Tag Archives: Selenium

Meet the Team: April Byrd

Meet the Team from Beeyoutiful.com

You might not know her name, but you definitely benefit from the work that April Byrd does behind the scenes to keep the books straight at Beeyoutiful.com. Get to know her a little better today!

April Byrd of Beeyoutiful.comWhat are you in charge of at Beeyoutiful?

I handle accounts payable and receivable, reconciling financial accounts, taxes, filing, and various personal assistant duties for Steve and Steph.

What do you do every day?

Data entry, refund checks, affiliate checks, and filing.

What can customers count on you for?

Timely processing of affiliate checks and refunds.

What do you do to support your own health?

I use Gut Guardian, Selenium Secure, SuperLady, Digestive Enzymes, and Pure Chlorella, all from Beeyoutiful. I also use L-Tyrosine, Desiccated Liver Capsules, Coconut Oil, Coffee (Organic, Free Trade), and, honey from my own bees.

I also am gluten, dairy, soy, and corn free. I eat farm fresh meat, free-range eggs from my chickens, and any wild game my husband hunts!

When you’re not working on Beeyoutiful projects, what’s one way that you enjoy spending your time?

I really enjoy being outside with my family. My husband, Craig, is a farmer and our daughters, Paislee and Sadie, have several ag projects in our yard. They have sheep, chickens, a rabbit, and the occasional bottle calf! Farm life is very fulfilling.

Leave a message for April in the comments below, and meet the rest of the team here

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8 Lifestyle Choices to Support Heart Health

The best thing you can do for your heart is feed your body nutrient-dense foods, and that includes healthy fats, organic and pastured meats, organically-raised produce and properly prepared grains. When there is an adequate range and quality of nutrients being taken in, your heart can maintain good health.8 Lifestyle Choices to Support Heart Health from Beeyoutiful.com

We’ve found Nourishing Traditions to be a fabulous resource as we have made choices with our own families of what foods to use on our tables and how to prepare them. Diet & Heart Disease: It’s NOT What You Think is also packed with specific information about supporting heart health.

Deficiencies in key nutrients can cause significant stress to your heart and its health. 

  • Vitamin C. According to Fallon and Enig in Diet & Heart Disease​ (p4), “Vitamin C deficiency makes for weaker arterial walls, subject to more inflammation and tearing.” Correcting the deficit leads to strong and healthy vessels and heart muscle. Some of the best sources of Vitamin C are raw milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, and herbs.
  • Minerals. Minerals are found in organic butter, organic animal organs, dark leafy vegetables, raw nuts, and sea products, and if your diet is lacking in these, you may also be lacking in minerals. “Heart disease has been correlated with mineral deficiencies. Coronary heart disease rates are lower in regions where drinking water is naturally rich in trace minerals, particularly magnesium, which acts as a natural anti-coagulant and aids potassium absorption, thereby preventing heartbeat irregularities.” (Diet & Heart Disease, p61-62) When supplementing, make sure to consider the fact that your heart needs a variety of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, chromium, selenium, iodine, and other trace minerals.
  • Folate, B6, and B12. These nutrients are primarily found in animal products, but can also be found in dark, leafy vegetables. Sufficient intake of this trio of B Vitamins decreases the likelihood of atherosclerosis, and “these three nutrients also lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can trigger heart disease.” (Diet & Heart Disease, p62)
  • Antioxidants. Free radicals, such as pollution, toxins, unnatural chemicals, tobacco smoke, food additives, and even the byproducts of our own metabolized nutrients can attack and damage the body’s tissues (from DNA to arterial walls) if there are not adequate amounts of antioxidant nutrients in the diet. Increased free radicals without sufficient antioxidants increase stress and damage to the heart and its vessels. Examples of antioxidants that neutralize free radicals include Vitamins A, C, and E, Selenium, CoQ10, Zinc, and Glutathione. Sources of antioxidants are dark green leafy vegetables, organic pastured meats, grassfed butter, all orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, and even some spices such as turmeric. In addition, supporting the liver and its detoxification of free radicals as part of the metabolism process is extremely beneficial.
  • Powerhouses of A, D, and K. Dr. Weston Price was one of the first to notice the link between fat-soluble vitamins and heart health. He observed that during winter months when Vitamin D and A were not as naturally plentiful in the diet and lifestyle, the incident of heart attacks went up. “Vitamin A is required for numerous bodily functions, including protein and mineral utilization and the uptake of iodine by the thyroid gland. Since poor thyroid function is a cause of heart disease, a deficiency could be an indirect cause of heart disease. Since Vitamin D is needed for calcium utilization, a deficiency may cause increased calcification of the arteries, leading to accelerated atherosclerosis.” (Diet & Disease, p64-65) In addition to A and D, Vitamin K2 is very important. According to the Rotterdam Study in 2004, K2 is the only known nutrient that not only prevents but reverses atherosclerosis (for more information on K2, please see our post here). Sources of A and D are salmon, fish roe, grassfed butter and cod liver oil.

8 Lifestyle Choices to Support Heart Health

  1. Eliminate Processed Foods. Increase nutrient-dense foods in their whole forms.
  2. Avoid refined sugars. Use whole sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, stevia or rapadura.
  3. Avoid all trans fats. ​Exclude vegetable oils, shortening, and margarine. Increase saturated fats such as grassfed butter, unrefined animal fats, and coconut oil.
  4. Throw out the pasteurized and homogenized milk. Replace with fresh raw dairy products (if you tolerate dairy well).
  5. Just say no to low-cholesterol and low-fat foods. These foods are often filled with chemical additives, artificial flavorings, and sugars. Pick healthy whole foods to nourish and provide the needed nutrients.
  6. De-stress your life. Stress increases the presence of free radicals in the body. Increase relaxing activities such as short breaks where you focus on a pleasant hobby.
  7. Functional exercise. Choose a physical activity that allows for an increase of heart rate without putting undue stress on the body.
  8. Dry brushing. Encourage good circulation and detoxification by using a stiff brush to stimulate the skin.

With these nutrients and lifestyle choices, you’ll be giving your body a toolbox full of heart-healthy options.

Partners in Hormonal Health- Fall 2009 Catalog

Partners in Hormonal Health:

The Adrenal-Thyroid Dance

By Jessica Bischof

jess b

In our rushed society most of us could use huge does of energy and stamina, topped off with a serving of something to boost our ability to deal with stress. If anyone had such a concoction for sale, they would do quite well–even in our uncertain economy. Unfortunately, no magic pill can provide a boost like this, but the good news is that, with proper care, support and lifestyle choices, you thyroid and adrenal glands can make a magical difference in how you feel.

Eight years ago, I could hardly make it through the day. A new mom in my mid-twenties, my energy levels and stamina were nil. Finally, I woke up one morning and thought dismally, “This must be what it feels like to be old.”

For a long time, I just sucked it up and pushed through, going about my responsibilities as a wife and mom. No one but my husband knew that, after attending church and Bible study three mornings a week, I would spend the rest of my week on the couch, doing only the basics of feeding and caring for my toddler. I tried improving my diet, being more faithful with vitamins, even exercising. Three times a week for a year and a half, I met a friend at the gym at 5am! But, no matter what I did, I couldn’t build up stamina and would often go home from a 45-minute workout and sleep for the next 4 hours. The final straw came when I experienced three miscarriages back-to-back. Although I still didn’t think anything was seriously wrong with me, my mom was wise enough to suggest one day, ‘You should look into thyroid problems. Miscarriage can be related to that.’

I started reading about thyroid dysfunction, and it was like reading out of my diary. I was horrified and thrilled at the same time. My problems weren’t all in my head–and there was a way to fix what was wrong!

The Thyroid — Part 1thyroid

The thyroid is the butterfly-shaped gland in your throat, just below the Adam’s apple. Place your fingers on either side of your windpipe, gently press as you run them up and down, and you will probably feel this soft, squishy gland.

The thyroid serves two primary purposes. Its foremost job is to produce thyroid hormone which “powers” each and every cell in the body. Think of your thyroid as the power plant, but instead of providing electricity, it “feeds” thyroid hormones with the energy cells need to function correctly. Since all cells have thyroid receptors, a deficiency in this hormone can cause many different symptoms, although the most common are low energy, feeling cold all the time (caused by low body temperature), weight gain, hair loss, tiredness (no matter how much you sleep), and “brain fog” where you feel like you just can’t think and everything is cloudy. I’ve compiled a list of more than 200 symptoms thyroid patients report resolving once they balance thyroid levels.

The second purpose of thyroid hormone is to be a “gatekeeper” to protect us from toxic substances. Radiation and excess iodine are both collected in the thyroid, often with disastrous results. The good news is that if you’re exposed to radiation, it will accumulate in your thyroid and potentially protect the rest of your body from destruction, but the thyroid is often killed in the process. Not only is our thyroid a gathering place for “big bad” toxins, but it is sensitive to chemical and toxin exposure across the board.

Topping the list of chemicals we should avoid for thyroid health are fluoride and chlorine, two toxic substances found in most municipal water supplies. These substances, along with bromine (often use as a preservative in baked goods!), compete for the same receptor site that needs to get plugged with iodine so the body can produce thyroid hormone. Even a little exposure to these substances will crowd out the iodine we need.

Adrenals — Part 2adrenals

We have another hormonal powerhouse in our bodies, the adrenal glands. Even more critical than thyroid hormone–and more far reaching–the adrenals control nearly all the hormonal activities of the body. About the shape and size of a walnut, the adrenals are a pair of glands, one residing on top of each kidney. The health or impairment of these two tiny glands is felt by nearly every system and function of the body–energy levels, memory, immune system, processing sugar, and cardiovascular health.

Adrenals produce a host of significant hormones, among them adrenaline, cortisol, and DHEA. Adrenaline is the “fight or flight” hormone. We’ve all experienced the warm rush that makes our hearts pound and palms sweat and can give us a burst of energy to react quickly to a high-stress situation. Adrenaline is supposed to be an occasional hormone triggered only in the face of surprise, danger, or threat. In our modern world, though, we experience more adrenaline rushes than our forefathers. Everything from having to react quickly to the car in front of us slamming on its breaks to conflict in the relationships to being late for one of the many events we put on our schedule activates adrenaline.

Cortisol and DHEA are two hormones released to respond to “long term” stress. These stresses are more subtle but equally prevalent in our lives. Food and environment allergies, chronic illness, acute injuries, long-term financial problems, feeling “trapped” in an unsatisfying job or unhappy home life, environmental toxins, lack of rest, and pregnancy are stressors that our bodies must respond to continually.

Although our adrenals must “refuel” in order to have more to give, most of us habitually draw and draw and draw on our adrenals and fail to provide them with the nutritional fuel and rest and they need to keep meeting our demands. Some people, for example, who at one point are “super-achievers”, sail through a demanding period only to crash afterward and never regain their previous stamina. Others gradually experience their adrenals slowing down–by not recovering from illnesses or noticing that the adrenaline rush from watching a suspenseful movie last for 30 minutes instead of quickly going away. Either way, the adrenals are depleted to the point where they simply cannot provide the hormonal stress management the body needs.

In the traditional medical world, only complete adrenal failure or severe adrenal “overdrive” is recognized as treatable conditions. Common sense, though, would suggest that most things work poorly before they stop working altogether. You take your car to the mechanic when your brakes are squeaking and don’t expect to be told “brakes problems are only real if the brakes completely fail or it they lock up your tires.” Just as no one wants to wait until their brakes fail to take care of them, so we should not wait until our adrenals fail before nourishing and protecting them.

Partners in Health

The thyroid and adrenal can be thought of as partners in a dance. They each have unique moves, but depend on each other to operate the way they were created to. The adrenals are the lead or male dancer and set the pace. Adrenals influence thyroid hormone indirectly by controlling the organs that control the thyroid. The thyroid controls the “energy” of all cells, including the adrenals. In this way, the two systems are mutually dependent.

It’s rare to find a person with thyroid imbalance who does not also suffer from compromised adrenals. But sadly, many people fortunate enough to have a thyroid problem diagnosed are never told about or tested for adrenal function. Often, the patient with low thyroid will be started on a dose of thyroid replacement medicine, only to feel worse and have new symptoms pop up. This is because, over time, the adrenals have slowed the manufacture of thyroid energy because they’re so burned out they can’t keep up. They’re trying to work less and recover. When you introduce a bunch of thyroid hormone in this scenario, it stresses the adrenals further with unpleasant side effects.

For this reason, wise practitioners will try to determine both a patient’s thyroid and adrenal health. In some people, adrenal healing needs to begin before introducing thyroid hormones. In others, the adrenals are trying to perform their half of the dance, but the thyroid partner is lagging, and the extra energy from a higher supply of thyroid will balance the dance.

By taking steps to fuel and nourish adrenals and to provide the thyroid with nutrients specific to making its powerful hormone, you can reverse adrenal burnout and support thyroid health. If you have been told your thyroid is “low normal,” you may be able to resume balance by strengthening your adrenals and providing supporting nutrients to you thyroid. If you low thyroid is due to adrenals slowing down thyroid production, adding thyroid nutrients is not going to help. Supplementing with thyroid nutrients in appropriate doses is the safe solution for most people (check with your health professional to see if you’re a candidate).

Regardless of which dance problem you have, good health for thyroid and adrenals will help. The top five ways to nourish your thyroid are (for in-depth explanations of each, visit http://www.thyroidadvisor.com):

1.      Drink and cook with fluoride and chlorine free water.

2.      Avoid soy and soy products

3.      Consider supplementing with the amino acid L-tyrosine.

4.      Consider supplementing with the trace mineral selenium.

5.      Eliminate as many chemicals from your life as possible. Makeup, skincare, shampoo, cleaning supplies, and food with additives are all areas to work on. Anything you ingest or rub on skin is especially important.

The top 5 ways to nourish your adrenals are:

1.      Get adequate rest–best if you can be in bed by 10pm.

2.      Be ruthless about avoiding known food allergens–get tested if you suspect allergens are a problem for you.

3.      Maintain blood sugar levels. Eat small meals more often and avoid processed carbs.

4.      Consider supplementing with L-tyrosine.

5.      Take Vitamin C daily, to bowel tolerance.

ThyroVivalWebProPillSTo learn more about physical clues that indicate adrenal and thyroid problems, please visit http://www.thyroidadvisor.com and read about the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and thyroid imbalance. It’s a great step toward getting the adrenal-thyroid dance in rhythm.

Beeyoutiful co-owner, Stephanie Tallent, and I have talked a quite a bit as she has sought to better understand her thyroid and adrenal problems. As a result of some of my suggestions for her health, Beeyoutiful now carries two products specifically designed to provide foundational support and healing of the thyroid and adrenal systems. Thyro-vival, and Selenium Secure can be found on page 24 and page 23 of this catalog.selenium

Jessica is a Nutritional Therapy Consultant and the owner of Simple Steps Nutrition where she works with clients both in the US and internationally to create customized nutritional protocols to support their health, using nutrition, diet, and lifestyle modifications to support healing and function in the body. 

Her own health challenges started in her early 20’s after the birth of her first child and forced her to become educated about what her body needed to heal. She believes that through healing and supporting the underlying cause you can actually regain health – not just treat symptoms. 

Jessica specializes in restoring energy, resolving fatigue issues, hormonal balancing, digestive issues, and adrenal healing. Jessica offers a complimentary 15 minute consultation for anyone who would like to find out more. Visit www.simplestepsnutrition.com for information.

Good Sources of Selenium- Fall 2009 Catalog

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Food                                                       Selenium Content (Micrograms)*

Brazil Nuts (3-4, 1/2 oz.)**………………………………………………………..272

Tuna, light, canned in water (3 oz.)…………………………………………….68

Flounder or sole, cooked (3 oz.)…………………………………………………50

Sardines, Atlantic, canned in oil (3 oz)………………………………………. 45

Halibut, cooked (3 oz.)……………………………………………………………..40

Spaghetti, whole-wheat, cooked (1 cup)…………………………………….. 36

Salmon, sockeye, cooked (3 oz.)………………………………………………. 32

Turkey, roasted (3 oz.)…………………………………………………………….. 31

Cream of Wheat, cooked (1 cup) ………………………………………………   31

Beef, cooked (3 oz.)………………………………………………………………… 30

Salmon, pink, canned (3 oz.)……………………………………………………. 28

Ground turkey (3 oz.)………………………………………………………………32

Macaroni, enriched, cooked (1 cup)………………………………………….. 30

Sunflower seeds, dry roasted (1 oz.)…………………………………………… 23

Chicken, cooked (3 oz.)…………………………………………………………… 21

Cottage cheese, 1% (1 cup)………………………………………………………. 20

Brown rice, long-grain, cooked (1 cup)……………………………………… 19

Oats, cooked (1 cup)……………………………………………………………….. 19

Egg (1 large) …………………………………………………………………………. 16

Whole-wheat bread (1 slice)…………………………………………………….. 10

*Average values (values vary, depending on where the plant grew, or what the animal ate.)

** Limit Brazil nuts to two a day to avoid getting too much selenium

The Selenium Difference- Fall 2009 Catalog

The Selenium Difference:

This Trace Mineral Packs a Punch

By Jessica Bischof

selenium

You’d think it would be big news if someone discovered a substance that could

  • Protect from certain types of cancer;
  • Keep viral influenza “mild” and reduce the chance of lung damage;
  • Guard against heart disease;
  • Provide strong anti-oxidation protection;
  • Increase energy by balancing the thyroid;
  • Build a stronger immune system.

You might think that, but something as “ordinary” as a trace mineral isn’t as exciting as a new miracle drug. Nevertheless, selenium is a highly researched mineral, and we know a great deal about its significant contribution to our physical well-being.

A Very Busy Mineral

Selenium works in connection with vitamin E to deliver its benefits. Although our bodies need only a small amount of selenium to receive the protection and health support it offers, we must make it a point to ingest it through food or supplements.

Selenium studies have shown that it protects against stomach, breast, esophageal, prostate, liver, and bladder cancers. It also supports the body undergoing radiation– especially the kidneys, which can otherwise be ravaged by such treatment.

Selenium-deficient patients are known to experience mutations of the influenza virus, often resulting in severe lung damage and a worsened case of the flu. Conversely, adequate selenium in the diet protects against the dreaded “cytokine storm” many researchers think is responsible for the severe respiratory tract damage and many of the deaths in the Spanish Flu of 1918, the Avian and SARS flus, and the current H1N1 Swine Flu.

In addition, selenium plays a key role in the body’s critical conversion of the thyroid hormone T4–the “storage” hormone–into T3, the “usable” form we need for energy and proper metabolism.

Selenium Abounds–If You Can Find It

Selenium is plentiful in the soil in many parts of the world although some areas are more notably deficient. The best source of selenium is always food raised in selenium-rich soil. In the US, for instance, farmlands in the Dakotas and Nebraska abound with selenium and folks there who eat a lot of locally grown foods probably don’t need to take selenium supplements. On the other hand, certain areas of China are known to be particularly selenium-deficient and it is no coincidence that some of the worst flu viruses have come from these parts of China.

The accompanying sidebar lists a number of selenium-rich foods to help guide your selections. However, the levels of selenium are not “guaranteed.” The presence of selenium is always dependent on the soil in which the product is grown or, in the case of animal products, the soil that grew the grass the livestock ate. As a result, the chart shows averages. As far as I can determine, no one has yet compiled selenium charts based on geographical regions that food comes from.

How Much is Enough?

The National Library of Medicine states, “No pregnancy category has been established for supplemental selenium intake although it is generally believed to be safe during pregnancy when consumed in amounts normally found in foods.” It also notes that selenium passes through breast milk to a nursing infant.

The FDA’s Recommended Daily Allowance for selenium is 55mcg. This suggestion is based on studies done in China during the 1970’s concluding that individuals that took in 800 mcg daily were not receiving too much. To be conservative, the FDA then halved the maximum safe recommended amount to 400 mcg daily, in order to allow a “safety net” to make sure people don’t get too much. As with many other nutrients, excessive intake can be harmful.

Another factor to consider when evaluating selenium intake for your family is that food-based selenium is always more usable to the body and is retained better. Also, different forms of supplemental selenium offer varying levels of usability. The form Beeyoutiful sells9, seleonomethionine, is highly usable by the body. In fact, studies show that it transfers more readily to breast milk, probably because the body is able to absorb it more easily than other forms.

The National Library of Medicine suggests that 50 to 75 mcg of selenium should be “adequate” for adults and lactating mothers. This is certainly a conservative number, and it is sometimes helpful to remember that when the FDA uses the term “adequate,” it is referring to the smallest amount needed to avoid specific symptoms of deficiency. It is not a suggestion of an optimal dose for health. Most researchers suggest a supplement between 150 to 250 mcg daily for adults. Children require less.

As the selenium chart suggests, Brazil nuts offer one of the highest concentrations of selenium. So for my children (who are too young to swallow supplements) I give them one Brazil nut each day as a “treat.” Of course, I never remember every day, so I determine how many nuts to hand out based on how often I’ve remembered that particular week. Toxicity from selenium is unlikely from getting a little too much on any given day. Rather, it is from the result of continuously and exclusively eating foods that come from a selenium-rich environment or by supplementing too aggressively.

So even though you don’t need a lot, many rewards of good health can be traced to this little mineral.

jess b

Jessica is a Nutritional Therapy Consultant and the owner of Simple Steps Nutrition where she works with clients both in the US and internationally to create customized nutritional protocols to support their health, using nutrition, diet, and lifestyle modifications to support healing and function in the body. 

Her own health challenges started in her early 20’s after the birth of her first child and forced her to become educated about what her body needed to heal. She believes that through healing and supporting the underlying cause you can actually regain health – not just treat symptoms. 

Jessica specializes in restoring energy, resolving fatigue issues, hormonal balancing, digestive issues, and adrenal healing. Jessica offers a complimentary 15 minute consultation for anyone who would like to find out more. Visit www.simplestepsnutrition.com for information.