Health

Nettle juice – 9 reasons why you should drink it

Nettle is one of those plants that each of us will recognize on a walk. Less of us already know that nettle juice has many health-promoting properties.

Traditional use of nettle in medicine
Common nettle has been used as a medicinal plant since ancient times. The ancient Egyptians used nettle to treat arthritis and the lower back. Roman troops rubbed their body with nettles to keep them warm. This is how only a real warrior can warm up 😉 The scientific Urtica dioica comes from the Latin word uro, which means “to burn”. Touching the nettle leaf causes itching, and a burning sensation often forms on the skin. After changing into a natural juice supplement, the dried nettle ceases to have stinging properties. This perennial blooms from June to September. It grows best in nitrogen-rich soil, has heart-shaped leaves and produces yellow or pink flowers.

What are the nutritional values ​​of nettle juice?
Nettle juice contains many nutrients:

Vitamins: vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins. Minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium Fats: linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid Amino acids: all necessary amino acids Polyphenols: kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids. Dietary polyphenols are considered to be substances beneficial to human health and are believed to have anti-cancer and protective effects against cardiovascular diseases. Pigments: beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin, and other carotenoids. Moreover, many of these nutrients act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants are molecules that help defend cells against free radical damage. Free radical damage is linked to aging, as well as cancer and other harmful diseases. Research shows that nettle extract can raise blood levels of antioxidants.

Inflammation and nettle action
Nettle soothes inflammation. Inflammation is how the body heals itself and shows that something is wrong. However, chronic inflammation is very burdensome for the body. Nettle has many compounds that can soothe inflammation.

Properties of nettle juice
Nettle leaf has valuable cleansing, detoxifying and dehydrating properties. Probably because it is high in flavonoids and potassium. Spring is a very good time to introduce nettle juice into your diet because of its cleansing properties.

Nettle cleans the urinary system
Nettle is a diuretic, which means it helps the body get rid of unnecessary fluids. This plant can help your body excrete excess salt and water, which in turn can temporarily lower your blood pressure. In people suffering from a urinary tract infection, it increases urination, thanks to which bacteria that cause infections are flushed from the body. Some relief after taking nettle preparations is also felt by women suffering from flatulence just before menstruation.

Nettle juice and allergies
One of the proven and proven healing properties of nettle leaf is the alleviation of hay fever symptoms. When the body becomes irritated with allergens, it begins to produce histamine, which causes the inflammation. Then a strong runny nose and watery eyes begin. Nettle is an excellent source of quercetin, a flavonoid that inhibits the release of histamine. In studies conducted in people suffering from hay fever, more than half of the patients found that nettle was moderately or very effective in reducing allergic symptoms compared to placebo.

The effect of nettle on blood pressure
Research shows that nettle can affect blood pressure. High blood pressure is a serious health problem because it puts you at risk of heart disease and strokes, which are among the leading causes of death worldwide. Nettle has been used traditionally to treat high blood pressure. Animal studies show that it can help lower blood pressure in several ways. First, it can stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator. Vasodilators relax the muscles of the blood vessels, helping them to widen. In addition, nettle has compounds that can act as calcium channel blockers that relax the heart by reducing the force of contractions. In animal studies, nettle has been shown to lower blood pressure levels while increasing the heart’s antioxidant defense. However, the effect of nettle on human blood pressure is still unclear. Additional human studies are needed before recommendations can be made. If your blood pressure is too low, consult your doctor about introducing nettle into your diet.

Nettle juice for diabetes
Nettle can help lower blood sugar. Both human and animal studies link nettle with lowering blood sugar levels. In fact, this plant contains compounds that can mimic the effects of insulin. In a three-month study of 46 people, taking 500 mg of nettle extract three times a day significantly lowered blood sugar levels compared to placebo. Despite promising results, more research is needed.
If your blood sugar is too low, consult your doctor about introducing nettle into your diet.

Nettle juice will strengthen the liver
Nettle juice has a good effect on the liver. The antioxidant properties of nettle can protect the liver from damage by toxins, heavy metals, and inflammation.

Nettle and skin inflammation
Nettle soothes symptoms associated with dry skin due to allergies. The antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties of nettle can help naturally treat eczema, research at the Penn State University Collage of Medicine shows.

Nettle still has a lot to discover
Intensive research is underway to confirm other properties of nettle, including its effect on: enhancing lactation, stimulating hair growth, reducing bleeding associated with gingivitis, treating kidney and urinary tract disorders, preventing and treating diarrhea, and treating anemia.

Nettle juice is a great solution for people who value natural ways to care for and strengthen their body. Nettle provides many important nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Regular drinking of nettle juice cleanses the body of toxins and supports the urinary system. Recommended for men in the prophylaxis of the prostate. Due to the iron content, it is also recommended for low hemoglobin levels. What’s more, it has a positive effect on the condition of hair and nails.

Not only nettle juice
In addition to nettle juice, you can also produce tea – perfect for both autumn and winter and spring and summer. Nettle tea is very healthy. Fans of the sour and bitter taste of herbs will surely enjoy it. And why is it worth drinking nettle tea?

It has a beneficial effect on the health of the genitourinary tract. In addition, it is recommended for people with anemia, allergies and a tendency to catch any infections. Nettle strengthens the body, which can be seen in its indirect influence – beautiful hair, radiant skin and strong nails.

We can also make nettle tea on our own, but here you have to remember that young nettle leaves should be collected in spring, at the turn of April and May, because then the nettle is at its peak and shows the most health-promoting properties.

Popular cosmetics with nettle
Given the previously described properties of nettle, it is no wonder that it is often the basis of hair care cosmetics. It can be found especially in shampoos and scalp lotions. The second category also includes cosmetic raw materials, e.g. an extremely versatile intermediate – nettle hydrolate.

Hydrosol is a flower water that is created as a by-product of the process of producing essential oils. Interestingly, in the past, the hydrolate was thrown into the trash. It was only (as was often the case) that human curiosity made us take a closer look at the potential properties of the hydrolates.

And so it turned out that the hydrolates used as a tonic balance the pH level of the skin. However, due to the content of a trace amount of essential oils, each hydrolate has different additional properties. The nettle is recommended especially in the fight against dandruff, mycosis, acne and excess sebum.

Pink salt or black salt? Color matters!

How is it with this salt? We got used to this white, stone, mined in the mine. Then, as an alternative, sea salt appeared, made by evaporating water from the sea. Now more and more people want to change the traditional salt and are faced with the dilemma of which will be better – pink salt or black salt? Where does color salt come from and what are its values?

Salt is needed
Although some people choose to exclude salt from the diet altogether, many informed doctors and nutritionists strongly advise against it. Reason? The sodium chloride contained in salt is needed by our body. Of course, dosed as well as everything in reasonable amounts. Salt is essential in the blood-forming process and in the production of hydrochloric acid, which is involved in digestion. In addition, it plays a significant role in maintaining an adequate level of hydration in the body. When it is scarce, water is taken from the cells of our body. It is the salt that takes care of the electrolyte balance in our body.

Pink salt – a treasure of the Himalayas
Since we need salt, it is worth choosing the type that best suits the needs of our body. It is not ordinary, purified rock salt, which is 97.5% sodium chloride and has little nutritional value.

Pink Himalayan salt, which owes its color to the high content of minerals, is much more favorable against this background. It is mined by hand in the Pakistani Himalayas and due to its origin it is considered the purest salt in the world. It contains practically no impurities that would need to be removed later in a chemical process. So it can be considered a 100% natural product.

It is commonly said that pink salt contains 84 minerals. However, researchers do not agree on their proportionate content. It is certain that Himalayan salt, in addition to sodium chloride, also contains: potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, chromium, manganese, zinc, iron, selenium, bromine and iodine. It owes its pink color to the content of these elements.

Due to its composition, pink salt is suitable both for consumption and for external use. It is worth adding it to the bath in case of skin problems. It helps especially with atopic dermatitis, eczema and acne. Baths with Himalayan salt are also helpful in rheumatism, recurrent infections and gynecological problems.

In the case of problems resulting from insufficient hydration of the body, it is recommended to drink water with Himalayan salt and lemon juice.

Black salt (Kala Namak)
Black salt comes from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. It has a positive effect on digestion, although not everyone will like its characteristic aroma reminiscent of the smell of boiled eggs. It is caused by the content of sodium sulphate, iron sulphide and hydrogen sulphide. In Indian cuisine, black salt is very widely used, mainly for cold-cooked dips, salads, snacks and even fruit dishes. It is an ingredient of the Indian chaat masala spice. The more we heat this salt, the stronger its aroma. It is also characterized by a slightly spicy aftertaste.

In fact, its color is dark purple, not black. It is influenced by the content of minerals, especially iron sulphide. This type of salt is valued primarily for preventing digestive problems such as heartburn, gas and indigestion.

We enrich most of our meals with salt. That is why it is worth that it should be of the highest quality and bring something more to the body than just sodium chloride.

DIY cosmetics with Himalayan salt in the lead role
Himalayan salt has a great effect on the condition of the skin, detoxifies the body, reduces swelling and has antifungal properties. So let’s get to know a few patents for home cosmetics with salt in the lead role.

Idea # 1 – bath salt. You should buy finely ground salt, then pour it into a glass jar. It is also worth throwing in it dry, for example, lavender or rose. In addition, a few drops of essential oil, e.g. rosemary, a few tablespoons of vegetable oil (to moisten the salt without changing its state of aggregation) and it’s ready. A little bit of such a mixture is enough to turn an ordinary bath into a SPA treatment.

Idea No. 2 – salt peeling. To prepare the scrub, you will need slightly less ground salt to act as an exfoliating agent. Add a little of your favorite essential oil to the salt jar and then add a little more vegetable oil than with bath salt. The ready mass can be used once a week with a gentle body massage at the same time.

The Gut and Depression – Does the Gut Microflora Affect Your Mood?

The digestive tract and the processes taking place in it have a significant impact on our well-being and mood. Scientific research confirms the close relationship between the functioning of the digestive and nervous systems. More and more scientists emphasize the link between dysfunctions within the digestive tract and the development of mental disorders.
What connects the nervous system with the digestive tract?

The enteric nervous system is made up of a huge number of neurons and glial cells that innervate the entire digestive tract. It controls the processes of digestion, absorption of nutrients and excretion. The vagus nerve, which is part of the enterocerebral axis, is a direct connection between the intestines and the central nervous system. Thanks to this connection, the intestinal nervous system participates in the responses to stressful situations, and also sends signals to the central nervous system when the intestinal barrier is damaged, in order to trigger an appropriate protective reaction in the body. More and more research studies emphasize that disturbances in the intestinal microflora and the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract may be one of the reasons for the development of depression and other mental disorders.
Serotonin – an ally of good mood

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that, inter alia, is responsible for a good mood. Over 90% of it is produced with the participation of intestinal microflora from tryptophan, an amino acid provided with food. Apart from its influence on the central nervous system, it is essential for proper intestinal peristalsis. Dysbiosis, i.e. imbalance of the intestinal microflora, may lead to improper synthesis of serotonin and, consequently, lower mood, as well as the occurrence of other psychological symptoms. Serotonin is also involved in regulating many processes, including sleep, libido and pain signaling.

Inflammation and Depression – Does It Affect?

In the intestines, the external environment (food) comes into contact with the internal environment of our body. The intestinal barrier is a specific filter responsible for the selective passage of components from the intestinal lumen into the circulatory system. It inhibits potentially harmful elements such as microorganisms and toxic substances that are neutralized and removed from the body. As a result of inadequate diet, past bacterial and viral infections, chronic diseases, overuse of certain medications (antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), stress, alcohol consumption, the intestinal barrier is damaged, leading to the development of excessive gut intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome, gut intestinal) permeability). The consequence of the leakage of the intestinal barrier is the passage of bacterial antigens, toxins and metabolic products through it, leading to the activation of the immune system and the development of an inflammatory reaction. Such low-grade inflammation, described in the scientific literature as low grade inflammation, is often observed in patients with depression and other psychiatric disorders. Also, diseases involving damage to the intestinal mucosa, e.g. ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, can increase intestinal permeability. In addition to eliminating the factors contributing to the intensification of excessive intestinal permeability and the diagnosis of food intolerance, it is important to restore the balance of the intestinal microflora through the use of probiotics and prebiotics.
Intestinal microflora – influence on health

The intestinal microflora has many important functions in the body, including the activation and regulation of the immune system of the gastrointestinal tract, the effect on the production of pro-inflammatory compounds, participation in the synthesis of vitamin K and B vitamins, inhibition of the multiplication of pathogenic microorganisms and the production of metabolites conducive to sealing intestinal barrier. It has been shown that a reduced amount of beneficial intestinal bacteria from Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains, and an increased amount of bacteria from the genera Streptococcaceae, Clostridiales, Eubacteriaceae, and Ruminococcaceae are associated with the occurrence of symptoms of depression.

Diet is the key to success

The factors that increase the risk of developing depression and other mental disorders that are directly related to the digestive system include food intolerances, damage to the intestinal barrier and intestinal dysbiosis. A proper diet should exclude products that cause intolerance, which can be detected by the MRT test (Mediator Release Test). The diet should include food supporting the development of proper intestinal microflora, e.g. fermented milk products and silage, as well as sources of dietary fiber – vegetables, fruits, whole grains. According to scientific research, in patients with intestinal dysbiosis, supplementation with probiotics containing, among others, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium longum strains, had a beneficial effect on the mood and functioning of the digestive system. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A are also extremely important ingredients, which can prevent stress-induced intestinal dysbiosis. The sources of omega-3 fatty acids are mainly fatty sea fish, linseed, linseed oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil. Vitamin A, in turn, is contained in eggs, dairy products, fatty fish, butter, and its provitamin, i.e. β-carotene, in plant products such as carrots and red pepper. As serotonin, which is responsible for good mood, is produced from tryptophan (an amino acid), it seems justified to enrich the diet with its richest sources – eggs, nuts, dairy products, fish, lean meats, as well as bananas, cherries, avocados and plants. legumes.

Disturbances in the intestinal microflora may be one of the factors contributing to the development of depression and other mental disorders. Intestinal dysbiosis occurs especially after infections, as a result of inadequate diet, stress, frequent use of antibiotics and other harmful factors. It should be remembered that if you experience symptoms of depression or other mental illness, you should immediately consult a psychiatrist in order to make a diagnosis and, if the disease is confirmed, appropriate treatment should be selected.

What is grounding? quick way for a good day !

What makes a walk on the beach, a picnic in the park or even tidying up work in the garden so fantastic for our well-being, gives an energy boost, relaxes the body and allows you to calm down your thoughts? Why, then, after returning to the urban reality, these feelings seem to blur as quickly? Well – for many people, being surrounded by nature is associated with a vacation and detachment from the hustle and bustle of everyday duties and troubles, but behind our wonderful bliss in its surroundings, there is often another phenomenon – grounding.

 

Most of this will be associated with an electric socket and fuses – but few people know that we can connect our body to the Earth, bringing a number of health benefits, improving well-being and strengthening the immune system, and normalizing the biological rhythm of our body. As? Just standing on it barefoot! Looking at millions of years of human history (and virtually every living thing on the planet), we can see that our bare feet have been in constant contact with the planet’s surface, which undoubtedly has little impact on shaping our physiology. Today, thanks to the progress of modern science, we can find out what is behind the phenomenon of this ancient combination.

History

It turns out that the healing effects of grounding have their roots far back in numerous cultures. Some religious communities on the Indian Peninsula slept on beds made of copper, connected by a cable to a rod stuck in the bare ground outside the window. In ancient Chinese arts, the focus was on extracting Earth Qi by “growing a root” between man and Earth through the “yong quan” point – the highly innervated point of contact of the foot with the Earth, which acupuncturists say reaches through an energy channel to the most important parts of the body.

 

Body contact with the ground was actually part of the daily life of most of humanity until the 1960s, when rubber and plastic were massively used as shoe soles.

Interestingly, there has been a significant increase in the number of people suffering from allergies and autoimmune diseases since then. In the United States alone, there are 50 million people struggling mainly with:

multiple sclerosis
lupus
type 1 diabetes
rheumatoid arthritis (rheumatism)
Hashimoto’s disease and thyroiditis

So how do we explain the alarming statistics about a three- or even four-fold increase in the number of chronic diseases associated with immune system dysfunctions over several decades? In addition to the obvious consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet, researchers and supporters of the grounding theory point to another factor – the “disconnection syndrome” of our bodies from direct contact with the Earth.

Anti-inflammatory combination

Over 20 years of research into grounding leave no doubt – those who are in regular contact with the surface of our planet function and feel better! Grounding improves the quality and depth of sleep, normalizes the level of cortisol (the stress hormone), reduces pain, speeds up wound healing, neutralizes inflammation, and even helps to recover from depression. and while the list of health aspects positively influenced by grounding continues to grow, its main purpose is to act as an antioxidant, or anti-inflammatory.

 

Let’s take a look at inflammation for a moment. They arise as a result of the body’s response to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens or tissue damage. One of the weapons some cells use against harmful microorganisms are free radicals. These notorious atoms lack one of the electrons and thus become out of balance. As a result, they try hard to “snatch” it from the complete atoms they encounter, whether they find it in a virus or in healthy tissue.

Due to numerous atmospheric discharges, the Earth has an infinite supply of electrons – negative electric charges. According to the leading hypothesis of modern researchers, by establishing a direct contact of the body (which is after all a perfect conductor of electromagnetic pulses) with the Earth’s surface, we absorb free electrons that help neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals. What’s more – grounding the body after just a few minutes results in visible differences in the concentrations of white blood cells, cytokines and other molecules involved in the inflammatory response. As shown by the observations of researchers on the phenomenon of human grounding, these processes have a positive effect on reducing chronic inflammation, accelerating the regeneration of injuries and wound healing, and alleviating the intensity of the perceived pain, and this is due to the strengthening of the body’s immune system.

The discoverer of the beneficial effects of grounding on humans is Clinton Ober – an American, who for many years was involved in cable TV and the grounding of electrical equipment, and since 1998 also the effects of grounding on the human body.

His pioneering experiments, carried out first at home on himself and on a small group of friends, convinced him that regular contact with Earth is extremely important for human health and well-being. Since then, together with a group of doctors and scientists, he has conducted several dozen independent studies

Smoothie recipes you’ll love!

We all want to eat healthy every day, but we do not always succeed. When buying a smoothie blender, we imagine blending delicious smoothies every day. We think about how it will be beautiful and healthy when we start acting for ourselves, our well-being and health. And this is often where it ends. Life consumes us, months pass, and our blender is hidden in kitchen cabinets. That is why today I would like to show you how to easily create tasty smoothies that will be full of nutrients.
The best smoothies additions

I have been creating vegetable and fruit cocktails for years and I know perfectly well that even when we regularly make homemade smoothies, we may lack ideas for good additions. In the post you will find 3 recipes for colorful and nutritious smoothies. I will also describe what ingredients should be added to smoothies and how to enrich smoothies to make them even healthier. Curious? Welcome!
Smoothie recipes and toppings:

The maximum nutritional supplements for smooties are:

Kamchatka berry and other berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)

Kamchatka berry is a superfood that is worth supplementing with smoothies. Why? Because its fruits contain large amounts of antioxidants, thanks to which they have strong health-promoting properties, especially beneficial to our health and beauty. The numerous antioxidants present in the fruit reduce the formation of free radicals.

Kamchatka berry fruits contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant substances such as polyphenols, flavonoids and vitamin C, which are extremely beneficial for the human body. This gives great opportunities to use this fruit as a dietary, preventive and even medicinal plant. Experts called its fruit “berries of eternal youth” because they found compounds in them that prevent cell aging.

Regular consumption of haskap berries has a positive effect on health prevention and counteracting civilization diseases. How is this possible?

Kamchatka berry has an anti-inflammatory effect at the cellular level, delays the aging of the retina and helps to heal retinal diseases, it can reduce the size of neoplastic tissue in some forms of cancer, it helps to lower blood pressure, and improves brain function. It has anti-diabetic, antibacterial and anti-adhesive (preventing infection) effects on the gums and gastrointestinal tract.

Interestingly – in Poland, the haskap berry is still relatively little known, because the old varieties of haskap berries were small and bitter. In contrast, the variety from the USA, Canada and Russia has excellent taste, is sweet and nutritious. In Japan, Kamchatka berry is used as a medicine and tonic.

Kamchatka berry is not only a great and valuable addition to smoothies. You can use its fruit in your kitchen in a variety of ways – both fresh and frozen. Frozen Kamchatka berry retains its taste and properties – it can be used to prepare, for example, wonderful homemade ice cream.

You can buy freeze-dried fruit of Kamchatka berry here.

Green leafy vegetables: kale, spinach, chard

Green smoothies additives are a source of valuable vitamins and antioxidants. Not only leafy vegetables will work well in cocktails, but also broccoli, for example, due to their anti-cancer properties. Here you can read more about why you should add these ingredients to smoothies.

Green tea / tea is waving

Adding green tea to your smoothie is a valuable source of antioxidants. Smoothies can be made with green tea or matcha tea. It is enough to add brewed and cooled tea instead of water or plant milk.

Vegetable protein: pods (chickpeas, lentils, peanuts), nuts

Vegetable protein will make the cocktail more filling, thanks to which it will satisfy our hunger for a long time. Adding protein to your smoothies will also help control blood sugar levels. A good source of protein that can be added to cocktails are nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts), seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), sesame seeds, peanut butter, as well as pods and groats.

Quinoa is primarily a rich source of protein, but is also full of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Quinoa also has a lot of fiber, folic acid and vitamin E. Also, groats such as buckwheat, barley and millet are good sources of vegetable protein. You can read more about plant sources of protein in this post: Plant sources of protein worth eating every day.

Smoothie recipes you’ll love

3 ideas for the most nutritious, colorful and delicious smoothies!
Pink smoothie recipe

1 banana
2 cups of strawberries (can be frozen)
half a cup of sugar-free soy milk
2 teaspoons of haskap berry powder
1 packet of sugar-free vegan yogurt
2 tablespoons of cashew nuts

Green smoothie recipe

2 cups of spinach leaves
2 very ripe bananas
1/4 broccoli
half a cup of vegan sugar-free yogurt
2 tablespoons of almonds
half a glass of water
half a cup of oat milk
half a lemon

Yellow smoothie recipe

1 very ripe banana
1/2 mango
half a cup of vegan sugar-free yogurt
2 tablespoons of chickpeas from the jar
half a cup of almond milk
1 teaspoon chia seeds, soaked in water for a few minutes
2 tablespoons of oatmeal

Insomnia. Learn about sleep systems

Do you have difficulties falling asleep? Even after an exhausting day, do you feel that you cannot fall asleep for a long time? Try these 10 tips to help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality.
How to improve sleep quality? Learn 10 tips

Did you know that up to 30-48% of adults suffer from sleep disorders? Sleep disorders can manifest themselves in many ways: from a slight difficulty falling asleep to disturbances in the circadian rhythm of sleep-wake and persistent insomnia.

Sleep problems are not only troublesome, but also dangerous to your health. Chronic sleep deprivation quickly affects our health. We can quickly observe the deterioration of the functions of the whole organism. That’s why it’s so important to get regular 7-8 hours of sleep. Experts emphasize that this is the optimal number of hours for adults to be able to function effectively. So how to take care of a healthy sleep? 10 proven tips will help you with this. Remember, however, that any prolonged sleep disturbance should be consulted with your family doctor.
1. Ventilate your bedroom before going to bed.

Take care of fresh air in the room where you sleep. Experts recommend that the temperature in the bedroom should be between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius.

2. Limit the use of your computer and smartphone at bedtime.

Research shows that blue light emitted by screens deteriorates the quality of sleep. Moreover, it can interfere with the production of melatonin, often called the sleep hormone. Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland and its synthesis is regulated by the light-dark cycle. The most effective synthesis of this hormone takes place at night with appropriate darkening. Thus, the light emitted by the screens can disrupt the process of producing melatonin in the pineal gland. As a consequence, sleep is disturbed and its quality decreases. In the morning, we can wake up sleepless and without energy.

For this reason, at least one hour before going to bed, it is worth limiting the use of the TV, smartphone and computer. If you like to read before going to bed, reach for a book or newspaper instead of a smartphone.
3. Try aromatherapy with lavender oil.

Lavender has a calming and relaxing effect. You can use it in many ways, for example by adding lavender oil to your bath or by sprinkling it on your bedroom pillow. Another convenient solution is aromatherapy fireplaces. All you have to do is pour water with lavender oil into them. You can place the fireplace anywhere in the bedroom and enjoy the relaxing scent of lavender.
4. Try calming herbal infusions.

Herbal tea before going to bed is a good way to relax after a hard day. Take advantage of the benefits of Mother Nature and brew an infusion of herbs with proven calming effects, e.g. with:

lemon balm,
valerian
hops,
lavender,
valerian,
chamomile.

In herbal stores you will find ready-made mixtures of dried herbs for self-preparation of infusions at home.
5. Do not drink coffee or strong tea a few hours before going to bed.

Coffee and tea contain stimulants. If you have difficulty falling asleep, avoid consuming these drinks at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. Also, avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar.

You should also pay attention to whether the medicinal preparations and dietary supplements you use do not contain other stimulants. These include, for example, ginseng or guarana.
6. In the evening, limit hard-to-digest dishes.

During sleep, the body regenerates itself and gains strength for the next day. By eating hard-to-digest foods shortly before falling asleep, we take some of our time to rest because the body needs it to digest a meal. Specialists also emphasize that digesting food lying down can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and in the long term to gastroesophageal reflux.

7. Drink warm milk before going to bed.

Remember when your mom gave you warm milk before going to bed? It has been a proven method for a long time. However, if you do not like cow’s milk or cannot consume it for various reasons, try a warming milk drink based on plant milk.

Hot milk with spices is used in Ayurveda as a relaxing and warming drink that helps you fall asleep faster. You just need to add spices to the milk, for example turmeric, ginger, cinnamon or cardamom.
8. Try breathing exercises or meditation.

Breathing exercises help to calm down and relax before falling asleep. By providing the body with the right amount of oxygen, you can cope better with stress and tension after a demanding day. For best results, exercise in a ventilated room. Remember not to exercise vigorously before going to bed. Demanding training is stimulating and may delay the moment of falling asleep.
9. Avoid taking naps longer than 15 minutes.

If you are struggling with sleep problems, try not to nap during the day. A better solution is to wait until evening and go to bed early. However, if you feel you need a nap badly, make it a maximum of 15 minutes.

10. Try preparations containing melatonin.

Melatonin is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm and the sleep-wake cycle. Preparations with melatonin allow you to fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep.
Melatonin – say goodbye to sleeping problems

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the human body by the pineal gland. Melatonin synthesis takes place in the dark, therefore its highest concentration is observed at night, especially between 24:00 and 3:00. The formation of melatonin is regulated by the light-dark cycle. In the presence of sunlight and artificial lighting, the production of the sleep hormone is much less, which may result in a deterioration of the quality of sleep.
Properties of melatonin

Research shows that melatonin not only regulates the circadian rhythm and affects the speed of falling asleep and the quality of sleep, but also has other important functions in the body:

has antioxidant properties – it neutralizes free radicals in the body, thus slowing down the aging process of cells;
lowers blood pressure and supports the proper functioning of the heart;
supports the immune system;
regulates the functioning of the endocrine system – in particular gonadotropic hormones, such as luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).

Effects and symptoms of melatonin deficiency

Sleep hormone deficiency is most often manifested by:

disturbances in the rhythm of sleep and deterioration of its quality;
difficulty falling asleep;
increased daytime sleepiness;
problems with concentration and general distraction;
malaise, deterioration of mood and irritability;
headache.

The use of melatonin in medicinal preparations and dietary supplements

Melatonin is commonly used in preparations to help you fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep. In pharmacies, you will find many products that contain melatonin, such as sleep pills and oral sprays. The main task of these products is to restore the internal balance in the body by regulating the circadian rhythm.

It is worth knowing that preparations with melatonin are also used to alleviate the unpleasant consequences of the time zone change syndrome (the so-called jet lag).

Preparations with melatonin are considered safe, so you can buy it without a prescription. It is worth noting, however, that they should not be used by pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children.
Melatonin production and age

Research shows that melatonin synthesis decreases with age. This has to do with the changes that take place in the pineal gland throughout life. It has been observed to calcify (calcify), reducing the ability to produce the sleep hormone over time.
Melatonin and tryptophan

Tryptophan is an amino acid that plays a number of important functions in the human body. It is called a melatonin precursor because it is involved in the process of its production. Unfortunately, the human body is not able to produce tryptophan itself, so it should be supplied with food. This is especially important for people who have sleep problems. Tryptophan deficiency may disrupt the process of melatonin production and, consequently, lead to a reduction in the quality of sleep.

Fortunately, many plant and animal foods contain high levels of tryptophan. You can easily include them in your daily diet. Below you will find a list of the best food sources along with their tryptophan content.

Food sources of tryptophan

spirulina (903 mg / 100 g)
soybeans (608 mg / 100 g)
flax seeds (395 mg / 100 g)
pumpkin seeds (374 mg / 100 g)
chicken breast (360 mg / 100 g)
pork loin (320 mg / 100 g)
baked salmon (304 mg / 100 g)
tuna (286 mg / 100 g)
lean cottage cheese (272 mg / 100 g)
smoked mackerel (264 mg / 100 g)
egg yolk (232 mg / 100 g)

Vitamin B12 – functions in the body

Vitamin B12, or coblamine, is a water-soluble vitamin with a very complex structure. It has a ring system bound to the cobalt atom. Cobalamin is essential for many body processes, including the formation of white and red blood cells, the synthesis of DNA, ammonium acids, and marrow proteins. It plays an important role in the transformation of carbohydrates and fats. It is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive and nervous systems.

Vitamin B12 – what is it found in?

Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. Its main sources are offal, meat, milk and its products, and egg yolks. It is synthesized in small amounts by the bacterial flora of the digestive tract. The body can store vitamin B12, its body stores last for 3-6 years, so only after this time, in the case of insufficient supply, symptoms of deficiency can be observed.
Vitamin B12 – deficiency diagnosis

Vitamin B12 deficiency in studies was manifested, among others, by the occurrence of megaloblastic anemia. Laboratory tests show an increase in the volume of red blood cells (MCV) above 100 fl. Additionally, a decrease in hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit and the amount of red blood cells can be observed. Occasionally there is leukopenia with granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia and a decrease in the number of reticulocytes. To assess whether a deficiency is present, it is sufficient to perform a serum vitamin B12 test.

Vitamin B12 – deficiency symptoms

Too low levels of vitamin B12 may occur in people who are on a vegan diet, are abusing alcohol, have transcobalamin II deficiency, have abnormalities related to Castle factor (e.g. Addison-Biermer disease, congenital external factor deficiency) and in the course of diseases with coexisting disorders absorption, e.g. removal of a part of the intestine, inflammatory bowel disease, removal of a part of the stomach, chronic pancreatitis. It can also be caused by incomplete use of cobalamin (simultaneous use of drugs, e.g. neomycin), accelerated wear (multiple myeloma, myeloproliferative diseases, tapeworms). However, the most commonly reported cause is Addison-Biermer disease (gastritis atrophic).

In the case of vitamin B12 deficiency, there are haematological, gastroenterological and neurological symptoms. In addition to the typical symptoms of anemia, such as weakness, impaired concentration, headaches and dizziness, shortness of breath, palpitations, and pale skin and mucous membranes, there are symptoms specific to cobalamin deficiency. The skin is straw yellow in color, there are gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and sometimes loss of appetite. Patients may report burning and pain in the tongue that worsens after eating spicy or acidic foods. The tongue is smooth, bright red and the nodules may disappear, resulting in a loss of flavor. The group of neurological symptoms is very wide. Long-lasting cobalamin deficiency may cause degeneration in the peripheral and central nervous system as a result of disturbances in the synthesis of choline, which is part of the phospholipids that build the myelin sheaths of nerves. There are tingling in the limbs, disturbances in the sense of vibration and position, unsteady gait, and numbness in the limbs. In addition, some people may experience changes in behavior – irritability, memory impairment, dementia.

In the event of a vitamin B12 deficiency, see a doctor to determine the cause and adjust the treatment plan.

Discopathy – study, result, treatment, exercise

Lumbar discopathy, also known as the hernia of the nucleus pulposus, is a symptom complex resulting from degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs (discs) of the spine. Then they dehydrate (dehydrate) and reduce their height. The causes of this disease are associated primarily with a sedentary lifestyle, as well as excessive stress on the structures of the spine. Symptoms of lumbar discopathy include lower back pain, numbness in the lower limbs, sensory disturbances in the leg, and even paresis and problems with keeping urine or stools.
Lumbar discopathy – characteristics

Lumbar discopathy is a disease of the spine caused by degenerative changes in intervertebral discs and pathologies related to adjacent structures – ligaments, muscles and their attachments. Currently, it is a very common medical and social problem – discopathy is one of the most common diseases of civilization.

Degenerative changes in the structure of the discs cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, incl. back pain in the lumbar region, numbness in the lower limbs, stiffness, sensory disturbance. A very dangerous consequence of this condition is pressure on the spinal cord or the roots of the spinal nerves, which can lead to paresis.

In addition to limb symptoms, a hernia of the lumbar spine can lead to reduced urination, faeces, and sexual dysfunction.
Lumbar discopathy – causes

The lumbar section is considered to be one of the most common places where there is overload in the human musculoskeletal system. This is because it is the biomechanical center of the spine.

Among the factors predisposing to the appearance of a lumbar hernia are: obesity, excessive use of the musculoskeletal system by carrying heavy objects, carrying disproportionately heavy loads, rotating the spine while bending it at the same time.

Work in a forced position, such as prolonged sitting, exposure to vibration, or the need to bend down while keeping the knee joints straight, is also potentially conducive to discopathy. The specific, individually variable anatomical structure that may favor the development of L5 / S1 discopathy should also be taken into account. People with osteoporotic changes or endocrine disorders are also more likely to have herniated discs.
Lumbar discopathy – symptoms

Damage to the intervertebral disc in the lumbar region can cause a number of very different ailments. Usually, the severity of symptoms and their topography depend on the severity of discopathy. The most characteristic symptoms of lumbar discopathy include:

  • lumbar (lower back) pain originating from the nerve root,
  • neurological symptoms accompanying lumbar discopathy in the form of numbness, tingling in the lower limb,
  • increased tension in the paraspinal muscles, painful muscle spasms,
  • in some cases, sensory disturbances in the lower limb are possible,
  • bladder and bowel dysfunction,
  • difficulty climbing on toes.

Such symptoms may intensify after prolonged standing, sitting or attempts to load the spine, e.g. when lifting or moving furniture. Additionally, ailments may be favored by abnormal anatomical conditions and posture defects. This role is played, among others, by reduction of lumbar lordosis.
Lumbar discopathy – diagnosis and treatment
Treatment of discopathy begins with a thorough diagnosis. The basis is an interview with the patient and diagnostic tests provoking ailments characteristic of a lumbar hernia.

An example of such a test can be the Lasequa test. It consists in the fact that the patient, lying on his back, is asked to raise the lower limb. If we are dealing with lumbar spine discopathy, the need to move will generate pain, preventing the leg from being raised. It is then necessary to bend it at the knee joint.

Imaging tests are then performed. Depending on the severity of symptoms and the need to differentiate from other diseases, the doctor may recommend X-ray of the lumbar spine, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the spine. The most accurate is, of course, resonance, which very precisely determines the degree and stage of damage, often colloquially referred to as a prolapse of the lumbar disc, which in fact means its displacement (only a fragment or a few fragments of the disc can be translocated). When undergoing diagnostic procedures, it may be necessary to perform an EMG test, which is recommended in the situation of the presented sensory disorders.

In the first place, the treatment of lumbar discopathy is carried out conservatively – mainly pharmacological agents from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used. Vitamin D supplementation is often recommended. Sometimes drugs from the benzodiazepine group are also used. In the case of very severe pain, a decision may be made to perform an epidural injection, i.e. an epidural block (commonly known as a spine block). If this procedure is not effective, surgical treatment of lumbar discopathy with the use of surgical methods such as laminectomy, discectomy and microdiscectomy is considered.
Lumbar discopathy – rehabilitation
Physiotherapy most often plays a major role in regenerating the damaged structure of the intervertebral disc. It is very important to implement a few basic rules. Important are: education in the field of daily activities so as not to overload the spine, reduction of excessive body weight, systematic individual therapy and following the recommendations of a physiotherapist.

In the treatment of lumbar discopathy, applications of Kinesiology Taping (kinesiotaping), mechanical diagnosis and therapy using the McKenzie method, deep tissue massage, TENS stimulation, and spine traction are used. In acute conditions, posture positions, such as the chair position, are used to alleviate the symptoms.

After the symptoms disappear, it is recommended to train the core muscles and promote the activity that maintains the spine in the best condition. Running should only take place on shock-absorbing surfaces and in properly selected footwear. However, whether you can play sports should be decided by the doctor in cooperation with the therapist.

Lumbar discopathy – exercises

Exercises for the lumbar spine to reduce the risk of discopathy include:

Position: lying on your back, arms along the body, legs bent at the hip and knee joints. The movement consists in lifting the hips to the height of the line joining the knee joints and shoulders. In the end position, keep your hips for 3-5 seconds while breathing. We perform the exercise in 3 series of 7-8 repetitions.
Position: hip-width apart, hands on hips. The movement consists in extending the lumbar section while exhaling at the top of the movement. We repeat the exercise 10-15 times.
Position: sit down kneeling, arms extended on the floor. The movement consists in moving the hands forward on the ground so as to elongate the spine. We perform the exercise in 2 series of 10 repetitions.
Exercises for lumbar discopathy should be an integral part of home treatment. It is worth remembering that their use must be consulted with a physiotherapist. If you want to relieve ailments in the form of inflammation and increased muscle tension, you can use Echinacea infusion and bath in water with Epsom salt.

Why are vitamins and minerals essential for life?

Our body needs vitamins and minerals to function properly – they affect the development and efficiency of our body. They must be supplied in appropriate amounts and proportions with food, because the human body (with some exceptions) cannot produce them.

Traditionally, vitamins are divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins have the ability to accumulate in tissues, while water-soluble vitamins do not accumulate in the body, and their excess is excreted in the urine.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause many diseases. In the past, severe vitamin C deficiency caused scurvy and immunodeficiency, vitamin D deficiency – disorders of the osteoarticular system and rickets in children, the lack of iodine, which is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, can lead to cretinism in children, and the lack of vitamin B1 can cause the disease beriberi, i.e. significant weakness and damage to the nervous system. Fortunately, these serious conditions are rarely found in the developed world today. Unfortunately, they can be found in poor countries, which lack food and adequate health care.

There is a huge variety of symptoms associated with a vitamin and mineral deficiency, and it is sometimes difficult to make an accurate diagnosis. The most common are:

  • weakness
  • easier fatigue,
  • apathy
  • muscle and joint pain,
  • decrease in immunity – more frequent infections.

 

It is worth remembering that a deficiency of magnesium and potassium manifests itself in cramps and muscle pains, especially often after uncontrolled physical exertion and lack of adequate hydration. Lack of foods containing iron and folic acid (vitamin B9) in the diet can lead to severe anemia and even a heart attack. The lack of vitamins and minerals belonging to the antioxidant group may not only lower immunity, but also significantly accelerate the processes of atherosclerotic plaque formation in the vessels – and thus increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

It is also worth knowing that alcohol, nicotine, drugs, and legal highs significantly impair the absorption and metabolism of vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, physical activity and the elimination of toxins promote health and proper development at every stage of life.

A proper and varied diet provides adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, and at the same time does not threaten to overdose them. Combined with daily physical activity, it is the key to health and well-being (Figure 1 shows the healthy eating pyramid). However, if you consume vitamin-enriched foods and vitamin supplements at the same time, you may consume them excessively, which may be detrimental to your health. Therefore, dietary supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied diet.

REMEMBER!

  • All you need to do to provide your body with the necessary amounts of vitamins and minerals is to eat healthy.
  • We do not recommend supplementing vitamins and minerals without consulting a doctor, reach for them only when the doctor determines it necessary.
  • Remember that the body absorbs vitamins contained in food much more easily than synthetic vitamins contained in tablets.
  • Our diet should therefore include unprocessed products – natural, primarily: vegetables, fruits, fish, oils. We should not completely rule out meat, which is also rich in essential vitamins.

Both deficiency and excess of vitamins and minerals can be harmful.

 

The importance of vitamins D3 and K2 in the human body

Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone, produced by the body when our skin is exposed to sunlight. In theory. In practice, its secretion depends on many factors, such as the time of the year, time of day, cloudiness and air pollution, latitude, the use of sunscreen, pigmentation, skin aging, the level of adipose tissue, exposed skin surface. to the sun. As a result, our body, in the conditions prevailing around us, is not able to produce an adequate amount of vitamin D. Therefore, supplementation is necessary.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.

It is essential in a huge number of processes in the body.

It has a significant impact on bone metabolism.

It is particularly important in the developmental period – it is involved in shaping bones and teeth. It takes part in the fight against caries by the immune system, activating defense proteins, the so-called cathelicidin. Vitamin D deficiency in children leads to rickets, disturbed bone mineralization and decreased bone mass. In adults, it causes bone pain and diseases such as osteomalacia and osteoporosis.

It has a positive effect on the nervous and muscular systems, regenerates neurons and microdamages in the muscles, and increases their mass. Vitamin D deficiency may be related to sleep disorders.

It has an immunomodulatory effect, i.e. it regulates the body’s immune responses to various types of infections. Its supplementation in children may reduce the risk of type 1 diabetes. It supports the treatment of autoimmune diseases by affecting the cells of the bone marrow. It definitely increases immunity. It prevents the formation of cancer cells. Lowers the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin D deficiency indirectly influences the risk of developing arterial hypertension and heart failure, because it is responsible for the regulation of the functioning of the RAAS endocrine and enzyme system. This system controls the volume of blood circulating in the body and the concentration of sodium-potassium ions in body fluids.

It is important in the process of spermatogenesis and inhibits the growth of the endometrium.

It stimulates the liver’s ability to regenerate.

Daily supplementation with vitamin D3 is recommended at all ages – from childhood to old age. We will benefit from it at every stage of our lives. You should remember about the constant, regular intake of vitamin D3, because due to fat solubility, our body is not able to accumulate and store it.

A supplement that must not be mentioned when discussing the topic of vitamin D is vitamin K, which comes in two forms – K1 and K2.

Vitamin K1 is responsible for a healthy blood coagulation system. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is known primarily for its beneficial effects on bones. Another of its properties is specific cleaning of the arteries of calcium (thus preventing calcification, i.e. calcification of the arteries). It plays an important role in the nervous system, affects memory and prevents neurodegradation. It has a good effect on the condition of the skin. It has been proven to inhibit the development of cancer cells for liver, brain, stomach, colon, lung, bladder and bone marrow cancer.

Vitamin K2 comes in different forms – MK4, MK7, MK8, and MK9. The most digestible form of it is MK7.

MK7 is obtained from natto, a Japanese fermented soybean product. Natto, a dish made of soybeans fermented by the bacterium, is a great source of MK7, but due to its specificity it is not readily consumed in our culture. Therefore, we use vitamin K2 MK7 in the form of supplements more often.

Why should you supplement vitamin D3 with vitamin K2?

Vitamin D allows you to absorb calcium very effectively. However, it can also have a negative effect on our body – calcium will accumulate in the coronary arteries, not in the bones. Vitamin K2 helps the body to store calcium in the bones, where it is needed. It has also been proven that the safety of vitamin D also depends on vitamin K, and the toxicity of vitamin D (although it is practically not in the form of D3) is caused by a deficiency of vitamin K2.