Pharmaca Blog

  • Supplement Your Smoothies for Maximum Nutrition

    ActiveTankTopStart your day with a little extra nutrient boost! Pharmaca offers a variety of nutritional supplements that are easy to slip into a smoothie or add to your favorite juice. Here are a few to consider—and why.

    Protein
    Muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, heart, brain and internal organs all use protein as their primary building material. Collagen, a special type of protein, is important for strong arteries, tendons, ligaments, teeth and connective tissues. A diet rich in protein can also help produce dopamine and norepinephrine, two powerful brain chemical neurotransmitters that keep you alert and mentally powerful.

    Protein powders are available from a variety of sources: whey protein is the most bioavailable and easily absorbed by your body; egg protein is great if you can't tolerate dairy products; vegan proteins, such as those from peas, hemp or chia, are complete and bioavailable, and many are organically grown.

    Green Foods
    Powdered greens contain the highest concentrations of easily digested nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They may also contain beneficial substances like proteins, phytochemicals and good bacteria, all of which can protect against disease and illness while they detoxify and energize key organs.

    Greens such as seaweed are also excellent blood purifiers, alkalinizing the body and helping reduce the burden of environmental toxins.

    Fiber
    Fiber is essential for a variety of processes, but one of its most important roles is to promote regular, rapid elimination, which can relieve constipation, improve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and even decrease your risk of colon cancer.

    Other benefits: Fiber contains oligosaccharides, which feed the friendly bacteria in the gut (called "prebiotics") to enhance digestion and improve nutrient absorption. Fiber is also great at regulating blood sugar.

    We're also loving MegaFood's new line of Nutrient Booster Powders, including Daily C-Protect, Daily Purify and Daily Turmeric--an easy way to get valuable nutrition into your morning drink.

  • Trending Now: 5 New Oils to Look For

    Oils&RockWe’re constantly fascinated by the amazing beauty treatments nature has provided—and indigenous people have been using for centuries. Here are the latest exotic discoveries that are making their way into natural skin and hair care formulations.

    Mongongo Oil
    Processed or dry hair gets a big dose of nourishment and protection from mongongo oil. Pressed from the nuts of mongongo trees found in the sand dunes of the Kalahari Desert, mongongo oil is rich in vitamin E, protein, trace minerals and eleosteric acid, all of which help create a protective and color-saving UV sun ray barrier on hair strands.

    Try Peter Lamas Youth Revival 5 Oil Hair Treatment Mask, a repairing blend of mongongo, Abyssinian, baobab, broccoli seed and kukui oils that reduce hair breakage, protect your color and increase shine.

    Moringa Oil
    Pressed from the seeds of the moringa oilefera tree (or Miracle Tree) moringa oil is an ideal skin detoxifier that neutralizes the effects of skin-damaging pollutants and acne-causing bacteria. With a large concentration of fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C and E, moringa oil nourishes deeply to renew skin’s texture.

    Try Desert Essence Moringa, Jojoba and Rose Hip Oil, which absorbs quickly to restore a healthy glow to aging skin, or to balance and moisturize acne-prone skin, without a greasy feel.

    Coffee Oil
    Oil made from green (i.e. raw) coffee beans contains caffeine and chlorogenic acid, which directly target UV sun damage and boost collagen and elastin production in your skin—helping to smooth and firm skin and reduce fine lines. It’s also a great anti-inflammatory that eases redness.

    Try S.W.Basics Oil Serum, a blend of nutrient-rich geranium, turmeric, avocado and coffee oils for super healthy, younger-looking skin. Desert Essence Organic Coconut, Jojoba and Coffee Oil marries the repairing properties of coffee oil with skin-softening coconut oil and moisturizing jojoba oil. Try rubbing it onto your scalp to keep hair follicles healthy and repair dry hair.

    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    This oil is cold pressed from the tiny seeds of the low-growing meadowfoam plant found in Canada and the northwestern US (so called because of the canopy of creamy white flowers it produces). The resulting oil is rich in antioxidant powerhouse vitamin E and non-comedogenic (i.e. won’t block pores) fatty acids, and is easily absorbed into and balances oils in the skin.

    Try Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn and Meadowfoam, a lightweight cream that reduces dark spots from sun damage, moisturizes and plumps up skin. And it has SPF 40 to prevent future damage. Juice Beauty Nutrient Moisturizer is a rich facial moisturizer with meadowfoam oil and aloe that’s ideal for dry, irritated skin. And Trilipiderm Moisture Retention Cream with meadowfoam and jojoba oil is a must-have in your carry-on travel bag. It actually seals moisture into your skin and prevents dryness.

    Tamanu Oil
    Found in Africa and Southeast Asia, an evergreen called the beauty leaf tree produces the nuts that yield tamanu oil. It’s a naturally antibacterial oil that speeds healing, making it a good choice for those with acne scars, eczema, rashes or sunburn, and even insect bites. Tamanu oil has properties that help keep skin firm and promote new cell growth, making it ideal for aging skin.

    Try Shea Terra Organics Madagascar Tamanu Oil, made by native producers in Madagascar who collect, dry and cold press the nuts to create 100% pure, organic oil.

  • Recipe: Sesame Soba with Asparagus & Mushrooms

    SobaBlog

    This recipe is part of our #CookWithPharmaca contest! Make this recipe, snap a photo and post on social media and you could win a $150 gift card! Details >

    From The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook
    By Amanda Haas and Dr. Bradly Jacobs

    Buckwheat is the seed of a broadleaf plant that can be cooked whole or ground and used like flour. Soba made with buckwheat is an excellent gluten-free alternative to wheat pastas and rice noodles, which lack nutritional value. Because buckwheat stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol, and fights inflammation, it is classified as a superfood. If you’re looking to live without gluten, make sure your soba noodles have not been produced on the same equipment as wheat-based products and are totally gluten-free.

    Preparation time: 25 minutes
    Cooking time: 25 minutes
    Serves: 4

    One 9.5-oz [269-g] package buckwheat soba noodles
    3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
    2 Tbsp tamari, plus more as needed
    1 Tbsp lime juice, plus more as needed
    2 tsp honey
    2 Tbsp sesame seeds
    4 cups [2 80 g] sliced King Trumpet or shiitake mushrooms
    Kosher salt
    2 cups [2 20 g] sliced asparagus
    1 carrot, peeled and julienned
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2 Tbsp chopped mint
    2 Tbsp chopped basil
    2 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

    Prepare the soba noodles according to the package instructions. While they’re cooking, whisk together 2 Tbsp of the sesame oil, the tamari, lime juice, and honey. When the noodles are done, drain them, rinse with cool water, then place in a medium bowl and toss with the tamari mixture.

    Place a cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast, stirring constantly, until fragrant and just browned, about 2 minutes. Add to the noodles.
    Return the pan to medium-high heat. When it is very hot, add 2 tsp of the remaining sesame oil and swirl, then add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Allow the mushrooms to sit without stirring until seared on one side, about 2 minutes, then stir and cook for 2 minutes more. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl to cool.

    Add the remaining 1 tsp sesame oil to the pan, followed by the asparagus. Cook for 1 minute, then add the carrot, garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetables to the mushrooms and allow to cool a bit, then place in the bowl with the noodles. Toss with the herbs and green onions. Taste, adding additional lime juice or tamari if needed for balance. Serve immediately.

    Reprinted with permission from the Anti-Inflammation Cookbook by Amanda Haas with Bradly Jacobs, photographs by Erin Kunkel, Chronicle Books 2015.

  • Beauty Without Borders

    HerbHandsEvery country has its own beauty culture…we’ve traveled the globe to find unique ingredients, philosophies and practices that inspire us to embrace the best of beauty worldwide. Here are a few of our favorite global beauty lines.

    Biodynamic farming produces pure and potent plants.
    The biodynamic farming movement was founded in Germany on the concept that plants and herbs grow best and maintain the highest level of potency when farms are regarded as complete, self-sustaining organisms. Healthy soil, natural composting, chemical-free fertilizing and pest control are the basis for biodynamic farming. Nature’s rhythms, the phases of the moon, sun and planets, guide planting and harvesting cycles.

    Weleda was started by the father of biodynamic farming, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, who believed that mind, body, spirit and earth are connected. Today, Weleda’s 50-acre medicinal plant garden in Germany and other biodynamic farms throughout Europe and in South America and New Zealand grow potent organic botanicals in sync with nature. (Try their Skin Food, an ultra-hydrating body cream with organic rosemary, calendula and chamomile.)

    Dr. Hauschka, an early leader in the biodynamic farming movement in Germany, grows more than 150 medicinal plants at its biodynamic farm in the Swabian Mountains and is committed to keeping us and the earth healthy. Dr. Hauschka has expanded its programs to the highlands of Ethiopia where Damask roses are grown on sustainable biodynamic farms. (Try their Rose Nurturing Body Oil, featuring Damask roses and natural jojoba oil to calm dry, irritated skin.)

    Jurlique found unspoiled, healthy soil for its biodynamic farm in the hills of South Australia. They use ancient alchemy techniques to distill, seep and ash botanicals, ensuring that all essential oils and vital nutrients are captured and translated to their potent skin care. (Try their Herbal Recovery Advanced Serum, packed with 15 botanical extracts to firm, smooth and moisturize skin.)

    Healing waters calm.
    In the mountains of France, Avene taps mineral waters that have spent 40 years underground—making them rich in trace minerals and silicates, perfectly balanced for treating sensitive skin. (Try their Thermal Spring Water Spray to soothe redness and itching.)

    And in southwest France, Klorane creates their award-winning products with local cornflower plant-infused water. (Try their Floral Water Make-Up Remover, which tones, soothes skin and reduces inflammation.)

    Indigenous botanicals heal.
    Native African plants like baobab, argan, marula and shea butter are regarded as some of the most skin-nourishing botanicals on the planet. Many companies work with small cooperatives to better the standard of living of native Africans who harvest these ingredients. Shea Terra sources its nourishing shea butter from a women’s coop in northern Uganda and pure anti-aging argan oil from a women’s coop in Morocco. Pressing seeds from ancient African baobab trees, Shea Terra creates its superfruit Baobab Oil that’s rich in omega fatty acids and antioxidants. (Try their Nilotik Shea ButterMoroccan Argan Oil and African Baobab Oil).

    Alaffia relies on ancient recipes to create its purifying and detoxifying Ossa Dudu black soaps made with West African palm kernel oil and shea butter. (Try their Authentic Black Soap)

    Nubian Heritage crafts its Anago black soaps from palm ash, plantain peels, tamarind extract, organic oats and shea butter. (Try their African Black Soap Body Wash)

    Marula Pure sustainably harvests and cold presses nuts from wild marula trees to create its pure, non-greasy facial oil that’s proven to improve skin elasticity. (Try: Marula Facial Oil)

    In France, Pre de Provences artisans craft body care products using traditional methods perfected generations ago. Locally sourced lavender is blended with natural shea butter and triple milled to create long-lasting and fresh fragranced soaps and creams. (Try their Lavender Bar Soap )

    An environmental focus restores balance in nature.
    In Hungary, Eminence maintains its originality by creating skin care products based on recipes created by the founder’s grandmother. And for every item sold, a tree is planted in a developing country. Eminence also uses biodynamically grown ingredients, and packages them in post-consumer recycled materials. (Try their Bearberry Eye Repair Cream to hydrate, firm and protect the delicate eye area.)

    And in Africa, Klorane’s Great Green Wall Project is planting more than 10,000 trees a year to help repair the damaged ecosystem in the Sahara-Sahel region.

  • Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Radishes, Currants & Mint

    QuinoaBlog

    This recipe is part of our #CookWithPharmaca contest! Make this recipe, snap a photo and post on social media and you could win a $150 gift card! Details >

    From The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook
    By Amanda Haas and Dr. Bradly Jacobs

    Since I omitted gluten from my diet, quinoa has become my be-all and end-all grain for salads and side dishes. This recipe is an iteration of a favorite couscous salad that I’ve managed to make more healthful. The currants lend sweetness, while the radishes add a little heat and the carrots give some crunch. Sometimes I add toasted pine nuts or cashews. Taking an extra five minutes to slice the veggies neatly creates a showstopper of a recipe.

    Preparation time: 20 minutes
    Serves: 4-6

    6 c ups [850 g] cooked rainbow, white, or red quinoa, cooled
    1/2 cup [1 20 m l] Garlic-Lemon Vinaigrette
    1/2 cup [80 g] currants
    1/2 cup [50 g] thinly sliced green onions, white and light green p arts only
    5 radishes, thinly sliced
    2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-in [6-mm] matchsticks
    3 Tbsp finely chopped mint
    1 Tbsp lemon juice
    1/2 cup [70 g] toasted pine nuts or cashews
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Combine the quinoa with 1/3 cup [80 ml] of the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Add the cur­rants, green onions, radishes, carrots, mint, lemon juice, and pine nuts and mix gently with a spoon. Taste, adding up to 1/2 tsp salt and a fresh grinding of pepper.

    The salad can be held at room temperature for up to 6 hours. Before serving, stir in the remaining vinaigrette.

    Reprinted with permission from the Anti-Inflammation Cookbook by Amanda Haas with Bradly Jacobs, photographs by Erin Kunkel, Chronicle Books 2015.

  • The 411 on Allergies

    AllergiesDo you suffer from springtime allergies? Itchy eyes and runny nose don’t have to be an inevitability—there are a variety of ways to support your body’s ability to reduce the allergic response.

    First, let’s look at how allergies work. Allergens (e.g. pollen) are for some reason seen as an invader in your body. When the allergen is ingested, the body tries to fight off the invader by producing antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These send a signal to “mast” cells to fight the invading allergen by releasing chemicals like histamine into the bloodstream. The result is inflammatory reactions throughout the body, triggering the stuffy nose, the sneezing, the hives, etc.

    While we don’t know why certain substances are seen as allergens, the fact of the matter is that our bodies’ response to them can wreak havoc. Here are some of our favorite ways to reduce the body’s response to allergens and bring relief.

    Neti pot. This centuries-old Ayurvedic tradition utilizes a saltwater mixture to help sweep allergens, bacteria and viruses from the nasal passages, thereby reducing the chances of infection or allergic reaction. It also helps reduce inflammation in the mucosal lining of the nose, making it stronger and more resistant to infection.

    Antihistamines. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, MD, recommends anti-histamines like Zyrtec or Claritin, especially when you know you’ll be outside on a high-pollen day (take a few hours beforehand). She also recommends herbal extracts like nettles and butterbur, and the antioxidant quercetin, which have natural antihistamine effects that can reduce the allergy response.

    Chinese herbs. Plantiva’s AllerDx is one of Pharmaca’s best-selling allergy relief products. “It’s made up of Chinese herbs that support the liver and mucous membranes and help clear the lungs and sinuses,” says Marisa Buchsbaum, herbalist at our Greenwood Village store. “I’ve gotten a lot of positive customer feedback about its quick-acting effects for sneezing and itchy, watery eyes.”

    Probiotics. Because allergies are themselves an overactive immune response, simply helping to support the immune system can be really helpful. And since so much of the immune system is centered in the gut, probiotics help keep everything in balance. Try Pharmaca Super Probiotic Blend on a daily basis to help maintain healthy gut flora.

    Speak with a Pharmaca practitioner about the best way for you to combat allergies.

  • Recipe: Curry-Spiced Nut Mix with Maple and Black Pepper

    CurriedNutsBlog

    This recipe is part of our #CookWithPharmaca contest! Make this recipe, snap a photo and post on social media and you could win a $150 gift card! Details >

    From The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook
    By Amanda Haas and Dr. Bradly Jacobs

    I am always looking for new ways to incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients into my snacks. With nuts, seeds, coconut oil, turmeric (in the curry powder), and black pepper, this spicy and slightly sweet mix is the perfect solution. I keep it at my desk and watch people sneak in to eat it.

    Preparation time: 10 minutes
    Cooking time: 30-35 minutes
    Makes: 2 cups/ 270 g

    1 cup [130 g] raw cashew pieces
    1/2 cup [70 g] raw macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup [70 g] raw pumpkin seeds
    1 Tbsp fresh-pressed coconut oil
    2 tsp maple syrup
    2 tsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    Pinch of cayenne pepper

    Preheat the oven to 300°F [150°C]. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Combine the cashews, macadamias, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl.

    In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour over the nut mixture. Add the curry powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and stir well to coat. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet.

    Bake, stirring once, until the nuts are light brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet.

    Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

    Reprinted with permission from the Anti-Inflammation Cookbook by Amanda Haas with Bradly Jacobs, photographs by Erin Kunkel, Chronicle Books 2015.

  • Inflammation and the Diet: Eating for Health

    Book-CoverDr. Bradly Jacobs is chair of Pharmaca’s Integrative Health Advisory Board, and recently co-authored The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook, in stores now. In it, he and author Amanda Haas serve up delicious ideas for meals and snacks packed with ingredients that are known to help fight inflammation.

    We chatted with Dr. Jacobs about his inspiration for the cookbook and why inflammatory foods can exacerbate so many chronic health conditions.

    How did you get involved with Amanda and The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook? 
    Amanda had been incorrectly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, and was being asked to start medications when she began to do her own research. She discovered that her symptoms were attributable to the food she was eating and the lifestyle she was living. As the Director of Teaching Kitchens at Williams-Sonoma and a trained chef, she decided that she wanted to write a cookbook to teach others to take control of their health and lead a healthier life through healthy and tasty recipes.

    She secured a book contract with Chronicle Books publishing who knew about my work in the field of functional medicine and integrative medicine. The senior editor suggested that we get together to explore the possibility of creating a cookbook that combined the knowledge and experience of the culinary arts with that of integrative medicine. I remember during our first meeting we spent hours sharing stories about our respective experiences and realizing that together we could offer people a unique insight into how to live a healthier life. We decided to focus the book on how to reduce inflammation in the body.

    The book provides details on what food groups are typically most inflammatory and why. It then provides a pantry list for easy shopping in the grocery store. Amanda took the pantry list and made delicious recipes and I took the list and detailed specifics on why each food group is beneficial to your health.... it was a wonderful collaboration!

    How are inflammatory foods linked to pain and other chronic conditions?
    Eating inflammatory foods can disrupt the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract lining, allowing partially digested proteins and toxins to enter the bloodstream. The body sees these substances as foreign, and consequently invokes an immune system response—which includes the release of additional pro-inflammatory chemicals such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes that further increase inflammation. As a result, people may experience joint pain, muscle pain, migraines, gastrointestinal bloating and pain, rashes, and many other pain and non-pain related symptoms.

    What are the most important dietary and lifestyle changes you recommend to people dealing with chronic inflammation?

    Here are a few rules of thumb:
    •    Eat vegetables that are low in pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals.
    •    Animal sources of food should be free of hormones and antibiotics and raised on grass in free-range pastures.
    •    Avoid food with artificial flavors or colors.
    •    Eat at least 5-7 servings of vegetables and fruits daily, keeping fruits to a maximum of 2 servings daily.
    •    Evaluate whether they may be intolerant of certain food groups with the most frequent categories including gluten/wheat), corn and dairy.

    The best method of understanding whether your health is being influenced by the foods you are eating is to eliminate a select number of food groups for one month and notice whether your symptoms are improving.

    I have been shocked by the varied types of symptoms that have improved in my patients after they eliminate certain food groups. I have had patients who've been incorrectly diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis (see my co-author Amanda Haas' “My personal story" in The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook) when the cause of their inflammation was actually the food they were eating. I have also seen patients who were told they needed to live with their diagnosis of chronic pain—from osteoarthritis, chronic migraines, chronic rash and hives—only to be cured from these 'chronic conditions' through a switch to an anti-inflammatory diet and/or identifying the food groups that were exacerbating their symptoms.

    Are there supplements that can also help reduce inflammation?
    There are a number of supplements that can play a pivotal role in reducing the inflammatory response—literally hundreds of products that are effective for specific situations.

    For general purposes, I recommend omega-3 fatty acids and curcurmin. I have also found boswellia, quercetin, avocado-soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) and cat's claw to be helpful for mild pain conditions. Furthermore, I have found substances that serve as potent antioxidants through activating the nrf2 pathway (Nuclear factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2) to be quite effective in improving health for people suffering from inflammation. Examples from this category include curcurmin, green tea, brassica (or cruciferous) vegetables or extract such as glucoraphanin.

    What’s your favorite recipe from The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook?
    For lunch I love the Quinoa Salad with Radishes, Currants, and Mint; for dinner, I love the Crispy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa; and for dessert: the Vegan Chocolate Pots de Crème.

  • Choosing the Best Multivitamin for You

    MultivitaminsTaking a multivitamin is a great way to get essential nutrients that are hard to get through diet alone. But with so many different choices available, how do you choose the best one? We consulted with Nutritionist Elyssia Schaeffer at our Portland store about how to pick the best one for you.

    Consider how it’s made and what ingredients are used.
    Whole food multivitamins are more easily absorbed and can be taken on an empty stomach, according to Elyssia. Made from organic fruits and vegetables, MegaFood One Daily is a good all-around complete multivitamin that supports cardiovascular, digestive, cognitive and immune health (look for MegaFood One Daily formulas for men, women and adults over 40, too).

    Raw multivitamins are not heated during the manufacturing process, which helps keep probiotics and enzymes intact—thereby supporting a healthy digestive tract and providing essential vitamins, says Elyssia. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw One for Women or Raw One for Men are good for adults of all ages and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

    Pharmaceutical-grade multivitamins are made with ingredients that mimic the nutrients found in whole food that are biologically active (e.g. readily absorbed by the body). Look for high-quality, high-potency multivitamins without artificial colors, hydrogenated oils or magnesium stearate, which inhibits the absorption of nutrients. Thorne Research Basic Nutrients III is rich in antioxidant vitamins C and E, and is made without preservatives, sweeteners or artificial colors. It’s also gluten, corn, yeast, soy, dairy and egg free so it’s ideal for those with allergies or GI sensitivities, according to Elyssia.

    Consider your age and sex.
    Women Under 50 should look for multivitamins with extra iron and folic acid, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects during child-bearing years. Garden of Life myKind Women's Multi meets daily requirements for iron and folic acid and are made from fresh, organic ingredients.

    Women Over 50 in pre-menopause or menopause stages of life need little or no iron, but do need extra calcium, magnesium, vitamins D, B6 and B12 (since we don’t absorb these as well as we age). Try MegaFood Women Over 40 One Daily Tablets with age-defying antioxidants and hormone-balancing nutrients, or Rainbow Light Menopause One Multivitamin with superfood nutrients, digestion-helping enzymes and herbal botanicals that help relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and memory loss.

    Men Under 50 need to keep their hearts healthy, maintain energy and keep their cancer risk low. Nutrients lycopene, grape seed extract and green tea extract like those found in Pharmaca Men’s Multivitamin meet these needs. For guys on the go, Rainbow Light Men’s Energy Multivitamin Gummy is a complete whole food chewable vitamin with energy-boosting B vitamins and ashwagandha, packaged in easy grab-and-go packets.

    Men Over 50 should look for multivitamins that feature nutrients that can lower the risk of prostate cancer (i.e. vitamin D), and also support brain and heart health with vitamins B3, B6, folic acid and magnesium. Lutein and bilberry are also helpful additions to keep eyes healthy, says Elyssia. Integrative Therapeutics Clinical Nutrients 50+ Men is a good choice, since it has 44 nutrients that support healthy aging and vitality.

    Kids and Teens who are fussy eaters or eat a vegetarian diet can benefit from a multivitamin, especially whole food chewable ones like Nordic Naturals Nordic Berries Multivitamin or Bluebonnet Super Earth Animalz. Young women in their teens who are still growing should choose multivitamins with nutrients that support their needs, says Elyssia, like Rainbow Active Health Teen—it has vitamin K for bones, B vitamins for energy and a specialized herbal blend that supports healthy skin.

  • Ask Pharmaca: How Can I Tell if it's Cold or Allergies?

    SneezyQ. I'm congested. Is it cold or allergies?

    A. Sniffles and congestion…your head feels heavy…your throat is raw and you feel lethargic. Sound familiar? With these common upper respiratory symptoms, it can be difficult to determine if it’s a cold, allergies or even a sinus infection. Symptoms of all three can mimic and overlap each other, making it tricky to determine the best course of treatment.

    Let’s start by explaining the differences. A common cold is caused by one of many viruses and is spread person to person through respiration and human contact. Our immune system mounts an attack on the virus, thus causing symptoms such as congestion and fatigue. A cold usually does not last longer than 10 days and its primary season is late August to April.

    Seasonal allergies, on the other hand, are an immune response to something in the environment—allergens such as pollens, mold, dust or mites. Histamine release causes congestion, sinus pressure, coughing and other common allergy symptoms, which can last much longer than a common cold. The primary season for allergies is March through September.

    With a sinus infection, membranes become inflamed, harmful bacteria make a home and congestion develops. Both colds and allergies can lead to sinus infections, but allergies are the most common cause, since chronically inflamed sinuses pave the way for infection. If not properly treated, sinus infections can last a long time. Sinus infections are prominent during weather and humidity changes.

    Try some of these ideas the next time you fall under the weather:

    Cold

    Allergies

    • I like Plantiva AllerDx because it calms histamine reactions quickly and helps improves repiratory airflow.
    • Ortho Molecular Natural D-Hist provides sinus support by breaking down mucus and stabilizing cells that release histamine.

    Sinus infections

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