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A telomere by Anni Dahms

Telomere Loss Health Concept

You can read Annis Newsletter in the following languages:

      
I My daughter called me one Sunday and asked me with excitement and a little didactically, if I had ever heard of the telomeres. I told her, with a bit of pride, that around 35 years ago I attended a symposium with international scientists, where the topic of telomeres was a part of some of the lectures. I told her that I had shelved the topic, partly because there weren’t many people in my social circle, who had knowledge of the subject and partly because back in those days, people spoke of the topic as if they had found the key to eternal life. My daughter recounted that the telomeres seem to be a topic which is very debated right now at numerous conferences and courses. What is debated is partly its function and partly how we as individuals can strengthen and lengthen our telomeres, so that we might slow or even reverse our aging, fueling us with new energy, even sexually.

What is a telomere?
We have a counter in our body, called telomeres, they are present in our DNA and decide how many times a cell can divide itself, before it ages and eventually dies.

Human cell, chromosome and telomereTelomeres are small DNA sequences, which protect the chromosome-endings every time the cell divides. The telomeres function as a buffer which protects the chromosomes genetic information at cell division.

The research
Since I try my best to keep up to date with the newest research developments in healthy living, have I started to read up on the research on telomeres and telomerase. Telomerase is the enzyme we produce, to build, rejuvenate, and extend the telomeres that we have. The end-point for how long lives can be is, according to scientists’ accounts, roughly around 120 years, which for some reason present some mystical upper-bound for how old human beings can become. There are multiple biblical stories that mention elderly people, but generally in multiple societies, 120 years is more or less the “normal age”. It’s possible in many of these societies to keep a healthy and industrious life with age. The telomeres are shortened with every cell division and scientists believe that it is the shortening of our telomeres that leads to ageing and eventually death. When we are born the individual telomere is quite long and is then reduced throughout life. For instance, on average it will be reduced with 29% at age 35, and from there it will be halved at age 65. Shorter telomeres are connected to chronic illnesses and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. The telomeres can be improved by strengthening the enzyme telomerase. Those factors, with which we can help our telomerase along, seem to be a mixture of a good diet, no drugs or alcohol, enough sleep, and less stress. Stress seem to be a huge factor. A study conducted at the George Mansion university, showed that women with children have shorter telomeres, than women without children. We know that the telomeres are nourished by the enzyme telomerase. This means that having enough telomerase can help repair and rejuvenate the telomeres.

You obviously need a healthy diet!
It is the diet that will help keep your telomeres healthy and strong and help the formation of the enzyme telomerase, which in turn will help the telomeres. Avoid destroying the body with intoxicating drugs, too much alcohol, and refined carbohydrates with sugar, unhealthy fats, and fried foods. You can use coconut oil. It is a healthy alternative, because it can stand the very high temperatures needed when cooking. A high-quality olive oil or avocado oil can also be recommended for use in your daily cooking. In general you should be careful with eating foods that are already cooked or very processed, so that it’s very boiled. When something is very processed, the enzymes are destroyed and with it all the life in the food which was supposed to nourish us. I find it quite absurd that I see more fine and modernized kitchens than ever before, but at the same time it becomes more and more normal to buy precooked meals, with poor oils, sugars, preservatives, artificial aromas, and colorants. How can we even pretend to imagine that foods of such poor quality can provide the body with the nutrients it amicably asks for. Instead the body has to resort to different diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis etc. It is necessary to have proper dietary habits, but don’t stress about it! Stress is very bad if you want to keep your telomeres healthy. Make sure that you eat sufficient amounts of omega-3 fats. That means eating plenty of fatty fish such as wild salmon. Studies have shown that the telomeres aren’t shortened as fast in people with high levels of omega-3 oils. Eat plenty of green-leafed vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, avocado. You could also make different kind of berries a stable part of your diet, such as mulberries, acai berries, raisins, grapes, and red grapefruit. You should also remember fruits such as apple, kiwi, mango, papaya, and pineapple. You want to generally eat more of a plant-based diet, which is rich in antioxidants. Avoid eating too much meat. If at all possible, make sure that the meat is from animals who have had great lives and walked on grass. Lets lenses be a part of your daily diet. Drink plenty of green tea. It is best if you make your own tea and avoid the premade one in bottles. Make sure you get plenty of nuts, almonds, and seeds.

Dietary supplements
It has been shown that a long string of supplements can prevent a premature shortening of the telomeres. As I always say, you have to start with a base of good vitamins and minerals to keep the body in balance.

  • Make sure that you get a vitamin-B supplement, which has all the different vitamin-Bs in high doses. It has been shown that vitamin-B has a positive effect and can help lengthen your telomeres.
  • Additionally, you could take an extra supplement of B12, either as droplets or in spray form. You could also combine the consumption of B12 with folic acid. They are mixed in multiple products.
  • Take vitamin-C, between 1000 – 3000 mg daily. Vitamin-C prevents loss of telomeres, and it also increases the activity of telomerases.
  • It is best to take vitamin-E with different natural tocopherols, between 40 – 400 mg daily.
  • Zinc should be taken in the evening, in doses of around 20 – 50 mg daily.
  • Magnesium in an easily absorbable form, should be taken in the dosage of 400 – 800 mg daily.
  • If you don’t get plenty of sunshine, then remember vitamin-D. If you want vitamin-D naturally, then make sure you get 15 minutes of sun on all your body, 3 -5 times weekly.
  • The amino acid acetyl L-carnitine is both a brain booster and can help active telomerase, which will benefit your telomeres.
  • If you are a vegetarian, or you eat very small amounts of meat, then it might be a good idea to supplement with L-carnosine, which help you maintain healthy telomeres, and repair damaged tissue and remove toxins. Take between 400 – 600 mg twice daily, if you don’t eat meat at all.
  • L-arginine activates the telomerase. Take 500 – 1000 mg daily.
  • Milk thistle, which we normally use to clean our liver, have been shown to have a positive effect on the telomerase activity.
  • The same is true for Gingko Biloba, which is normally used as a brain booster. I recommend that you do a 6-week cure, and then stop for the following 6 weeks.
  • Astragalus, that has been used for thousands of years to strengthen the body, the immune system, and the heart circulation, has been shown to have a fantastic ability to boost telomerase production, to the benefit of the telomeres.

Tips
It has been seen, according to many different studies, that the telomeres have a great importance in the aging process, and they are heavily effected and shorten much faster when we are stressed. Chronic stress degrades the telomeres and as an effect of that, promotes increased aging.
It is therefore of the utmost importance to reduce your stress levels. I think we all cherish life and that we should take stress seriously and work ourselves out of it, by for instance throwing yourself into some healthy diversions, or reduce your work pace or whatever is causing your stress. You might consider seeking professional help, that could give you some tools to better handle your stress, maybe just through some important keywords.
I would like to pin point that I’m sure that living a long life is not only about lengthening your telomeres. I recently read an article about a woman who was roughly 120 years old. She was on the front page of the news papers and were asked to explain why she had such a good health. Without hesitation she answered that it was love. Love for her husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other family.
Every day, all day, every single moment we make a choice about how we fill our lives. We choose through life, through the words we speak, the food we eat, through our actions, and those exchanges we have with the outside world and the people around us and the large wonderful world as a whole.
Thus this is reflected in our vitality. If we want to improve it, then it takes true bravery, fearlessness, and a strong self-discipline, which must never become a stress factor…

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Autoimmune diseases by Anni Dahms

Cropped image woman with joint inflammation. Female's elbow

You can read Annis Newsletter in the following languages:

       

I hear of an increasing number of people that suffer from what is called autoimmune diseases. There are even more and more people that suffer from multiple autoimmune illnesses at the same time.
An autoimmune disease, is when the immune system wrongly attacks its own cells and tissue.

When I was a young nurse, I rarely heard of autoimmune diseases and the expression was used with great respect. Now the word has become more normalized and is used to describe a myriad of different illnesses. 

By looking at the list of what is now considered autoimmune diseases, it looks to me like we might as well call them “our actual civilization diseases”.

I believe, and my belief is shared by many researchers, that a large amount of autoimmune diseases are caused by a leaking mucosa in the intestines. It appears, from researcher’s perspective, that as long as the bacterial composition is in balance, from living and eating reasonably healthy, we will be protected from many illnesses. And on the contrary, if we eat unhealthily, struggle with infections, and use antibiotics or other kinds of medicine, then we become more susceptible to diseases.

The genes we get from our ancestors can be a contributing factor. All ages can develop autoimmune diseases, but some of these diseases are more common when we age. It is thought that roughly 3 – 400,000 Danes suffer from autoimmune diseases. 3 out of 4 of them are women. Researchers have until now discovered over 100 different autoimmune diseases.

Many autoimmune illnesses develop silently over many years. They start for instance with hair loss, tiredness, problems sleeping, muscle pain, and similar symptoms.

Some of the most common illnesses, which are a part of the autoimmune diseases are Sjögren syndrome, type-1 diabetes, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s disease, celiac disease, and many different variations of allergies and asthma.

It would appear that people, who have had certain diseases, such as mononucleosis, herpes zoster, different forms of the herpes virus, gingivitis have an increased risk of autoimmune diseases. I’ve read that having had mononucleosis increases you risk of attracting an autoimmune disease by 30%.

Other large factors can contribute, such as the quality and the cleanliness of our food and beverages, how clean is the air we are breathing? Do we even have any locations with clean air? 

Heavy metal poisoning, too much sun, heat, or cold together with smoking also plays a role.

An interesting discovery has been, that children who live together with furry animals are less likely to develop allergies. 

Other researchers believe that the many vaccinations and other forms of medication contribute in promoting autoimmune diseases.

sund_madThe diet

What dietary changes you should make, obviously depend the given autoimmune disease in question. Nevertheless, some common guidelines can be made. There is not one diet which is great for all autoimmune illnesses, but it is always important with a healthy and varied diet. If you need individual guidance tailored specifically for your illness, then it might be a good idea to contact a skilled dietician or nutritionist, that can provide you with more concrete instructions for what would be good to eat in your situation.

Eat natural and unprocessed foods whenever it’s possible. I think it’s especially important for delicate people to eat ecological.

Avoid too much poor-quality meat, especially be careful with dark meat, too much poor fat, sugar, salt, fast food, too many spices, as well as all forms of alcohol. There have been studies which have shown, that eating a vegetarian diet can decrease the activity of certain autoimmune illnesses.

Avoid cola and coffee, together with all other caffeinated drinks. If you are a devoted coffee drinker, then you’ll be more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Try drinking green tea and other herbal teas and drink juices from fruits and vegetables.

Make sure that you get plenty of good ecological vegetables, fruits, whole-wheat products, fat fish, different nuts, and olive oil of the highest quality. You could also eat a bit of ecological butter, which contains healthy fats.

Some people have a hard time processing dairy products, just as it might be an idea to avoid foods with gluten. Gluten is especially present in wheat, rye, barley, and to a lesser extent in oats. There are researchers who hold the opinion, that glutinous foods can open you up to autoimmune diseases, as they believe that the gluten weakens the mucosa in the intestines and can make it leak. That would mean that food scraps, toxins, virus, and bacteria could flow straight into your blood and in that way provoke an autoimmune disease.

More researchers are also convinced that gluten can be problematic for people who might suffer from an autoimmune illness without being aware of it.

I have personally never been diagnosed with any autoimmune disease, but I’ve discovered that I feel slightly uneasy and have trouble with my intestinal system, as well as my delicate heart which starts racing, after consuming gluten.

In some cases you might also need to avoid foods from the night shadow family, such as tomatoes and potatoes.

Dietary supplements

  • Take a base multivitamin / mineral product of high quality.
  • Make sure to get the important omega-3 oils and combine it preferably with a good flaxseed oil.
  • A completely incredible antioxidant is alpha-lipoic acid. It is an antioxidant that can aid significantly with most autoimmune illnesses. If you start taking alpha-lipoic acid you will, in most cases, feel a rapid improvement. Not only does it help combat autoimmune diseases, it also sharpens the memory.
  • For most of us it will be important with a supplement of vitamin-D. More American researchers believe that many autoimmune diseases can be connected with lack of vitamin-D. There are multiple studies, which show that vitamin-D can help people with mb chron. Vitamin-D is present in foods such as fat fish. If you don’t like fish, then you should have extra focus on getting your vitamin-D supplement. Vitamin-D has a very important influence on the immune system, which makes it functions optimally. The dose should be around 100 mcg daily. The older you are, the higher the chance is that you’ll contract an autoimmune disease. The intestines absorption of vitamin-D is reduced with age. It is therefore especially important to take an extra supplement of this daily.
  • It also might be a good idea with an extra supplement of zinc. If you for instance lack zinc, then it can affect more than 100 different enzyme processes. The doses should be between 20 – 40 mg daily, and it is best to take it in the evening.
  • Supplement with manganese.
  • Take selenium in its organic form, roughly 200mcg daily.
  • Cats claw is good for cleaning out the entire intestinal system and can be helpful with different autoimmune illnesses. It can also help with a set of harmful bacteria, viruses, and parasites. The entire immune system will most likely be improved.
  • Curcumin which is extracted from turmeric counteracts many overreactions in the immune system caused by autoimmune diseases. Curcumin has an antioxidant effect and is an active key ingredient in turmeric.
  • Make sure you get an extra supplement of high-quality vitamin-C, preferably combined with bioflavonoids.
  • It is important to have a healthy intestinal flora. Liquid Vita Biosa is a collection of healthy bacteria and mushrooms, which are great for reestablishing a healthy intestinal flora. There is a myriad of different lactic acid products. It is important to choose one of high quality and to change them every now and again.

Tips

  • If you have silver fillings in your teeth, you might want to consider consulting a dentist with experience and knowledge of safe amalgam removal. Mercury is seen by many experts, as a cause of different autoimmune illnesses.
  • If you are a smoker, then quit it. Smoking can lead to different autoimmune diseases. If it’s too big of a mouthful to quit your cigarettes completely, then I believe in the milder spectrum of therapists, who believes that you should reduce your cigarette consumption to 5 or even better, to 2, then you have made a great effort, and you can realistically live a good life.
  • For and against vaccinations is a very hot discussion topic at the moment. If you are planning on getting a vaccination or you have a child which is about to get vaccinated, then I think it is worth the effort to read up on the views, both for and against, and then use that information to make your own decision.
  • Stress weakens our immune system and is believed to be a triggering factor for autoimmune diseases.
  • The same can be said for getting too little sleep. A good night’s sleep is important for us and our wellbeing.
  • It is therefore essential, that we put our worries behind us when we go to sleep. Keep disturbing elements out of the bedroom. Make sure the room is cool and ventilated and have a quality bed. Keep mobile phones, TV, and computers away from the bedroom.
  • You could for instance read a bit in an uncomplicated book or listen to soothing music.
  • Use your body properly every day, and make sure you get exercise that fits your type, without having it being dependent on elitism or competition, so it doesn’t become a stress factor. It could for instance be a daily walk in a peaceful environment. You should know that, if you exaggerate your exercise, then it might be immunosuppressive.

Important: Enjoy life and happiness

Nutrition for vegan athletes

I’ve heard many times “I would like to go vegan but because I work out I need meat” Well… I am vegan and I work out as well. I go to gym, pilates, run,  play pádel and do yoga. I think that it has been just easier work out as vegan. I feel like I have more energy and the body recover better. So don’t be afraid to go vegan because you are athlete or definitely don’t be afraid to do sports if you are vegan.
I have told on my vegan nutrition post what supplements I recommend for vegans. On this post I will tell you what supplements you should take if you want to work out as vegan. I am not getting into so much those points that I already went through on my vegan nutrition post so go check it if you haven’t yet and keep those also in your mind. Everything what I told there is also good for vegan athletes.

 

PROTEIN

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Like in my vegan nutrition post first which we are going to get in is protein. It is definitely the most questioned topic. For me it’s not difficult to get my daily protein intake full from my diet. I am consuming a lot of legumes, oat, tofu, quinoa, lentils, nuts and seeds. Just remember keep the diet versatile and combine different protein sources because legumes lacks amino acids methionine and cysteine, and wheat lacks amino acid lysine. Quinoa, buckwheat, soy, spirulina and hemp has complete amino acid profile so if you think you might lack some amino acids include these in your diet.
Even though it’s quite easy to get protein from vegan diet athletes can benefit taking extra protein from powders or bars. When average person needs about 0.8 grams protein per kilogram of body weight athletes need 1,2-2,0 grams protein per kilogram of their body weight every day. Protein build, maintain and repairs our muscles and our body can also use protein for energy. In order to get the best results from your exercise you should get protein no more than 2 hours after work out. Not always we have time to cook high protein meals right after work out so in those situations powders and other protein supplements can be useful.
Usually if I’m going to the gym at the morning I like to add a scoop of protein powder to my breakfast smoothie. That way I have power to work out, I don’t feel hungry during my work out and my body recover much better. There are plenty of options of vegan protein powders. We have in Anni’s vital shop rice, soy, pea and hemp protein powders. Also we have these Nordiq’s post-workout and pre-workout protein powders which are specially made for athletes. It’s 100% organic mix of plant proteins, adaptogens, mushrooms and nutritious plants which gives energy, strengthen your mind and body and support recovery. If I go to gym straight from the work it’s easy option just grab one of those pulsin protein bars with me. They are totally natural just made of nuts, fruits, rice and pea protein. We have many different flavours like orange chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip and vanilla chocolate chip and they all are really tasty!

 

IRON

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Iron is not as questioned topic as protein but maybe it should be. Iron deficiency is actually one of most common nutrition deficiency in the world. It is essential mineral found in every cell of our body. There are many vegan iron sources like soy, quinoa, kale, tofu, tempeh, spirulina, chia seeds, dark chocolate, apricot, figs and broccoli. So again remember to keep your diet versatile, eat some of these everyday so you should get enough iron. Depending how often and what type of exercises you do your need for iron can be higher than usual.  Women tend to have more iron deficiency than men and especially women athletes has high risks for deficiency. Our body lose iron through sweating and women lose small amount of iron while menstruation.
Even though there are many vegan iron sources vegans has to be a little bit more careful because there is two types of iron, heme and non heme. Heme is more easily absorbed form and it’s only found in animal products which are usually 40% of heme and rest of the iron is non heme. All plant based iron sources contains only non heme iron. There is also the bright side getting your iron from plant based sources and it is vitamin C. It helps the iron absorb and vegetables usually are pretty high in vitamin C. So if you are a vegan woman who works out you might feel like eating veggies and doing exercises is super healthy and of course it is but also you should be aware that these habits can increase your risk to get iron deficiency. If you are feeling tired or you are not getting wanted results of your work out you might be lacking iron.
I am not taking iron supplements right now. I eat many different iron sources daily and I am taking the OmniVegan multivitamin which has 14 mg iron. I am feeling that those are enough for me. I feel energised and I have power to do my work outs. But if you are feeling that you need more iron we have this amino jern supplement in offer whole March and it is really good choice to people who workout and it is 100% vegan!
Just little reminder that coffee and tea can reduce our iron absorption more than 40% so avoid taking iron supplements or eating your iron sources together with cup of coffee or tea.

 

MULTIVITAMINS

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Keep in mind that when we exercise our body consume more every nutrient so besides to a varied diet take some multivitamins to make sure your body can keep up with your sport performances. We have three different multivitamins which are specially for vegans. OmniVegan, Longo vital vegan and SpectroVEG. Like I already told I am taking right now the OmniVegan one. That’s actually the only multivitamin which I really can feel that it is working for me. I feel more energetic and sleep better when I take that. And for an athlete long and good sleep is really important. Our body recover better while we are in sleep and after good sleep we have so much more energy to do our exercise. OmniVegan is a lot higher in all B vitamins than most multivitamins so that is probably the reason why I sleep better with it. B vitamins regulate the body’s tryptophan levels which is essential amino acid for sleep. Even though this is really high in all B vitamins I really recommend to take also separately vitamin B12. It’s something you can’t find in plant based food and because of its poorly absorption it’s good to take high doses of vitamin B12. If not every day at least few times of week.

Like I told on my vegan nutrition post there are many vegan calcium sources but calcium is also something that athletes should take extra care. It is necessary to our muscle function and bone health. OmniVegan has 150 mg calcium which is great addition but it’s not enough on its own. Make sure to also eat different calcium sources in your diet. Like tofu, sesame seed, nettle, broccoli, kale, tahini, spinach, almonds, hazelnuts. In order to make your calcium absorb take also vitamin D supplement. OmniVegan contains 20 mcg of vitamin D3 but it is quite a small amount because there are not many sources of vitamin D in vegan diet, so I recommend increasing the amount. In our selection we have  this Veg D-3 which has 75 mcg vitamin D3 and together with OmniVegan makes 95 mcg  so that is good amount.

Veg D-3 is on offer until end of the March and you can save up to 2.70€!
 
 
See you in the shop (or at the gym😉)
Milla – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches

 

Happiness by Anni Dahms

Senior Woman Jumping On Beautiful Beach

You can read Annis Newsletter in the following languages:

       

After I successfully overcame my sickness with heart complications, water in my lungs, and hypertension, I have decided to consciously seek happiness. I’ve made this decision based on different literary sources, which have inspired to see, that the body and the immune system work best with those who are happy and easily laugh. Laughter and joy are important tools for regaining your strength. As a self-prescribed therapy, I’ve chosen to invite laughter back into my life.  Laughter releases happiness hormones.

I’ve always demanded a lot from myself, had many things I wanted to accomplish and gone after them with all that I could muster.

I’ve become more conscious of not turning my heart’s desires into a heart disease. I’m working on seriously re-ordering my priorities and learning to take myself and others less seriously, and instead focus on all the wonderful bright sides that are part of my every day life.It’s important for me to have a joyful heart completely free of fear. I want to make it a habit to be in the state of equilibrium and balance.

In the book “Anatomy of an illness as perceived by the patient”, Norman Cousin writes about his battle with the disease morbus bechterew, which is an illness that makes the bones in your spine grow together. He refused to give up. The short version is, that he used daily laughter and plenty of humor combined with a vitamin-C and a less hectic lifestyle to regain his health.

The change to a more joyful lifestyle doesn’t happen by itself. If you decide to increase the level of joy in your life,it therefore demands that you decide to train and make an effort. Just as with people who play sports, you will properly lose your capacity if you stop training.

I’m not saying that we should be positive happy doormats, that is in my opinion way too shallow. We should have our viewpoints and express them, while remaining friendly. You cannot be happy all the time. With life comes both critique, disappointment, sorrow, and negativity. We have to live through it, and then it’s back on the horse in the pursuit of happiness. 

When you decide to be live a happy lifestyle, then start slowly and don’t blame yourself if you get angry or upset. You could’ for instance’ start when you are driving your car, practice having tolerance, balance, and forbearance whilst maneuvering through rush-hours causing many stress factors.

When you throw yourself into project “happiness”, you must remain mindful of your daily bases. 

In addition, you must use your creativity and curiosity. Seek out the things that make you laugh. Laugh all throughout the day. And make sure that you do something you enjoy every single day. It’s great with new experiences involving things such as games, dancing, singing, or music. These are things that affect our brain. You will obviously make plenty of mistakes during your new project, but just laugh it off and get back at it. Practice makes perfect.

As the old saying goes: “smile! And the world will smile back”. When I smile at people, my smile will often be returned. I often think of the Danish pianist and entertainer Victor Borges wise book “A smile is the shortest distance”. It describes it beautifully.

There is an eastern meditation which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, I practice it when I’m alone, by holding half a smile. The facial expression is enough to make me feel more at peace and reduce my stress.


The diet

I always highlight the importance of a high-quality diet in all my articles, and I would also like to pinpoint it’s utmost importance when it comes happiness. As you consume lovely high-quality food, you must be mindful of chewing your food properly and eating in peace and quit. Too many people devour their meals and in doing so, it also affects their lives.

First and foremost, completely remove the white flour and white sugar from you diet. Especially the combination of fat and sugar is dangerous. So, when you are hit with a craving for a Danish pastry filled with cream and sugar, you should go instead for something healthy and sweet, such as dates, figs, grapes, oranges, honey, or choose a banana with lots of great vitamin-B, perhaps combining it with some nuts, almonds, or seeds. All nuts are healthy, but walnuts are especially rich in omega-3. Cashew nuts are very rich in zinc, which is good if you experience anxiety. Fruits can help promote well-being, so make sure that you include berries in your daily diet too.

You can also enjoy a piece of dark chocolate, which is filled with antioxidants and other mood boosting substances.

Corn products could be brown rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, and quinoa. Make your own portion of ecological oatmeal. Oatmeal is known for its calming effect and it can help increase your happiness.

Decrease your alcohol consumption. It will put a strain on your liver and imbalance your blood sugar. If you want to drink alcohol, consume  only very small amounts, and do it together with food that are fatty and oily. It reduces the absorption of the alcohol,and,drink plenty of water.

Avoid energy drinks, cola, and other carbonated drinks, you should also stay clear of any with artificial sweeteners.

Let the coffee you drink be of high quality and enjoy it in limited amounts. Be careful not to drink coffee too late in the day, it can easily destroy a good night’s sleep. You could also consider using a bit of cream as it reduces the effect of the caffeine.

Drink green tea and other herbal teas instead.

Instead of drinking cow’s milk, which doesn’t suit many people, you might opt for a full flavoured and healthy substitute, such as soy, rice, or almond milk, that might be mixed with nuts or coconut.

Make sure that you get plenty of vegetables, even as vegetable juices. You might want to consider spinach, which contains an array of good substances, which may increase your mood, for instance,due of its content of magnesium. Remember the leguminous fruits. A chickpea pancake is one of the best snacks for a happy brain. Ecological eggs with Omega 3 contain, in their raw or light cooked states, lecithin, which also aids your brain. Let fish and poultry be a stable part of your diet. Buy wild salmon if possible and make sure the poultry is ecological.

Lamb and steak are things that I personally enjoy, but I’m very careful with it, and I make sure that it’s meat from free range animals. I avoid smoked and salted products, as that alters the taste of quality.

I read an article, by writer and blogger Karin Lyager, saying studies have shown that vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be hit with depression than meat eaters. I admire the people who make these dietary choices, but I’m also well aware, that I cannot muster that lifestyle. However, I always make sure that the meat I eat is from animals who have led wonderful lives.

Choose good oils for your cooking. I’m personally most fond of olive oil, but I also enjoy flaxseed oil for my vegetables and salads. Coconut oil and butter is also great.

Dietary supplements

  • Supplements play a large role, if you aim to have a happy every day. Remember to take them on a regular basis.
  • Make sure you take a high-dosed multivitamin/mineral product.
  • You should also get a high-quality Omega-3 product.
  • Vitamin-C is one of the most important vitamins ,for me personally. It aids, among other things,the adrenocortical hormones and adrenal steroid hormones, as well as the immune system. The bioflavonoids belong to the vitamin-C complex. It’s therefore important to take a vitamin-C supplement which contains bioflavonoids to make an optimal absorption.
  • A vitamin-E supplement mixed with tocopherol ‘decreases the ageing process and provides nutrition for the entire body.
  • B-complex supports our immune system, among other things, and has an influence on our serotonin levels (the happiness hormone).
  • Lecithin is a fat, which is present in all cells. Lecithin promotes mental well-being and keeps you calm.
  • Q10 is included in the mitochondrial membrane. The mitochondria are the cell’s power plants and contributes by giving you energy.
  • PQQ describes the perfect partner to Q10. I see PQQ as a huge breakthrough and a great help in improving your health. Q10 helps the mitochondria function properly and PQQ can make new mitochondria. PQQ’s entire name is pyrroloquinoline quinone. It is found in different foods, and  in breastmilk.
    It was shown, in a 12-week double blind study, that a supplement of PQQ could reduce tiredness and nervousness, lower a heightened cholesterol, improve the quality of sleep, and improve the overall vitality.

Tips

  • Lack of sleep is the worst enemy of happiness. Getting an adequate amount of sleep plays important part in living a happy and harmonious life. Most people are best served by sleeping eight hours. Avoid chemical sleep medications. You should instead drink a bit of chamomile tea or consume other calming herbs or herbal tea. If you have difficulty falling asleep, then make it a habit to go to bed at 22:00. 
  • Make sure to exercise at least half an hour daily. Take a walk in nature where you are exposed to the full spectrum of light. Remember that play, dance and love are also forms of exercise.
  •  Remember to stay grateful. Be grateful for all the little things we often take for granted.

Healthy latte recipes

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Nowadays all trendy coffee shops are offering different types of healthy lattes. There’s turmeric latte, matcha latte, chai latte. It’s of course nice to go to coffee shop for these lattes but sometimes it can be pretty cozy to drink warming cup of latte at home. I am not a big coffee drinker so it’s nice to start my weekend mornings with a cup of turmeric or matcha latte. I am going to give you 2 healthy latte recipes. In spite of whether you are coffee drinker or not these are worth to try. Both these recipes are also dairy free, gluten free, vegan and full of antioxidants!
If you are feeling lazy to make these mixes yourself we have also pukka matcha chai and turmeric gold latte mixes. Simply just put 2 tsp on your chosen milk and thats it!

 

TURMERIC LATTE

Turmeric is spice which is commonly used in asian kitchen. You might know it as main ingredient of curry. Besides of being really tasty it’s also has many health benefits. Turmeric can reduce depression symptoms, support joints, promotes hearth health and encourages healthy cholesterol levels. Most effective plant substance of turmeric is curcumin. It has proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Unfortunately, our body can’t absorb curcumin that well. So when you are using turmeric add black pepper with it. It contains piperine which enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000%. Thats why we are adding pinch of black pepper to this recipe.
This recipe includes also cinnamon and ginger which both gives taste and health benefits as well.  Cinnamon can lower LDL cholesterol, it has antimicrobial properties and it can lower blood sugar levels. It does matter which type of cinnamon you use because cinnamon contain coumarin and consuming too much coumarin is not good for you. Ceylon cinnamon is lower in coumarin so always choose ceylon instead of cassia cinnamon. We have in Anni’s vital shop organic ceylon cinnamon and that’s what I am using when I make this latte. Ginger can reduce muscle pain, treat nausea, helps with cholesterol levels and it has anti-inflammatory properties. So this latte is really full of different type of health properties!

 

Ingredients

 

How to make
  1. Add the almond milk to a small saucepan and heat on low temperature.
  2. Add turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper and stir frequently for about 3 minutes until the milk is warm, but not boiling.
  3. Remove from heat and add sweetener by your taste.

 

MATCHA LATTE

Matcha latte is something I love to start my weekend mornings. Matcha is a form of green tea where tea leafs are powdered. It has more benefits to your body than just regular green tea because you drink the whole leaf, not just the brewed water. Matcha is really high in antioxidants, actually over 100 times more than green tea. It also can help keep your immune system in shape. Unlike turmeric latte matcha contain caffeine so if you feel like your mornings need refreshing caffeine boost this is way to go! Even though it contains less caffeine than cup of coffee, you will feel much more balanced and energetic, thanks to the natural amino acid, L-theanine. When you combine this compound with the chemicals in your brain, you will feel both calm and refreshing at the same time for 3-5 hours and will not be followed by a similar collapse later in the day than if you were drinking coffee. This is really simple recipe with just four ingredients.

 

Ingredients

How to make

  1. Add matcha powder, agave syrup and hot water to your cup
  2. Whisk until its dissolved
  3. Heat the plant milk of your choice
  4. Pour heated milk into your cup and it’s ready!

 

 

Enjoy your latte!

Milla – Anni’s vital shop, Los Boliches

Hypertension by Anni Dahms

In panic, I call my son five minutes to midnight on a Sunday evening. Luckily, he isn’t far away. With terror in my voice I tell him that I can’t breathe and that he must call an ambulance.

He quickly calls 112 and explains the situation, all whilst my breathing is getting worse and worse. He calls again, and they calm him and inform him that they will arrive shortly.

Ten minutes after the first call, three large paramedics arrive, who quickly assess how severe the situation is. One of them starts to give me oxygen, whilst the others move the furniture out of the way, so they can move me into the ambulance. I was told all of this later, my only focus at the time was to continue breathing.

My son was instructed, in the ambulance, that he could follow them in his car, as long as he drove in a proper manner. Somewhat jokingly they said they didn’t want anymore accidents.

In the ambulance I’m given the most wonderful oxygen, which is the only thing I perceive. I hear the driver ask if they should speed up, but the guy who is next to me says “no – put on some music”.

The whole process was very calming and professional. I wish I knew the names of the three men, so I could bring them a box of chocolate and a bottle of wine. I sadly don’t know how to reach them. If any of them should happen to read this, they should know that they are more than welcome to visit the store in Los Boliches, as I would love to thank my three heroes.

I’m expected when I arrive at the hospital Costa del Sol, everything is ready for me. I’m transferred from the stretcher into the bed, with the help of moving mattresses, which I hardly notice. The treatment is completely professional here as well. An IV drip is administered, I’m given different injections, and X-rays are taken. The oxygen mask is also changed and becomes permanent.

The diagnosis is, that my heart, due to some conduction disturbances and an elevated blood pressure level, had filled my lungs with water, therefore I couldn’t breathe.

When the first aid was completed, I was taken to intensive care and my shocked son had in the meantime informed the entire family, who were permitted to come in.

I laid in intensive care for around a day, and was attended by a cardiologist and another doctor. I demanded to be sent home, whilst wearing my oxygen mask and being hooked up to all kinds of IV drips! I suddenly felt that it was unbearable to lie in the hospital. The treatment was again very professional. One of the doctors told me, that my health was very poor, but if I insisted, then would always treat me if I returned. My son and I discussed it, and we both thought that the doctors were very skillful, so I decided to stay for further tests. Afterwards I was taken to the cardiology department.

Hypertension

Hypertension is one of the most common illnesses in the western world and it brings along a severe risk of heart attack, kidney disease, eye disease and strokes. Hypertension is the most common cause of strokes and blood clots in the brain. It is the blood pressure that decides how hard the heart needs to work, and pump the blood around in the body. The blood pressure is measured with many different devices, as the systolic and the diastolic, meaning when the heart is resting and when it’s working. The condition of the heart is approximated from these measurements. There are often no symptoms of hypertension but in some cases, may occur a slight headache and/or a flickering before the eyes. So, it might be a good idea to have your blood pressure measured on a regular basis. The heart can handle the increasing work for many years, but with time it will eventually fail. 

The diet

I now have a huge wish that, the food and drink would be prioritized substantially higher in the hospital. While I laid in intensive care, I received plenty of oxygen, so my mouth and throat were completely dry. I also got sores in my throat. I was fasting in case something might happen, which made perfect sense to me. As a former nurse I would like to offer an hours’ worth of free education in nursing, on how to handle patients with permanent oxygen masks. The loveliest nurse came, after my request, with a pack of wet gauze. It was like the most wonderful champagne. When I succeeded in drawing the attention of the nurses, by shouting, which by the way was quite difficult, they only brought a syringe of water, which hardly made the gauze wet.

During my young days as a nurse, we were always allowed to give the patient a small ice cube they could suck on.

When my fast was over, I was finally permitted to eat again, before leaving intensive care. I opened the two bowls, filled with joyful expectation. One of them was a gooey overcooked fish, and the other was a large bowl of curry rice without a single piece of meat. Even though I was hungry I just couldn’t eat anything. With dry humor, I convinced myself that it would probably be healthier to continue the fast. As a trained nutritionist I freely make myself available to whomever is in charge of the food budget. In my understanding, the food should provide you with nutrition to better your overall health. I assume hospitals exits to better people’s health, not to worsen it.

The manager of the section, a beautiful and empathic man, made sure that I was given a bed as quickly as possible.

I was transferred to a two-bed room. My neighbour was an amazingly friendly Andalusian woman, around the same age as me. Despite our large cultural differences, we quickly connected. There were no communication difficulties, because of the steady supply of oxygen, which I had available until shortly before I was released, my brain was working at maximum capacity, and I could remember all the Spanish verbs and words I hadn’t used in years.

I will never forget her. She was very concerned about my poor appetite. She thought the food was wonderful and proudly ate all of it. Happy and in a pleasant mood the whole time.

I had to get my coronary arteries examined and had to sign an agreement, stating that I was fully aware of the risks involved. My neighbour overheard it and quickly crocheted a bracelet for me, shaped like a rosary. Love without limits.

Recommendable diet

If you suffer from hypertension, then eat your food without adding additional salt. Many people pour salt on their food without even tasting it first. If you’re a coffee drinker, don’t make it too strong and reduce the number of daily cups.

Avoid foods with white sugar and sodas, even the artificial ones.

You will benefit from eating garlic and onions every day, they reduce the risk of heart attack and strokes.

Only consume small amounts of alcohol. You should consume a maximum of 1 – 2 glasses of wine and remember to drink plenty of water in between.

Vegetables are filled with antihypertensive dietary fibers, so eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Let nuts become a part of your daily diet.

Ease up on the dairy products and choose the low-fat ones.

Eat fish and cold fish cuts. Eat potatoes, wholegrain rice, and wholegrain pasta.

Quench your thirst with water and herbal teas.

Medication

Luckily the examination of my coronary arteries, showed that they were surprisingly healthy. Hence my doctor saw no reason to conduct further tests on my heart and blood pressure. I was administered quite a bit of medication, which I take with the utmost gratitude, even though I normally don’t consume any medications. I get a diuretic medication, betablockers that aids the heart’s work, and of course antihypertensive medication. I intend to take them, at least until my next control and then we will see what the cardiologist has to say.

I feel fine on the medication and I also take my normal daily dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements

  • It’s great to take certain herbal remedies in tea form, such as linden tree flowers, which expands the blood vessels and thereby lowers the blood pressure.
  • Dandelion works as a diuretic and lowers the amount of liquid in circulation, which in turn lowers your blood pressure.
  • Eat ginger daily.
  • Consume stevia, but it should be the entire plant, which also has blood pressure lowering qualities.
  • Take a vitamin-B supplement, which has all the different vitamin-Bs.
  • Make sure to get an extra magnesium supplement.
  • Supplement with quality omega-3 oils.
  • Get lecithin, possibly as a sunflower extract.
  • A Q10 of high quality must not be forgotten.
  • Garlic also lowers your blood pressure.
  • Hawthorn is one of my absolute favourites. I love the liquid hawthorn called Craetagisan. After the above-mentioned experience it has earned a new permanent spot on my night stand. It has been of great help to me earlier, when my heart was causing me trouble. It is an excellent remedy against weak heart muscles and hypertension. It’s completely safe.

I only have a slight idea of what might have caused my heart attack. It has been a teachable moment for me, and I will never again take life for granted. I have no private health insurance, but I’ve learned that the Spanish public healthcare system, functions amazingly in emergency situations. I have nothing but admiration for how the entire medical system worked.

The nurses were wonderfully compassionate and exact. You could trust their timing and medication.

The three days of bedrests, with catheter and plastic linen, were unfortunately enough for me to develop bedsores on my bum. I was bed bathed every day, which was very lovely, but a tiny bit of massage on my bottom, could’ve kept me from developing the sores. The girls seemed more interested in applying plenty of perfume on me. I’m a natural redhead, which means that my skin is quite delicate. Given that I’ve been a nurse, I would love to give them a small lesson on preventing decubitus ulcers (bedsores).

Christmas gift ideas for the vegans (and for everyone!)

Buying gifts during Christmas can be really stressful and if we have a vegan friend it can be even more challenging. You can’t buy milk chocolate or anything with leather. It can be difficult to make research of which things are vegan and which aren’t. Veganism can be truly important value to your friend and you of course don’t want to make your vegan friend feel bad by giving them accidentally something which contains animal products. I’ll give you six ideas what to buy for the vegan friend (or for anyone!)

 

1. Vegan chocolate

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One of the best things in Christmas is chocolate. If we go to supermarket mostly all the chocolate has milk in them so it’s not suitable for vegans. But that doesn’t mean that vegans have to survive Christmas without chocolate. Milk is usually the only non vegan ingredient and some chocolate might contain honey (which is not vegan!). So almost every dark chocolate is vegan and there are some “milk” chocolates which are vegan. For example ichoc use rice milk to make their chocolate creamier. They have many good flavours like a nougat, choco cookie, almond orange and white chocolate. You can find all these in our shop and we have also amazing selection of other vegan chocolates too.

 

2. Vegan cosmetics

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If we buy cosmetics for vegans what we’ll have to make sure is that it’s not tested on animals and that it doesn’t contain any animal products. Natural cosmetics are never tested on animals so if there is natural cosmetic certification it’s not animal tested. But not all natural cosmetics are vegan. There are six non vegan ingredients which are allowed in natural cosmetic. They are honey, beeswax, lanolin, eggs, milk and buttermilk. If you buy your cosmetic from supermarket there are a lot more non vegan ingredients to watch out.

We have these new amazing Avivirs products which main ingredient is baobab oil. Baobab is a native African tree. This tree has a very nutritious fruits. Baobab fruit contains more antioxidants than any other fruit on earth.  The oil is extracted from the seeds of baobab fruits and it has a lot of benefits to our skin. It is a moisturising, anti-inflammatory and source of antioxidants. Baobab oil contains omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. Our skin needs vitamins to stay healthy. We have to of course get vitamins from our diet but it’s also good to nourish your skin externally with vitamins. Baobab oil is rich in vitamin A, D, E and K. Which are all good for your skin. Vitamin E is really effective preventing the wrinkles.

In this product line there are 100% baobab oil, magic balm which is best for lips and dry areas, pampering creme all body, all body oil and scrub all body. You can choose between neutral or citron myrtle. All these has natural cosmetic certificate, doesn’t contain perfume and they are 100% vegan. We have these Avivir baobab products in offer all December.

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3. Vegan wine

This can be a little confusing because if you read the ingredients of wine bottle it seems to be vegan but actually not all wine are vegan. Part of the process of making wine is filtering it and some cases it’s done either egg whites or casein (made of milk). Luckily it can also be done with carbon, bentonite clay or silica gel. Because filter doesn’t stay in the wine it doesn’t have to read on the bottle. Now you might think that how I’ll ever find out which wines are vegan and which aren’t. Some manufactures put a vegan mark in a bottle and that means that it’s for sure suitable for vegans! We have four different wines in Anni’s vital shop and for my and every other vegans luck all of them has a vegan logo. All these wines are also organic. So if you have wine drinking friend with these wines you can’t go wrong!

 

 

 

4. Gift basket

If you can’t decide whether buy chocolate or wine you can combine all of these and make a vegan gift basket. You can choose there only those things that you know your friend would like. We have in Anni’s vital shop many really tasty sweets and snacks which you can fill the basket. Christmas tea, juices, chocolate, ginger cookies, nuts, chocolate covered dates or mulberries and a lot more! Come and see!

 

5. Superfoods

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If you have a vegan friend who is really into health it could be nice idea to pack up their favourite superfoods. There are a lot of options in our shop. Maca, lucuma, chlorella, raw cacao powder, acai and much more. Of course if your friend is also into fitness you can maybe throw in some protein powder. Which we have also vegan options!

 

6. Home made sweets

Vegan Fudge

It’s always good idea to bake something yourself. Everyone for sure appreciate the effort for making gift yourself and who wouldn’t love homemade sweets. I am going to give you recipe for vegan fudge. You could think that it’s not possible to make a fudge without milk and butter but you absolutely can do it and I promise this is worth to try! Main ingredient is coconut and we are using it in it’s different forms. This is so easy recipe that you can’t go wrong with this and also it’s so fast that you for sure have time to make it!

 

Ingredients are

0.5 dl Coconut milk (place it in the fridge overnight and use only the solidified part)
3 tbsp Coconut sugar
2 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Peanut butter  (or any else nut butter you prefer)
Vanilla powder and hazelnuts

 

How to make

1. Put coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut oil and peanut butter in saucepan and let it simmer few seconds.

2. Add vanilla powder.

3. Pour it into tray and sprinkle hazelnuts on top.

4. Place in the freezer for two to three hours (or until firm)

5. When your fudge is ready cut it into pieces and it’s ready!

Texture will be better if you store it in fridge.

 

If you need more tips about vegan Christmas gifts I’ll gladly help you in the shop so see you there!

Milla – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches