Why take Probiotics?

Are you taking your probiotics?

Probiotics are organisms such as bacteria or yeast that are believed to improve health. They are available in supplements and foods. The idea of taking live bacteria or yeast may seem strange at first. After all, we take antibiotics to fight bacteria. But our bodies naturally teem with such organisms.

The digestive system is home to more than 500 different types of bacteria. They help keep the intestines healthy and assist in digesting food. They are also believed to help the immune system.

Researchers believe that some digestive disorders happen when the balance of friendly bacteria in the intestines becomes disturbed. This can happen after an infection or after taking antibiotics. Intestinal problems can also arise when the lining of the intestines is damaged. Taking probiotics may help.

“Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines,” says Stefano Guandalini, MD, professor of pediatrics and gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Medical Center. These friendly organisms may also help fight bacteria that cause diarrhea.

Probiotics and the Immune System

There’s also evidence that probiotics help maintain a strong immune system. “In societies with very good hygiene, we’ve seen a sharp increase in autoimmune and allergic diseases,” Guandalini tells WebMD. “That may be because the immune system isn’t being properly challenged by pathogenic organisms. Introducing friendly bacteria in the form of probiotics is believed to challenge the immune system in healthy ways.”

Probiotics May Help Lots of Ailments

Although they are still being studied, probiotics may help several specific illnesses, studies show. In 2011, experts at Yale University reviewed the research. They concluded that probiotics are most effective for:

Treating childhood diarrhea
Treating ulcerative colitis
Treating necrotizing enterocolitis, a type of infection and inflammation of the intestines mostly seen in infants
Preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea and infectious diarrhea
Preventing pouchitis, an inflammation of the intestines that can follow intestinal surgery
Treating and preventing eczema associated with cow’s milk allergy
Helping the immune system

The Yale University panel of experts concluded that probiotics may be helpful in other ways, although the evidence is less convincing.
These include:
Treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Treating vaginitis
Treating diarrhea caused by C. difficile bacteria
Treating Crohn’s disease
Probiotics may also be useful in unexpected ways. A study published in 2010 suggests that probiotics may lower the risk of common childhood illnesses such as ear infections, strep throat, and colds.
Sourced from www.webmd.com

Order your probiotics online at www.vitaminlife.com or come into our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855


Digestive Enzymes

What Are Digestive Enzymes

Giving your body digestive enzymes to help aid digestion is like hiring more workers for an extremely large task. The more workers you have, the better executed the task will be. Digestive enzymes help fight to keep your gut healthy. They are the key substances of the digestive process, working to break down our food for proper absorption. The four primary digestive enzymes are:

Lipase enzymes that help digest and assimilate fats.
Protease/Peptidase enzymes that break down proteins.
Amylase enzymes that break down carbohydrates or starch.
Cellulase enzymes that break down cellulose molecules into simple sugars.

5 Reasons to Take Digestive Enzymes

1. Enzymes Are Vital to Human Survival.
Enzymes are responsible for every chemical reaction that takes place in our bodies. These reactions allow our cells to build up and break down molecules quickly. Vitamins, minerals and hormones mean nothing without the labor force of enzymes. Here’s a simple example given to us by howstuffworks.com…
“The intestinal cells of lactose-intolerant people do not produce lactase, the enzyme needed to break down lactose. This problem shows how the lack of just one enzyme in the human body can lead to problems. A person who is lactose intolerant can swallow a drop of lactase prior to drinking milk and the problem is solved.”

2. Our Typical Diet & Cooked Foods Drain Our Enzyme Supply.
Processed foods with additives, preservatives, nitrates, etc., do not contain the digestive enzymes needed for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients. Because our diet is made up mostly of these foods, our bodies are deficient in many nutrients. These foods also create harmful bacteria & yeast overgrowth in our gut causing inflammation that leads to illness.
The more raw and organic food we eat, the more alive and well we will be. But, even non-organic raw food is better for you than cooked food – especially when it comes to enzymes. Raw foods like avocado, spinach and sprouts naturally contain enzymes. However, when these foods are heated, their enzymes are destroyed.
Enzyme-free foods force your body to steal enzymes from other parts of the body, just to digest, rather than using the enzymes from the food itself to do the job. This depletes the limited supply of enzymes we have in our body.
So, whether you eat a mostly a raw diet or cooked food, taking digestive enzymes before you eat will help your body digest and absorb the nutrients needed for better health.

3. Even Some Raw Foods Contain Enzyme Inhibitors
Raw peanuts, raw wheat germ, egg whites, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, potatoes & lentils are all examples of healthy raw foods that contain enzyme inhibitors. This means that they actually neutralize some of the enzymes your body produces.
Dr. Edward Howell, author of Food Enzymes for Health & Longevity and pioneer food enzyme researcher, explains:
“These enzyme inhibitors are present for the protection of the seed. Nature doesn’t want the seed to germinate prematurely and lose its life. It wants to make sure that the seed is present in soil with sufficient moisture to grow and continue the species.”
So, simply taking extra digestive enzymes when you eat seeds and nuts will neutralize these enzyme inhibitors.

4. Many Factors Cause Our Bodies to Use up Enzymes Faster
The quicker you use up your enzyme supply, the faster you’ll run out. You will only live as long as your body has enzymes.
Our bodies use up enzymes in so many ways. For example, enzymes are used up by our bodies faster in extreme hot & cold weather, with strenuous exercise & when we’re ill.
This is another reason why it’s worth taking extra digestive enzymes to maintain your bodies enzyme bank.
According to Dr. Howell, “people could extend their lifespans by 20 or more years – just by maintaining proper enzyme levels.”

5. Enzyme levels drop significantly with age.
Low enzyme levels are associated with old age. In fact, as we age we have fewer enzymes available and normal digestion slows down. This in turn affects the absorption of nutrients, which then leads to sickness and disease.
“Furthermore, as we pass our prime, the amount of enzymes in our bodies and excreted in our sweat and urine continues to decline until we die,” explains Dr. Howell.
Sourced from www.naturalhealthyconcepts.com

Order your digestive enzymes online at www.vitaminlife.com or come to our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855

14378-20131029 10487252_763634877013771_686941022602664302_n

New Chapter’s Zyflamend

Have you tried New Chapter’s Zyflamend for your aches and pains?

New Chapter’s Zyflamend: The Premier Herbal Formula for
Whole-Body Healthy Inflammation Response*

Inflammation is a natural process that affects every cell and organ in thebody. Zyflamend promotes a healthy inflammation response that helps support joint health and many other body benefits.
*healthy inflammation response: Helps balance and promote the body’s natural, healthy inflammation process for optimal health and wellness.
*whole body benefits: The multi-herbal that may be as important as your daily multivitamin, Zyflamend delivers a multitude of naturally occurring compounds.
Zyflamend delivers the full-spectrum of whole herbs in their natural profiles, not isolated compounds.
*antioxidant action: Whole-food antioxidants, including Ginger, Turmeric, Green Tea and Rosemary, help quench free radicals and support healthy aging.
*super pure and potent: New Chapter uses only supercritical CO2 or traditional techniques to deliver super-pure, super-potent herbal extracts.

Buy your New Chapter Zyflamend online at www.vitaminlife.com or come into our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855


Summertime Asian Quinoa Slaw

Summertime Asian Quinoa Slaw

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 6 – 8 servings

for the slaw:
1 head napa cabbage
1 small jicama
3 large carrots, crated
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds

for the dressing
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons ground ginger
Chili peppers to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon)

Start by whisking all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside and prepare the slaw.
Rinse cabbage and remove any exterior leaves that have wilted or gone limp. Thinly slice the head of the cabbage and place contents in a large mixing bowl.
Cut both ends off jicama so it can stand flat on cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut the exterior of the jicama off, exposing just the interior flesh. Slice in half, placing the flat side down and slicing it into 1/4″ strips. Then cut each strip into matchsticks. Place in bowl along with cabbage.
Add carrots, remaining ingredients, and pour dressing over top. Toss until everything is coated evenly.
Chill in refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours.
For best results, enjoy same day, but will keep overnight.
-Queen of Quinoa

Order your Quinoa and Honey online at www.vitaminlife.com or come into our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855



June is National Fruit & Vegetable Month!

Since fruits & veggies are naturally gluten-free & good for us, that’s something to celebrate!

Here’s our fun, healthy fact for the day about CAULIFLOWER:

Cauliflower, or “cabbage flower,” is a member of the cabbage family and is actually the flower of the plant from which it grows.

Research shows cauliflower contains plant nutrients that may help prevent certain types of cancer.

Cauliflower is available year round but is more plentiful in the fall.

There are several different varieties of cauliflower available in vibrant colors like purple, green and orange!

-Gluten Free Gigi


Pad Thai Wraps

Pad Thai Wraps

Pad Thai wraps are a portable version of classic pad Thai. Rice wraps filled with rice noodles, shrimp (or tofu), peppers, basil, cilantro and a Thai peanut spread, these pad Thai wraps are gluten-free with a vegan option.

Author: Our Four Forks
Serves: 4-6

For the peanut spread:
½ cup natural unsalted peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce or coconut aminos)
squirt of agave or pinch of pure stevia extract, to taste

For the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs (optional, simply omit if not using)
½ pound cooked shrimp (or ½ pound pressed tofu)
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce or coconut aminos)
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
squirt of agave or pinch of pure stevia extract, to taste
2 cups bean sprouts
small bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
5 oz rice noodles, cooked
1 teaspoon crushed red Thai chilies (less to taste – substitute with some crushed red pepper flakes)
soy sauce to taste

8-10 rice paper wrappers
½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped (or roasted almonds)
bunch of cilantro
10-20 basil leaves
lime wedges
preserved sweet radish (optional)

For the peanut spread:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
For the filling:
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil.
Sauté the red peppers until just soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the minced garlic and eggs, if using, stirring quickly so the egg doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Add the cooked shrimp, fish sauce (or soy sauce), tamarind paste and sweetener and stir until well combined for 2-3 minutes. If using tofu, cook a bit longer.
Add the bean sprouts, scallions, cooked rice noodles and Thai chilies, stirring entire mixture until well combined.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Set up your workstation: you need a large bowl of warm water and a damp dishtowel.
Put the wrap flat into the large bowl of warm water (without letting it curl) until soft, about one minute. Lay the wrap flat onto the damp dishcloth. Add about 1/10th of the filling mixture down the center and top with a sprinkling of roasted peanuts, some cilantro sprigs, 1-2 basil leaves, a dollop of the peanut spread and a squeeze of lime. Fold sides over the filling like a burrito (the ends first, then roll up lengthwise).

Order your peanut butter, coconut aminos, and stevia online atwww.vitaminlife.com or come into our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855

10478158_758691140841478_6943073000731153156_n 10494726_758691260841466_355046283747260524_n 10415600_758691167508142_4933905946170571595_n

Tanka Bars

If you want to enjoy a delicious and nutritious snack with protein and fiber, stop by VitaminLife and pick up your Tanka Bars today. You can always order them online as well. They are made with lean buffalo meat and cranberries and come in two flavors, original and spicy. You’ll be glad you did!

To order your Tanka bars visit www.vitaminlife.com or come into our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855


Golden Squash Soup

Golden Squash Soup

From The World’s Healthiest Foods

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 TBS chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 TBS + 2-3/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
6 oz canned coconut milk
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
salt & white pepper to taste
Chop onion and garlic and let sit for 5-10 minutes to enhance their health-promoting benefits.
Peel and cut squash.
Heat 1 TBS broth in medium soup pot. Healthy Sauté onion in broth over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent.
Add garlic and ginger, and continue to sauté for another minute. Add turmeric and curry powder, and mix well. Add squash and broth, and mix. Bring to a boil on high heat. Once it comes to a boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 10 minutes.
Place in blender and blend with coconut milk. Make sure you blend in batches filling blender only half full. Start on low speed, so hot soup does not erupt and burn you. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Thin with a little broth if needed. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Reheat, and add cilantro.

Order your seasonings online at www.vitaminlife.com or come into our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855


Improve your gut defense with probiotics!

Improve Your Gut Defense with Probiotics

Despite their bad-guy reputation, bacteria aren’t all evil. In fact, your digestive tract contains ten times more bacteria—the good kind—than all the rest of the body’s cells combined. Also called intestinal flora, these beneficial bugs help you digest food, keep your bowels regular, and make tiny amounts of some vitamins. “Probiotics should be considered indispensable essential nutrients,” says Marcus Laux, ND, of San Francisco.

For routine maintenance and to prevent illness, many integrative physicians recommend probiotics daily from supplements or food, such as active-culture yogurt. In particular, lactobacillus and bifidobacteria probiotics essentially function as microbial “anchors” in the gut, supporting populations of other good bacteria; supplement with 1 billion CFU lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species daily. (CFU stands for colony forming units, or the number of living and reproducing bacteria.)

Unfortunately, most people don’t think about probiotics until they’ve developed a problem. “Intestinal dysfunctions, whether from prescribed antibiotics or traveler’s diarrhea, demand probiotic supplementation to promote healing and to support a faster, full recovery,” Laux says. But these gut helpers can be confusing because there are so many different types. Here’s how to use friendly flora to keep your gut and its tiny residents happy.

-Delicious Living Magazine

Order your probiotics online at www.vitaminlife.com or come into our Redmond retail store. Call us at 866-998-8855