. It’s bloating and gas.

    And when it hits, you feel like you’re the only one who’s ever experienced anything like it.

    However, it’s incredibly common, and luckily, it’s easy to manage.

    You just have to take some easy steps and you’ll eliminate bloating and gas once and for all. Continue reading

  8. Trouble Staying Hard: 5 Common Habits Hurting Your Erections

    staying hard troubleHere’s the truth: every man has trouble staying hard at some point in his life.

    So know that it’s not just you, no matter how it feels.

    If you’re having trouble staying hard more consistently than you’d like, it’s important that you deal with that.

    So you eat right, get exercise, and try to keep your stress under control.

    But what if you’re still having trouble staying hard?

    Maybe it’s time to think outside the box and look at these common, but unexpected, habits that could be hurting your erections.

    Continue reading

  9. 9 Surefire Ways to Fade Sunspots

    sunspots fadeAt this point in your life, you know to wear natural sunscreen and stay in the shade as much as possible.

    But what about the sunburns you got when you were younger, and either didn’t know or, let’s be honest, didn’t care?

    Is it possible to fade the sunspots that are on your skin?

    The answer is yes! Absolutely!

    And it doesn’t even require peels, or chemicals, or anything that has to be done in an office.

    These ways to help fade your sunspots can be done right at home, with all natural ingredients that you may already have.

    Continue reading

  10. Erase Stiff Neck Pain For Good With These 6 Techniques

    neck pain stiffIt’s hard to explain what makes stiff neck pain so difficult to live with.

    You’re not sick. You’re not really injured. There’s no need for a cast or a brace.

    You can still move, go to work, and live your life. But it hurts, all the time.

    Which means stiff neck pain will take its toll on your mood, your energy level, and your quality of life. Even though “nothing’s wrong.”

    Well, we think if something is affecting your quality of life then something is wrong. And if something’s wrong, you deserve to have it managed.

    So, we’ve come up with these six ways for you to erase stiff neck pain and get your – pain-free – life back!

    Continue reading

  11. Coffee and Headaches – Is the Caffeine Helping or Hurting?

    headaches and coffeeWhenever there are two schools of thought on a topic, it’s hard to know which is true and which is false – as is the case with caffeine and headaches.

    Some people swear by caffeine’s ability to relieve headache pain.

    Other people swear that coffee is the cause of their headache pain.

    So which is it? Will coffee help your headache – or make it worse?

    The truth is: it depends.

    Read on, and we’ll look at how caffeine helps your headaches, and why it might cause them, too.

    Continue reading

  12. Achieve Better Joint Mobility With These Tips and Tricks

    mobility jointJoint mobility probably isn’t something people think about often – until they’ve started to stiffen up and lose mobility.

    At which point, joint mobility becomes more important than they ever expected.

    So don’t wait to deal with joint mobility until you’ve started to feel the effects of losing it.

    Start now, with these tips and tricks, and stay moving for years to come…

    Continue reading

  13. 4 Deadly Effects of the Beer Belly – And How to Lose It!

    beer belly theYou’re carrying a little extra weight around your middle, a bit of a beer belly, but that’s okay right?

    Because it’s just the beer belly, and your weight is fine otherwise.

    Sadly, no. The beer belly is a larger problem than you may realize.

    In fact, having a beer belly can be more dangerous to your health than a higher overall BMI.

    Continue reading

  14. My Doctor Gave Me the Wrong Diagnosis – Now What?

    diagnosis wrongGetting the wrong diagnosis for a medical condition isn’t just an irrational fear.

    It’s a fact of life for 12 million Americans every year.

    That’s almost 1 in 20 people who are given the wrong diagnosis.

    Suddenly, that concern feels far more plausible.

    In this article, we’re going to look at some of the most common misdiagnoses, and then empower you to get the medical advice you need in the aftermath of a wrong diagnosis.

    Continue reading

  15. Why a Lack of Fiber Could Be Killing You

    fiber lack ofThe average adult needs between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day.

    Unfortunately, the average American adult only gets about 15 grams of fiber per day – just about half the amount you need!

    And it turns out this lack of fiber could be killing you.

    Sound alarmist? That’s because it’s alarming – but it’s also the truth.

    Getting enough fiber isn’t just about feeling fuller, longer, so you stick to your diet.

    It’s not even only about the sustained energy that comes from the healthy carbohydrates where most people find their fiber.

    Getting enough fiber is about fighting off diseases that can actually kill you.

    Now that we’ve gotten your attention, let’s look at what a lack of fiber is doing to your health…

    Continue reading

  16. The Ultimate Guide to Getting Crystal Clear Vision

    vision crystal clearDo you think that aging automatically means thicker glasses?

    Does it mean giving up sharp focus for blurry lettering?

    If so, we’ve got good news for you – you really can keep your crystal clear vision, even as you age!

    Yes, you have to be willing to make a bit of a commitment, but you’ve already committed to your health, so this is not much different.

    Getting crystal clear vision even has the same three commitments you make for overall health: diet, exercise, and behavior.

    And we’re about to look at all three of them –

    Continue reading

  17. 8 Critical Metabolism Vitamins Missing From Your Diet

    vitamins metabolismYou don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you’re healthy.

    You eat well most of the time with a treat or two just often enough to keep you from feeling deprived.

    So you don’t worry about metabolism vitamins because you don’t have to.

    Except you probably should. Here’s why –

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  18. Stop Thinning Hair With These 9 Salon Secrets

    thinning hair stopIf you’re hoping to stop thinning hair, you’re not alone.

    60% of women experience thinning hair by age 70.

    And for men, those numbers are even higher – 85% of men are thinking about how to stop thinning hair by age 50!

    Don’t wait until thinning hair becomes a bald spot – or wide part – or an island.

    Listen to the experts, salon stylists, and stop thinning hair starting today.

    Continue reading

  19. The Answer to Instant Pain Relief is in Your Kitchen

    pain relief instant The drugstore is full of products promising instant pain relief.

    Unfortunately, that instant pain relief comes along with scary side effects and questionable ingredients.

    You can roll those dice and hope your health doesn’t suffer just because you needed instant pain relief, or you could stick to the all-natural route and look to your kitchen…

    Continue reading

  20. The Secret to Stronger Erections: How Your Health Affects Your Erections

    You know you should take better care of your health.

    You do. But there’s always a reason to order another round… or the chili fries… or sit and watch the game instead of go for a walk.

    Would it help make taking care of your health easier if we told you that doing so could support stronger erections and a better sex life?

    Now that we’ve got your attention, it’s true – your overall health is directly linked to your sexual health.

    Stronger erections. More powerful orgasms. Greater drive. You can get it all, by taking care of your health.

    Let’s look at how…

    Continue reading