That’s Too Sweet! or How Bad is Bad Sugar?

Each of us is sometimes visited by the desire to taste something delicious. Even though the understanding of deliciousness may differ from person to person, most of the time this feeling involves chocolate, ice cream, candy or lollypops – anything that’s sweet! However, we must control ourselves when eating sweet and sugary products as they are harmful to our bodies. Trust us – it is not a myth created by cheeky parents to steal sweets from their kids and eat them alone while the little ones are fast asleep. As we believe you have tons of sweets left in your pantry after Halloween that wait their moment to be eaten, be careful about the sugar you are likely to consume in no time… You understood correctly – we dedicated this blog to draw the line between bad and good sugar!

Sugar Does Not Grow on Trees, or Does It?

Sugar nowadays has become a somewhat usual ingredient in every meal or snack that we eat. However, we do not use the same sugar throughout all of the dishes or drinks. As the sugar name may differ, the methods of their production process are different as well, but as white sugar is the most popular, we invite you to get to know its production from a much closer perspective. White refined sugar gets extracted from two types of plants – sugarcanes and sugar beets.

The first of two is grown in mostly warm climate zones as sugarcane plants cannot survive the frost. Besides, large amounts of water are necessary to grow as much sugarcanes as would produce enough sugar to meet the demand. Once sugarcane crops are harvested, the plants are chopped and milled to extract their juices, which are later heated to produce thick syrup. Despite the already lengthy process, the manufacturers still need to evaporate the excess water from the syrup to achieve sugar crystals. However, the sugar journey does not end here as brown-coloured sugar crystals still need to be bleached with chemical compounds to produce a well-known white product.

Regarding the sugar extraction from sugar beets, this process is less complicated than the previously explained one. Sugar beets are usually harvested in autumn and then transported to the sugar production factories. After sugar beet's roots are washed (they are grown in fertile soil, so this step is not to be missed) and sliced, they are mixed with several chemical solutions and go through the process of evaporation, which creates white sugar crystals – no further refining process is needed.

How We Consume Sugar?

The sugar we consume every day mostly is what is called added sugar; however, the real difference lies in where this sugar is added to and by whom. It is quite clear how much sugar we consume by adding it to our morning coffee or tea, but things get more trickier when we drink soft drinks or store-bought sweets and snacks. If we decide to look closely at the food labels, we will see sugar listed as carbohydrates. It is a correct statement; however, we are much more likely to consume high fructose corn syrup, which is made from corn starch and not the usual sugar. This sugar-like sweetener is one of the most popular ingredients that manufacturers use even though it is not far from being banned in the EU and other countries. As for today, high fructose corn syrup’s production is subject to strict quotas and restriction documents, but it does not change the fact that we are still consuming it without really knowing when exactly.

How Harmful Sugar Really Is?

Excessive sugar intake can result in poor skin health and high blood pressure. However, as we tend not to know when we consume it, we often attribute these features to other life issues and not our diets. The scale of the problem gets revealed when we look more closely at food portion sizes, their nutritional value, and take into account the opinion of professionals. Medical researchers and dietitians agree that adults should have no more than 30 grams of sugar a day – same as seven sugar cubes; for kids and toddlers, these numbers must be several times smaller to maintain healthy life. Despite the righteousness of medical suggestions, they are very hard to live by as almost every store-bought product is packed to the brim with bad sugar. Bad sugar has no nutritional value, causes tiredness and constant hungriness, weight gain, and excess belly fat, which could turn into severe obesity. Besides, limitless sugar consumption is the straightest way to diabetes and heart diseases, and sadly these sicknesses are increasingly diagnosed with younger people and kids.

Are We Doomed, or Are There Any Alternatives to Bad Sugar?

The question above is quite silly as the very name ‘bad sugar’ suggests that there is another side of a coin – good or natural sugars. There are a bunch of natural sweeteners, which are far from processed and can sometimes be obtained straight from the plant. Natural sugars come in the shape of vegetables, fruits, and dairy products, but what they have in common is providing essential nutrients, which keep us healthy and strong. Stevia is one of the best-known plant-based sweeteners, which, despite being sweet, is also linked to lowering blood pressure and insulin levels; however, one still has to refine it to turn it into a more usable form.

Besides stevia, there are several other natural sweeteners used worldwide, which are less harmful to our organisms when compared to actual white refined sugar. Molasses are made from the same sugarcane plants and sugar beets as regular sugar but are not refined and has a syrup-like thick consistency. Maple syrup is also one of nature’s best natural sweeteners. Even if this product is quite expensive in stores, one can easily make it at home as the process of making it is simple – one has to boil the sap of maple trees until it thickens. Next comes coconut sugar, which is very similar to regular white sugar everyone usually uses as it is high in calories.

Now it’s time for the best natural sweetener of all times – good old honey! Even though it is still sugar, organic honey is far safer and healthier to use than table sugar. Full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, honey is also that one product that is completely safe to use after its expiration date. The only thing that helps people separate natural honey from the fake one is its consistency, which crystalises after some time, but does not lose any healthy features.

Recipes with Natural Sugars

Keeping only natural sugars in your pantry does not mean you cannot pamper yourself with some casual yet super healthy sweets. However, most of the time, such natural sweets require to prepare in advance. Pick them, mix them, bake them, cut them, and only after that EAT THEM – we can guarantee that these recipes will be as sweet and healthy as they can be! Besides, we decided to turn the healthiness of our favourite treats up by a few notches and share only vegan-friendly recipe ideas. You can thank us later!

Granola. Mix oats, nuts, and seeds with some coconut oil and honey or maple syrup, and add your favourite dried fruits. Pour the mixture into a large cooking pan and spread evenly, bake until golden. Let the granola cool completely and cut into pieces and enjoy!

Green cocktails. Grab every vegetable and fruit that you can find nearby and put everything into a food processor. Add in some honey or maple syrup, add few drops of CBD Oil for that extra healthiness and let it mix!

Nature’s candy. Pick your favourite berries or cut fruits into bite-size pieces, place them evenly into a food dehydrator machine or onto a cooking pan, and use it accordingly. Dried fruits and berries are a great alternative to bad sugars themselves!

Ice Cream. Mix coconut milk, maple syrup, and tahini – sesame paste – in a food processor, blend them well and pour the mixture into an ice cream maker or spread evenly on a freezer-safe dish. Don’t forget to put some berries or fruits as toppings!

Gummy Candies. Blend apple juice, a little bit of agave or maple syrup and Agar-agar powder together, strain the mixture and bring it to simmer in a small saucepan. Let it cool for a bit, add few drops of CBD oil for that extra healthy kick and pour into gummy moulds. Freeze it, remove it and enjoy!

Here at Biomedicanna believe that we should live as healthy as possible, and this journey starts with cutting bad sugars out of our diets. Natural sugars and recipes are a great alternative to regular chocolate, candies, and other sugary bombs that we consume without even knowing that. Trust us - it is not that hard to feel energetic, strong, and healthy without using refined and processed sugar every day – you will not miss it!


Tips and Lists for National Lockdown? Yes – Do Not Stress!

Oh no… Did it really happen one more time?! Quarantine has again decided to visit us. Now we have to sit at home between the four walls and survive national lockdown’s arrival for as long as it takes. Such a situation forces us to cut all unnecessary social contacts with other people and watch the world safely from our home window. As even the least significant unpleasant situations and twists and turns make us feel irritated, such a routine can make everyone go crazy very fast. It’s a responsible thing to stay at home; however, stress does not add health to our organisms. We love each Biomedicanna friend very much and do not want them to feel stressed, be unhappy, or get sick – we have prepared you a list of seven great ways to spend time at home, which will make you forget about the Coronavirus pandemic and stress at all!

Tip No. 1 – Greet Mornings with Exercise

Getting up in the morning to go to work is hard. In the face of a pandemic, getting up in the morning and then working from home is even more difficult as few steps away, your cosy and fluffy bed waits for you come back. It’s time to wake up! Start each stress-free quarantine morning with an exercise lasting at least a few minutes – stretch stiff muscles, reach the toes with your fingers, do a few push-ups and sit-ups, or jump into pants while listening to your favourite song! Every type of exercise works as long as you are doing it right. Our team advises you to spend some time researching the internet before planning your work-out regime. There are many videos of experienced trainers showing every exercise and explaining its benefits to your body. In case of not so much determination to exercise on your own, find online sports communities, register for live work-out broadcasts, and start shaping your body for after the quarantine now! We cannot imagine our mornings with meditation, yoga, and Pilates!

Tip No. 2 – Have a Healthy Smoothie Afterwards

Sports can be exhausting sometimes; therefore, after the morning workout, you must reward your body with a healthy and tasty breakfast. We all know stories about what foods and dishes do professional athletes eat daily, but let’s admit some of those recipes are pretty strange and require exquisite cooking skills. Nevertheless, there is one thing that neither ordinary people nor top-level athletes give up – it’s healthy green cocktails and smoothies! Such drinks are often thought about as energy and vitamin bombs – mix every type of vegetables, fruits, and berries in the blender and enjoy a tasty beginning of the day. Search the internet again, and there you will definitely find many delicious, quick, and easy recipes. We at Biomedicanna advise you to add a few drops of natural and organic CBD Oil into your everyday smoothie to make it even healthier – regular use of CBD helps lower the levels of anxiety and depression, relieve stress, and boost the immune system. Besides, our best smoothie mix contains frozen bananas, mangoes, cherries, peaches, oatmeal, almond milk, and – of course – CBD Oil Drops!

Tip No. 3 – Play a Little Game with Your Mind

It is easy to immerse yourself in the daily worries when all days of the quarantine feel the same. Medical researchers found out that long periods of nowhere to go, no one to talk to, and nothing to do harms our mental health and makes us lose our social skills – we are becoming less and less exciting and happy, dark, and sad thoughts become our daily friends. In case this happens, you need to banish such thoughts out of your brain and occupy your mind with intellectual games and activities instead. We are best in giving fun and joyful bits of advice – invite your quarantine friend to play some board and card games, do puzzles, or crosswords! Mentioned activities reinforce connections between our brain cells, improves thinking speed, and helps protect the brain from aging up. In general, games such as chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, Risk, Cluedo, Uno cards, or even charades and Pictionary keeps our bodies and minds young by making them work harder than ever!

Tip No. 4 – Grab a Book in Your Hands

A national lockdown has actually saved you loads of time without having to commute to work every day; however, it’s up to you how you will spend them. We advise you to spend some free time with books in your hands - quarantine is the perfect time to actually finish at least several books from your reading list. Reading allows us to instantly travel to different cities and continents, the future and past; those pages makes us fall in love with some characters and envy the others. Most importantly, books keep us busy, and let’s forget about life with a dangerous pandemic right beside. If reading a book is not for you, maybe listening for one is? We advise you to try list audiobooks or various podcasts, which encourages multitasking and fill our heads with more exciting thoughts than doing dishes, laundry, or hoovering the carpets. In our home libraries, you may find some of the best-written works including, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Catcher in the Rye by Jerome Salinger, and many more – start your reading journey to stress-free quarantine with three masterpieces!

Tip No. 5 – Pamper Yourself with Love and Self-care

Quarantine is a tough opponent to fight against; therefore, we have to be the best versions of ourselves. Even if you may not need to meet with other people at this time, you should not neglect the way your skin, hair, and overall body looks. Spending an entire lockdown dressed in comfortable pyjamas is nice but, at the same time, is very unproductive. It is especially important to find a bit of time every day to be in peace with yourself. Self-care is a real stress-relieving deal, which usually includes a foamy hot bath, homemade body scrubs, fancy serums, expensive masks, and a glass of your favourite drink! Here at Biomedicanna, we love our teammates and friends as much as ourselves. We advise you to enrich your everyday self-love rituals with natural essences and oils, organic cosmetics , and eco-friendly solutions as caring for your wellness must not hurt Mother Earth.

Tip No. 6 – Have a Movie After Dinner

Like a cherry on the cake, yet another quarantine day must end with a good movie. Decorating your home to remind at least a bit of a movie theatre and ensuring all necessary snacks are in place protect us all from the stress and makes us doubt quarantine really happening. However, we are quickly brought back into reality as the time comes to choose what we will be watching today. Internet movie platforms and streaming services have a variety of blockbusters to offer, so our job is to make this process easier. We advise you to spend quarantine watching real classics – The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Schindler’s List, or Forest Gump. Yes, these four movies can make you cry and even more stressful than lockdown has made you already, so let’s watch some comedy movies instead. Turn your TV’s on for Life Is Beautiful, Untouchable, Amelie, or one of the newest hits, Parasite – we recommend only the best!

Tip No. 7 – Binge-watch TV Series

Let’s face it - one movie may sometimes be not enough for true cinema lovers. However, one night in the quarantine may be just enough to finish an entire season of a really great TV series. We are guilty of choosing to have several sleepless nights and watching new episodes of our favourite shows instead, too. Taking us to mythical lands, showing us how to fight against dragons and go to planets far away, some of the best TV series will take more than several nights to finish. We personally love Game of Thrones, Suits, Stranger Things, The Big Bang Theory, and, of course, legendary sitcom Friends! Real and sincere laughter, best actors, and unexpected turns of events are what you need for a fun quarantine experience and levels of stress dropping down in the blink of an eye.

Seven tips in one day can be too much if you have a busy schedule, have to work, or study for the larger part of your average quarantine day. We advise you to try at least advice every day of the week – stay safe, healthy, and stress-free!


Invisible Danger: I Caught Virus, and Virus Caught Me

Achoo! What if we told you that sneezing is good for your health? In reality, you should not feel embarrassed if a loud sneeze occurs in the middle of an important meeting. Sneezing forces the viruses out of your body and helps the immune system to protect you. But why is it necessary? What can viruses do to your organism if we let them overpower us?

What Make Viruses Special?

Let’s start talking about the nature of viruses from the very basics. The name ‘virus’ derived from the Latin word meaning ‘poison’ – it is the first sign that doesn’t promise anything good about viruses. They are harmful indeed, both to humans and animals, plants, and microorganisms, as viruses need any host cell to grow and multiply. Once they make their way into a living organism, viruses can cause various diseases: measles, rubella, chickenpox, herpes, hepatitis, etc. Even though several of these sicknesses already have been managed as a result of available vaccinations, many of them were fatal for a long time as microscopic technologies were less powerful and, at that time, did not allow thorough investigations of viruses. Technological development gave virology specialists a chance for a closer look at viruses, which were already known to be smaller than bacteria. There are five types of viruses known based on their structure: helical, icosahedral, prolate, enveloped, and complex viruses.

How Viruses Appeared on Earth?

We now know that viruses can be found wherever life is; however, microbiologists disagree when it comes to a single theory about the nature of viruses and how they appeared on Earth. There are three main hypotheses which attempt to explain this topic:

How Viruses Replicate and Spread?

Despite structural differences and contrasting theories about their nature, viruses spread the same way by invading living cells. Usually, cells increase their numbers by dividing in two; however, this does not apply to viruses. The virus starts its replication cycle by first approaching the cell and attaching itself to its membrane – this process may sound simple, but viruses are quite clever as they do not approach cells in which they would not be able to replicate. Later, the virus penetrates the membrane by traumatising it, enters the host cell, and starts releasing viral genomic nucleic acid. After this, the actual replication starts, and the genome begins to multiplicate – at this stage viral proteins may modify and differ from the original virus. Lastly, the host cell gets killed by viruses bursting the cell membrane, releasing themselves, and repeating the process over again.

Virus replication explains the process of virus multiplication inside one organism, but how viral disease manages to ‘jump’ from one person to another? There are several ways of explaining the spread of viruses:

How Dangerous Viruses are?

Throughout history, humanity faced many outbreaks of numerous viruses, and some of them changed the lives of millions, if not more. Each virus had different effects, most being very dangerous. Let’s take the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa – the virus jumped from animals to humans and reached a mortality rate of almost 90% of those infected. Spanish flu, which occurred at the end of the First World War, affected slightly less than half of the world’s population and killed around 50 million. However, not only the number of infected and dead people affects the level of virus’ danger – the invention of a vaccine in many cases is the only way to stop the spread of the virus and minimise the risks. As for rabies, the modern vaccine allows specialists to treat the infected person and save his/her life as a failure to receive the vaccine in time means imminent death.

New Threat – COVID-19

As for now, the world is suffering from never seen before crisis called Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 for short. The society first was introduced to Coronavirus at the end of last year when cases in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China, began to grow relentlessly. However, local lockdown failed to control the scale of the virus, and it quickly spread around the world. World Health Organization (WHO) reports that Coronavirus has already affected more than 41 million people worldwide, of which 1.1 million cases resulted in the death of a patient. The most common symptoms of this virus are fever, dry cough, and fatigue, whereas symptoms such as loss of taste or smell and muscle or joint pain effects are less common. Even though virologists all around the world claim that society needs to learn to live with COVID-19, only vaccines can prevent the increasing and consistent spread of the virus. Sadly, there is no approved vaccine yet, so billions of people have to rely on other precaution methods, such as wearing masks, practising social distancing, avoiding crowds, cleaning hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue.

How to Avoid Catching the Virus?

Besides already mentioned and successfully working self-protection techniques, we must not rule out the importance of the immune system in the fight against viruses. The immune system is our organism’s defence against all kinds of invisible threats; thus, strengthening the immunity should be everyone’s top priority. One of the most common ways to intensify one’s immune system is by consuming immunity-strengthening foods through a daily diet: lemons and other citruses are a source of vitamin C, which increases the immune system’s effectiveness and has antiviral abilities, fish such as salmon or trout are considered best sources of vitamin D, which helps maintain the balanced immune system. Various additives and store-bought supplements also contribute to the protection and health of our body; however, natural products are way safer to consume. We advise choosing CBD products , which not only may reduce levels of anxiety, relieve depression but also improve the immune system. Versatile CBD oil drops  are gaining their popularity in the fields of strengthening the organism and ensure overall well-being. Different CBD products may have exceptional strengths and abilities depending on the exact formula, but organic materials used in the production process and responsible practises unites them all.

Viruses, the same as bacteria, are dangerous and almost impossible to eliminate permanently. Societies throughout the world must commit to changing everyday habits, which gets practised for a greater good – safety and health of billions. As the journey to safe and long life begins with us and our immune systems, every piece of effort counts.


Oncological Diseases: Knowing Your Enemy

No single medical diagnosis does not mean the end of the world. Of course, one may feel frustrated and lost once a doctor delivers the news about a serious disease: they get angry both at themselves and at the people around them, they quickly choose to blame themselves and others for untimely work and neglect. Our bodies do not thank us for further stressing and pouring rain of emotions as it only weakens both organism and spirit. Even though there is sometimes nothing that we may do to avoid diseases, we can always ease them. How to deal with one of the most anticipated diagnoses – oncological diseases?

What we know about oncological diseases?

Our bodies are a complex connection between trillions of cells every having different functionality. Once old cells die, new cells take their place. However, this ordinary process may be disturbed when cells start to grow abnormally and out of control. Such cells form tumours, which can be two types – malignant and benign. The latter type of tumours is not cancer as benign masses tend to grow slowly but do not spread. Malignant tumours, on the other hand, can grow incredibly quickly, and as they spread throughout the body, they destroy normal healthy tissue along the way.

Oncologists distinguish four main groups of oncological diseases:

Besides these four types of cancer, there are many others – as they are less common, one should consider further researching them and consulting expert oncologists. However, the typology of oncological diseases does not end here: the severity of cancer diagnosis is determined by stages I to IV. Stage I means the cancerous tumour is small and has not yet grown into nearby tissues; stage IV means the cancer is advanced and has already spread into other parts of the body.

What we know about causes of cancer?

The diagnosis of the oncological disease can be like thunder from the clear sky. However, paying regular visits to doctors and signing up for preventive screenings help. Besides, they are compensated by government initiatives. The numbers of oncological diseases have reached never seen highs in recent years with the major cases being diagnosed in the last stages having little to no chance of saving a person’s life. As the largest part of losses could have been avoided by regular preventing screenings, a lot of countries have declared the prevention of oncological diseases a national health objective.

Expert oncologists advise everyone, no matter their age or sex, to have a discussion with family practitioners about the genetic side and prevention of oncological diseases if they seem to run in the family. As genes are inherited, the causes of cancer may lie within the family’s history. The fact itself that your mum, dad, or one of the grandparents have fought cancer does not mean that you will do too, but the risk of oncological diseases is much higher this way.

Doctors also link some types of cancer with certain factors, which may not directly cause disease but can increase the risk of receiving the bad news. Reducing the risk factors helps to avoid oncological diseases, but the first step to a healthy life is acknowledging the vulnerability of life itself. Smoking, alcohol, high-fat diet, or constant exposure to UV light are the things that cause lung, skin, liver, or colon cancer, etc. Adults, in this case, are more vulnerable when compared to children as these factors are most harmful after long periods of exposure.

Doctors and medical researches do not rule out the possibility of getting cancer after virus exposure. As cancer is not contagious, you will never get it from contacting another person. However, as HIV causes AIDS, it can also lead to cell changes, which may develop into oncological diseases. It is more common to get cancer after being exposed to certain environmental factors for long periods. Such conditions include working with chemicals, in construction, or doing similar jobs as defective personal protection equipment can lead to higher levels of dangerous exposure.

What we know about curing oncological diseases?

Any type of cancer is easiest to cure when diagnosed in the earliest stages. Even if one finds themselves fighting this disease, being diagnosed with stage 1 cancer is nothing to worry about as there are plenty of methods and experimental medicine to cure it. Some types of cancer may be removed surgically, but there is always the risk of cancerous cells to spread. There is also a way of finding donors, which is usually close family members, to donate their bone marrow to the patient of leukaemia with a change of curing it and prolonging a person’s life. Besides, chemotherapy is considered to be the most common way; chemotherapy uses several types of chemotherapeutic agents, which may be given with curative intent, or may prolong the life of patients together with reducing cancer symptoms.

Medical researches and oncologists agree that chemotherapy helps cancer patients survive, but such treatment also has a negative side. The most common side-effect of chemotherapy is hair loss; it is also the most visible one as other side-effects include gastrointestinal distress, anaemia, infertility, and sometimes can lead to significant organ damage. Other side-effects of chemotherapy also include extensive nausea and vomiting. As these issues are quite simple to cure for ordinary human with the help from a local drugstore, cancer patients are forced to use extremely powerful drugs which has their own side-effects.

Some cancer patients who experience very strong side-effects and constant pain choose to use products from nature to ease it including CBD. There is no reliable information or medical research of CBD oil curing oncological diseases, but many cancer patients use it for relieving pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, etc. As symptoms of both cancer and chemotherapy are pretty severe and exhausting, patients and their family members are looking for CBD oil drops or CBG  paste with the highest possible product concentration on the market as it has the highest potential.

The diagnose of oncological diseases does not mean the end of the world, so let’s just think of it as a tough chapter from your favourite video game, which everyone will eventually pass. The disease itself does not matter as long as you are surrounded by your loved ones caring and rooting for you every step of the way. It helps to know every inch of your body very well and spending enough time for quality self-care procedures, including preventive cancer screenings – it saves lives.

The information used to prepare this blog was acquired from reliable sources. Consult professional oncologists before making decisions and sign for preventive screenings today.


Why beta-glucans are the smartest way to strengthen the immune system?

Many people from all around the world and from different cultures and societies agree that nature is the best pharmacy kit one could ever wish. Starting with your great grandmother and finishing with professional homeopaths, they have long been using natural products and foods to treat and ease symptoms of many illnesses and diseases. However, there is one particular product that is worth more attention to pay – it’s beta-glucans!

What are beta-glucans?

Beta-glucans are a remarkable type of fibers found in many contrasting foods and plants on which its real benefits depend. Even though some of the sources of beta-glucans have been used for centuries, at that time, people were considering the food itself being powerful and having healing abilities; particular interest in beta-glucans came to light only in the last decades of the twentieth century. Now they are widely used for many different purposes and in quite unlike ways: by mouth as food additives or vitamin pills, intravenously as an injection into one’s muscles, or used externally as various skin balms.

Being classified as water-soluble fibers beta-glucans slows down the process of digesting food, so our bodies do not rush to absorb sugars. Besides slower food transit, beta-glucans are partially indigestible; they travel through the whole digestive system. Beta-glucans strengthen the immune system and are safe to use when administered orally in quantities found in everyday foods, so a rich diet is one of the best ways to enrich one’s body with beta-glucans.

Where in nature do we find beta-glucans?

Beta-glucans were first found in the form of sugar hiding in the cell walls of lichens, which is a composite organism that grows based on a symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae. There are some species of lichens that are edible and safe, but be careful as some lichens are poisonous and can happen to be your last meal once they form from Cyanobacteria and releases harmful toxins. People mostly use inedible lichens for clothing, decoration, or dyes creating many astonishing colors.

Shortly after, beta-glucans were discovered in barley and other types of cereals: wheat, bran, and oats. As different types of grains are far more scientifically researched than seaweed or various mushrooms researchers inform consumers that particular species of cereals have different immune-strengthening potential because they contain unlike amounts of beta-glucans. Scientists state that barley is the most beta-glucan-rich type of grain and is followed by oats, which has a slightly lower content of beta-glucan.

You may also find beta-glucans in various Chinese and Japanese mushrooms, particularly maitake, reishi, shimeji, and shiitake. Unlike grains, which have different content of beta-glucans depending on the species, mushrooms have the highest levels of beta-glucan shortly before the spores start to mature. As the timeframe for picking these mushrooms is not long, and scientists have not researched them extensively, consumers must understand that it is safer to eat them in small quantities until more information follows.

Of course, there are more natural sources containing beta-glucans, for example, bacteria, algae, yeasts, etc. Even though the latter has more beta-glucans than mushrooms, they are just as widely used and healthy; the only difference is that you may need to consume smaller amounts of brewer’s or baker’s yeasts to reach the same results as eating cereals or mushrooms. No matter the quantity of yeast-derived beta-glucans that one consumes throughout the meals or as supplements, these beta-glucans are one of the safest and smartest ways to improve one’s health.

What is the value of beta-glucans?

The first widely known and scientifically proven beta-glucans’ benefit to a person’s body was boosting the cardiovascular system. Scientists agree that consistent consumption of grain-based beta-glucans adds up to maintaining a healthy heart and improving cholesterol and insulin levels, reducing high blood pressure (hypertension), and the risk of strokes. Beta-glucans also reduce the risk of type II diabetes and help control blood sugar levels if already diagnosed with such an illness. Different studies argue for how long one should consume beta-glucan-rich foods before the first results may show; however, they do not feud about its benefits.

Beta-glucans also help people dealing with particular skin conditions. Various researches show that routinely used a face cream with beta-glucans reduces the skin flares and itching caused by eczema. Beta-glucans may also reduce canker sores - painful ulcers developing on the soft tissue in one’s mouth or on the gums. Yeast-derived beta-glucans have a distinctive feature of stimulating skin cell response and defending our skin against the pollution from the environment - it also delays the aging process!

Other advantages of consistent beta-glucans use include reducing the symptoms of hay fever and lowering the chances of getting an infection after various surgeries as yeast-derived beta-glucans have specific anti-inflammatory properties. It may also shorten the length of one’s intensive care unit stay as it improves survival rates and overall well-being. Cancer patients use beta-glucans intravenously as an injection; it may extend the life of patients or delay the growth of cancer of some localities when used together with usual cancer-treating medication.

Various studies have shown beta-glucans being valuable in the process of controlling one’s weight. As beta-glucans are fibers, they help people dealing with obesity or having metabolic syndrome - the condition affects about one-quarter of the population of all ages! Including beta-glucans-rich food into an everyday diet can effectively increase weight loss.

Besides all advantages, beta-glucans are mostly celebrated for their ability to stimulate immunity. Beta-glucans strengthen the immune system, ensure smooth functioning, and help one’s body deal with various diseases, bacterial infections, and viruses’ pathogens. Taking yeast-derived beta-glucans, for example, enhance the immune system by activating macrophages, which initiates a fast and incredibly powerful immune response.

Even if you think that all of the benefits of beta-glucans sound too good to be true, you will be able to see and feel for yourself. Hold on tight onto your chair as next week we are introducing an amazing new product to the market – it’s CBD oil with beta-glucans! This incredible combination means that CBD oil will improve your physical and mental well-being at the same time as beta-glucans strengthen the immune system and may ensure the smooth working of your heart.

Attention! Immune system prepares for fight!

The human body is a vulnerable thing: it requires special care and protection not only during the abnormal summer heats but also during freezing winter frosts and other dangers. Let’s admit, it is easy to prepare for and fight off objects and feels that one can see or sense; however, such a process gets way trickier when you must challenge things that are invisible to a naked eye - pathogens. It’s our immune system that does all of the hard work protecting us from dangerous viruses and bacteria, although investing in strengthening it always pays off.

What’s the immune system?

It is easier to think about the immune system as really high and steep stone walls surrounding the castle – the human body. As hostile persons – pathogens from viruses and bacteria – try to enter the castle, they are immediately blocked by strong and invincible walls. However, as time goes by and the walls are exposed to changing weather conditions, they are likely to collapse if unsupervised or show weaknesses, thus needing constant strengthening works and additions.

One immune system – plenty of immunities

According to immunology scientists, in the medical world, the body’s immune system is distinguished in several different segments. All people are brought into this world having innate immunity – pre-programmed body cells that identify harmful substances in a matter of seconds and fight them; it’s the equivalent of using walls for protection that were already there. The adaptive immune system is a complete opposite of innate immunity - it’s a more advanced way to beat pathogens as it can remember them by storing information in itself on how to do it; it reminds building a new wall around the castle.

The adaptive immunity is further subdivided into natural passive and active, and artificial active and passive immunity, which all have contrasting acquiring processes. Natural-passive immunity refers to pregnancy months as a fetus receives antibodies to fight pathogens through the placenta or when nursing. Natural-active immunity forms once the person is done dealing with a live pathogen and forms immunological memory of such a process.

Artificial-passive immunity includes transferring one person’s blood to another, thus forcing one’s cells to share information on how to fight the pathogens to other’s cells. Artificial-active immunity stands for vaccination, after which antigens simulate a possible response to a small number of pathogens, and later knows how to destroy the disease as a whole. However, it doesn’t matter which type of immunity guards your body’s castle - it matters that you reinforce the complete picture of defending walls in time!

What happens once the immune system fails?

If the walls defending the castle fail to stop intruders, the castle itself becomes weak and damaged; immunology scientists divide such a situation into several categories depending on how the body deals with attackers – pathogens:

•           autoimmunity disorder happens when the body’s immune system isn’t capable of distinguishing positive cells from destroyable bad ones and decides to attack both;

•           hypersensitivity is a smart name for the body’s immune system destroying its own harmless cells instead of faulty invader ones;

•           immunodeficiency occurs when the body’s immune system loses its capability to fight or gets compromised by short-term events. Even though some of the cases of immunodeficiency is inherited, modern-day problems - alcoholism, obesity, and drug use - determine the largest amount of overall cases.

Tips on how to strengthen the immune system

Most of the time, the body’s immune system is strong enough to produce antigens and destroy pathogens without harming the actual person. However, as immune systems get weaker and start to struggle to fulfill its task, some immunity-strengthening methods and means are not optional but obligatory.

An average human spends about one-third of a lifetime sleeping – roughly 25 years, so anywhere from 7 to 9 hours every night. As regular sleep routine and quality rest maintain physical and mental well-being, it adds up to strengthening the immune system as well. We advise everyone to re-check their sleeping schedules and ensure a clean, relaxing, and stress-free sleeping environment.

As humans get all the energy needed to support the smooth working of the body from the nutrients, the only way to get them is through consuming healthy foods. Nutritionists advise people to eat a diet that would include foods from every group of the food pyramid. That means mostly eating grains and cereals following by various fruits and vegetables, not forgetting meats and dairy, but abstaining from eating lots of fats and sugars. It is also necessary to stay hydrated as water carries oxygen to one’s body cells and removes toxins from the body.

Scientists agree that about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise – walking, running, swimming, etc. - a day improves the body’s immune system and its ability to fight pathogens from viruses, germs, and bacteria. As it helps maintain healthy body weight and avoid obesity, regular and properly performed exercises adds up to both physical and mental health. Fitness experts also suggest showering under cold water or having an ice bath once in a while as it helps the immune system to fight off any remaining unwanted substances out from the body.

We are educated about the cost of harmful habits and addictions every step of the way; however, scientists recently found out that there are more than quarter-billion people dependent on alcohol in the world. No matter the addiction – alcohol, smoking, or drugs, such practices leaves permanent damage not only on the outside of the body but internally. As it weakens organs to perform their functions, prolonged periods of untreated addiction may result in autoimmunity problems.

One of the easiest ways to improve the immune system is to buy pharmaceutical preparations; however, as there is plenty of variety of vitamins and pills, one can do more damage to the immune system rather than good. As people all around the world pay more attention to what kind of medicine they put into their bodies, a lot of them choose homeopathic and time-proven remedies. There is a saying that nature provides humans with everything it needs, so drinking herbal teas is a logical way to strengthen the immune system, but make sure you know what you are about to consume beforehand!

There is one particular type of means to improve the strength of the immune system, which is only gaining popularity. CBD oil and other products are considered the new black as it has valuable anti-inflammatory features, helps prevent an immune response, and easies some autoimmune sicknesses. CBD oil can improve the way how precisely the immune system remembers harmful pathogens, thus speeding up the future recovery process and ensuring overall physical and mental well-being.

It doesn’t matter which methods you will choose to strengthen your immunity system as this process focus more on consistent efforts and positivity. Although we recommend you avoid saving when it comes to health and its improvement, there are plenty of options of how economically one can strengthen immunity right at home.

Train your brain to sleep better

Sleep is essential for good mental health, although not everyone is able to fall asleep or stay asleep. In this blog we’ll explore the reasons behind sleeplessness, how quality sleep brings quality of life and tips on dealing with insomnia. 

What causes sleeplessness?

Stress is a leading cause of abnormal sleep patterns. Research shows it is a common trigger for both short-term and chronic insomnia. Stress can result from concerns about work, school, health, finances, anxiety and depression among other things, but perhaps the most deceptive cause is the fast-paced media packed world in which we live. Technology, world events and our ever-increasing knowledge about our world and the universe seem to have put time on a relentless treadmill and keeping up can wear out even the most determined among us. According to scientific research, stress creates incoherence in our heart rhythms, and when the heart is out of sync normal sleep patterns can be interrupted. 

Poor sleep habits can cause difficulties sleeping, this includes going to sleep at irregular times, taking naps during the day, having stimulating activities before bed such as exercise, having an uncomfortable sleep environment, and using your bed for work, eating or watching TV.  The use of your smartphone, computer or other screens just before bed can interfere with your sleep cycle as the usual blue light stimulates your brain to be awake.

Eating late in the evening can too be a factor in sleeplessness, especially food that is high in carbohydrates and sugar. This may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down. Many people also experience heartburn, a backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the oesophagus after eating, which may keep you awake.

Traveling or a late work schedule is also a culprit. Your circadian rhythm acts as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature. Disrupting your body's circadian rhythms can lead to insomnia. Causes include jet lag from traveling across multiple time zones, working a late or early shift, or frequently changing shifts.

Why quality sleep is vital for your body?

When you sleep your brain works hard releasing hormones and processing information from your day. This is important for creating long term memories, as your brain combines all the information it has picked up during the day and files it away for later use. While you’re sleeping, your pituitary gland releases human growth hormone (HGH), which helps the body to grow and repair itself.

The body’s immune system releases small proteins called cytokines while sleeping. These cytokines help the body fight inflammation, infection and trauma. Without enough sleep, your immune system might not be able to function at its best.

Sleep allows your sympathetic nervous system, which controls your fight or flight response, to take a much needed break. Studies have shown that when we’re deprived of sleep, sympathetic nervous system activity increases, which is also mirrored by an increase in blood pressure. Levels of cortisol, often called the stress hormone, decreases during the first few hours of sleep before rising to peak soon after you wake up. 

train your brain to sleep better

Tips on bettering your sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is important in maintaining quality physical and mental health. There are several things that you can do to promote good sleep and ultimately get a better rest.

First things first it’s important to maintain a regular sleep routine. Do this by going to bed and waking up at a regular schedule. Ideally, aim to not stray from your sleep routine by more than 20 minutes every night of the week.

Avoid napping during the day. Instead, perhaps pop your earphones in and listen to some guided meditation. There are many different types of meditation, but they all come down to one basic tenet – relaxing the mind and trying to focus on the breath. Meditation is a way to exercise the unconscious mind, practice mindfulness and lessen anxieties. Although it’s not as traditionally restful as a nap, a session of meditation is another valid way to refresh and revive – and a meditation habit has multiple benefits to both mood and productivity. 

When we take naps, it decreases the amount of sleep that we need the next night – which may cause sleep fragmentation and difficulty initiating sleep, and may lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation.

If you find your mind racing, or worrying about not being able to sleep during the middle of the night, don’t stay in bed tossing and turning. Instead, get out of bed and sit somewhere in the dark. Do your mind racing in the chair until you are sleepy, and then return to bed. Avoid looking at your phone or turning on the TV during this period as it will just stimulate you more than desired.

Try to read, watch TV or surf the internet outside of your comfy bed. This is because your brain might associate the bed with wakefulness. It’s best to reserve the bed for sleep only.

Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks such as coffee, black and green tea, energy drinks and cola. The effects of caffeine may last for several hours after ingestion. Caffeine can fragment sleep, and cause difficulty initiating sleep. If you drink caffeine, use it only during the first part of the day, however it would be better to look into alternatives such as chicory root ‘coffee’, carob and ginseng.

Get your body moving! Exercise before 2 pm every day. Even stretches or a walk is great for your body’s overall health and can promote continuous sleep. Avoid rigorous exercise before bedtime. Rigorous exercise circulates endorphins into the body which may cause difficulty initiating sleep.

It’s great if you prepare your bedroom for sleeping. A lower temperature can promote better sleep. So open a window or lower the thermostat some time before going to sleep. Having blinds to keep any light out is also great in activating our natural sleep cycle.

train your brain to sleep better

For some, the use of CBD oil has shown to be very beneficial. Recent research published in 2019 looked at whether CBD could improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety. The study involved 72 subjects, with 47 experiencing anxiety and 25 experiencing poor sleep. The subjects were each given 25 mg of CBD in capsule form each day. In the first month, 79.2 % of the patients reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7 % reported better sleep. 

Sleep is important and you know that too well. Help yourself by trying out as many of these suggestions as you can and implementing them into your routine. It will better your sleep, overall health and well-being.

What is CBD?

‘CBD – to understand immediately’

CBD or Cannabidiol is actually one of the many wonderful cannabinoids that are found in the hemp plant. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plants flowers and not the seeds making the extraction process a true form of scientific art. 

CBD is a completely natural substance, which has been seen to have many uses and benefits for the human body. Another wonderful fact about CBD is that it has no psychoactive effects, allowing people to use it, have great effects without the fear of getting ‘high’. 

How does CBD work?

CBD just like other cannabinoids work by interacting with the receptors found throughout the human body - in our organs, connective tissues, glands, immune cells, and brain. It is able to do this because CBD closely resembles chemicals that the body creates naturally. This system of chemicals and receptors is called the endocannabinoid system.

In this system there are two types of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 and CB2. CB1 is mainly found in nerve cells, brain and spinal cord. CB1 present in the hypothalamus affecting appetite and CB1 in hippocampus influence memory processing in the brain.CB2 is located in the peripheral nervous system. One of the main functions of this receptor is to keep the body’s immune system healthy by regulating the release of cell signalling molecules. This regulation boosts cell to cell communication and accelerates the movement of cells towards the area of inflammation. 

By stimulating cannabinoid receptors many cannabinoids including CBD are capable of reducing pain and inflammation along with stimulating appetite, boosting rest and promoting sleep.

What are the benefits of CBD?

CBD is being used for many medical disorders such as pain management such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis, depression and anxiety, sleeping disorders, even seizures such as epilepsy and easing cancer treatment symptoms. It is also a great immunity booster with anti-inflammatory properties. 

Lastly, researchers say that cannabis is one of the oldest domestic plants which are used by the human race for at least 10,000 years. Since our bodies have receptors, cannabis experts say consuming cannabis is a natural way of life.

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