Tag Archives: Thryoid/Adrenal Care

Natural Energy for You and Your Little House- Spring 2013 Catalog

Natural Energy for You and Your Little House

Nancy Webster

Ma Ingalls and her girls gave their house a thorough scrub-down every spring. But if you’re like me, you’re exhausted at the mere thought of doing a Little-House-onthe-Prairie style spring cleaning on top of the regular dishes and laundry. You may also wonder exactly why it seems so hard to accomplish the things on your to-do list.

Do your hair and nails look as dragged out as you feel? Are seasonal allergies your excuse? Or maybe you’re pregnant and just counting down the months until you can feel like yourself again—who cares about clean windows anyway?

Off to a Super Start

Even if you’ve made great changes in favor of eating more nutrient-dense, whole foods, it also takes superfoods to help your body stay in top health. These days, pollution, stress, your past history of junky eating and pharmaceutical use all work against every glass of raw milk or organic veggies you consume. Superfoods, though, are super full of nutrition, and because they are nature-made, your body can easily absorb and use their goodness.

So where do you start with adding superfoods to your diet? Which one will jumpstart your system and help you feel like washing windows after folding four loads of laundry, cooking for a crowd, and/or a long day at the office? Spirulina!

This humble, algae-like plant (called a cyanobacteria) is one of the most potent protein and nutrient sources available. And boosting energy is just one of its many abilities. Spirulina also works to relieve congestion, sniffling, and sneezing caused by all types of allergies. It boosts the immune system, helps control high blood pressure and cholesterol, protects from cancer, and more.

How does spirulina come by this impressive resume? As a source of protein, it is 65 percent complete protein. By comparison, beef is only 22 percent complete. This also makes it a far healthier choice than those much-touted, dubious protein powders, especially when you consider all the other goodies you get with spirulina (see http://holisticsquid.com/the-problem-with-protein-powders/). Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids, plus some, and provides a healthy portion of Omega-3 (like in salmon) as well as Omega 6 and 9. Omega-6 is gamma linoleic acid (GLA), known to be anti -inflammatory (for arthritis relief!), to increase fat burn after exercising, and to make beautiful hair and nails.

Spirulina is high in chlorophyll, which removes toxins from the blood and boosts the immune system. Chlorophyll and iron are a great friend to pregnant mamas, as the tendency for anemia at this season of life is significant. That’s why spirulina is a main ingredient in Beeyoutiful’s SuperMom multi-vitamins. The easily absorbable, non-constipating iron content of spirulina is 58 times that of raw spinach and 28 times that of raw beef liver 1. Spirulina is replete with vital minerals most of those pretty veggies at the store can’t provide any more, thanks to being grown in depleted soils.

 Better Off Teeth, Nerves, and Both Brains

 If weeds get the best of your garden, or your kids (or you!) don’t like vegetables, or you simply wish you could juice but just can’t swing it, handy, mineral-rich spirulina is the way to get your cancer-fighting daily quota of greens. Calcium and phosphorus are two of the major mineral players in this fantastic superfood. If these minerals are lacking or out of balance in the blood, tooth decay is in your near future. So spirulina is also recommended as part of a tooth remineralization program. And because the calcium content is more than 26 times that of milk, spirulina is excellent for children, the elderly, and pregnant women, and especially for folks who are casein- or lactose-intolerant.

If your nerves are on edge or your digestion is off, you need spirulina for all the B complex vitamins it contains. Our gut is our “second brain,” and it needs the B’s to work well. Do you have candida? Most people do these days, and spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial gut flora, which helps keep candida overgrowth under control. Because candida will cause and worsen symptoms, this is especially important if you have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s, chronic fatigue, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

Yet another feature of spirulina is its ability to chelate arsenic from the body. Hair analysis on one of our daughters showed her to be loaded with arsenic, which mystified me until I learned of the many places she might have encountered it in her young life. Arsenic is often present in well water, in pressure-treated wood like that at playgrounds, and in insect and rodent poison (used in public places even if not at your house). Last year, the news came out that it can be present even in rice, which especially impacts the gluten-free crowd. Yet the good news for my family was that after taking spirulina for six months, repeated tests showed the arsenic had cleared from my daughter’s body!

“But wait….There’s more!”

Spirulina’s antioxidant ability ranks 24,000 on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical A irulina’s antioxidant ability ranks 24,000 on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), right up there with weird spices we might use only in teeny amounts and four times the ORAC score of blueberries. Feed your eyesight with spirulina’s antioxidant-rich carotenoids (nutrients found in green and brightly-colored vegetables) including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. The high antioxidant amounts in spirulina also lower risk of strokes, inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and regulate blood pressure. They also normalize extreme cholesterol levels without the need for dangerous statin drugs 2.

spiru;ina

Although the sixteenth century Aztecs harvested and ate spirulina from Mexico’sLake Texcoco, Spirulina is now often grown in protected, organic ponds. Otherwise, spirulina from polluted sources can cause excess levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium in the body. Beeyoutiful does multiple sample mass spectrometer testing on each and every batch harvested to assure that no environmental, pesticide or heavy metal contaminants are present in the end product they offer their customers. So you can have peace of mind knowing it is truly pure and safe! Spirulina does wonders for almost everyone, but if you are prone to gout, have hyperparathyroidism, PKU, or a seafood or iodine allergy, you should avoid it. Because it does have some carbs, you should also consult a physician before using spirulina if you have Type 2 diabetes.

So how much spirulina do you need to get you going? A therapeutic serving size is between three and five grams, preferably broken up throughout the day. Since six tablets of Beeyoutiful brand spirulina equal three grams, a bottle will last one person approximately one month. For more serious health conditions, take the higher amount, but build up slowly to this dose to avoid detox reactions. Once you re-energize with spirulina, you’ll be ready to tackle that makeover spring cleaning—and to give Ma Ingalls a run for her money!

 Nancy Webster is a homeschool mother of eight and leader of the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She is an ardent researcher on nutrition and alternative approaches to good health.  Nancy lives with her family on their “partially working” farm in Tennessee.


[1] But don’t let these facts keep you from taking cod liver oil daily and eating liver weekly as well. Liver, also a superfood, contains full-blown vitamin B12 and vitamin A—not the pre-cursors present in spirulina. The pre-cursors are generally usable in the body, but young children and many adults with even mild digestive issues have trouble converting beta-carotene into vitamin A. Also, since it is disputed whether or not the body is able to absorb the B12 found in spirulina, animal products are necessary, too.

[2] The Weston A. Price Foundation says “young and middle-aged men…who have cholesterol levels just below 350 are at no greater risk than those whose cholesterol is very low. For elderly men and for women of all ages, high cholesterol is associated with a longer lifespan.”

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.