Health Food For Thought

Food Intolerance? Enzymes May Be Your Gut’s Best Friend! [GIVEAWAY]

Monday, August 5, 2013 by Abby B.

If you deal with mild, occasional gas and bloating, it may be a sign that there’s something in your diet that just doesn’t get along with your gastrointestinal system. In other words, you may have what’s generally referred to as food intolerance.

Gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance is the most well-known food intolerance, but you can also have trouble with foods like dairy, beans, wheat, soy, phenols and even raw vegetables. In fact, the standard American diet (SAD) is a minefield of potential trouble for anyone dealing with food intolerance.


Food Intolerance and Enzymes

It’s hard to completely give up the foods you love... one of the reasons why losing weight and keeping it off can be so very difficult for so many people. Food cravings are a strong force, and processed foods are created almost specifically to get you hooked.

But for those with food intolerance, it’s more than that. Even whole, raw foods can prove challenging for your gut. The good news is that Mother Nature rarely leaves you up the creek without a paddle. In the case of food intolerance, enzymes can be the mightiest of paddles and your gut’s best friend.

Symptoms of food intolerance indicate that your body may need more of a specific dietary enzyme, a tool your body uses to enhance digestion and turn the food you eat into energy. Enzymes help your body break down food, and without the right supply... well, your body just struggles to process all those nutrients efficiently.



Free Up Your Food Choices!

Once you’re able to identify which foods give you trouble, eliminating those foods is the first step to managing your food intolerance. Then, finding the right enzyme supplement is the next most important step.

Digest Spectrum from Enzymedica offers complete support for individuals with multiple food intolerances... all in one convenient formula.  Digest Spectrum assists in digesting gluten, lactose, casein and phenol. It does not contain any egg, dairy, corn, rice, soy, potato, gluten, casein or sugar, making it an ideal choice for children and adults with multiple dietary intolerances.

Lacto is another great option for those dealing specifically with dairy intolerance and struggle with properly digesting lactose. It features a high potency lactase enzyme with eight additional digestive enzymes targeted specifically at foods containing lactose (a dairy sugar). This formula also provides natural digestive support for dairy protein and fat, as well.



Which foods give you the most trouble? Have you tried using digestive enzymes supplements? If so, tell us about your experience and share your tips!


GIVEAWAY—Sponsored by Enzymedica 

This giveaway has ended.

My Favorite Natural Cleaning Products (And a DIY Natural Cleaner Recipe)

Monday, January 23, 2012 by Abby B.
Natural kitchen cleaner sprayThe middle of January is about the time where I really start to get cabin fever. Though we're far from Spring (especially in Fargo), every year around this time I get the itch to do some spring cleaning: organize closets, tidy up the garage, and deep clean the house.  Working at Swanson Health Products, I've fallen in love with various natural cleaning products that I now like to use on a regular basis.

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Countertop Spray
in Lemon Verbena scent is a natural cleaner, free from toxic chemicals and harsh ingredients.  I use this cleaner almost daily, especially in the kitchen when cleaning up after cooking or baking.  This spray really cleans well and leaves a nice shine on surfaces.  The essential oils in this product make the scent very clean and citrusy without being overbearing.

Orange TKO concentrated citrus cleanerOrganic Orange TKO is another non-toxic cleaner I like to use on various surfaces throughout our house. You dilute the formula yourself, which makes this product last a long time, and allows you to mix your own concoction depending on the strength of cleaning power you need and surface on which you are going to use it.  I love that this is safe to use around pets as well, so I don't have to worry about it affecting our dog as I use it to spot-clean our carpets from time to time.

When I really need to remove a stain or odor spot, though, I turn to Castor & Pollux Stain & Odor Remover.  For me, this stuff works like magic! The natural formula is great for a number of surfaces, I haven't had any issues with it leaving the surface discolored after use, and it gets the stain out on the first try.  I ended up giving it a try on an article of clothing when we were out of our usual laundry stain remover.  Though I used it on clothing out of urgency, it worked well and I was impressed at the cleaning power of this natural product. This might be the product I always use for stains on laundry from now on!

Lastly, one of my go-to cleaning formulas when I'm out of an all-purpose cleaner or short on time is to mix my own in a small spray bottle.  For this D-I-Y Natural Cleaner, you need:You just mix it all together in the spray bottle and you're good to go!  I don't use this mixture on all surfaces, but it is a good, quick formula to wipe down basic countertops and the like (just about anything that won't be affected by the baking soda in the ingredients.)

What's your favorite eco-friendly or non-toxic cleaner? Do you mix your own? Please share your tips by posting a comment below!

My 5 Favorite Natural Product Stocking Stuffers

Thursday, December 15, 2011 by Abby B.
Naturally, one of my favorite parts of the holidays is buying gifts. I love to get little stocking stuffers for my family and friends as part of their gifts, and try to consider natural health products and brands they already enjoy, as well as new natural health products I think they'd like.  Though it's hard to narrow it down, my five favorites are:

1. Swanson Cosmetic Science Tea Tree Oil Lip Balmtea tree oil lip balm
The tea tree oil in this lip balm is very soothing, and the cocoa and shea butter do a great job of softening your lips. With the harsh winter conditions in Fargo, ND, this paraben free lip moisturizer makes a great gift for all of my loved ones. (I use this lip balm myself and absolutely love it!)

swanson shea butter

2. Swanson Cosmetic Science 100% Natural Shea Butter. This natural moisturizer keeps your skin feeling soft, without the greasy aftermath other moisturizers might leave.

burt's bees hand sanitizer

3. Burt's Bees Hand Sanitizer. I love the natural ingredients and clean scent of this hand sanitizer, which makes it perfect for anyone to use.  This formula doesn't have a sticky feel like some other hand sanitizers you may find.  The size of the bottle makes it really handy to have at home, at work, or on-the-go.

swanson organic green tea

4. Swanson Certified Organic Green Tea.  I come from a family of tea drinkers, so green tea is a staple for all of us.  The health benefits of green tea alone, and the fact this tea is organic, make the Swanson Organic brand a must-have for my holiday gifts.

e-cloth5. E-Cloth General Purpose Cloth.  This cloth allows you to clean your home naturally. You don't have to use harsh chemicals--just water!  It does a great job on a variety of different surfaces, and I particularly love to use it on the stainless steel appliances we have at home. 

Be sure to check out our website for all of these products and more to complete your shopping list this season.  Happy Holidays!

New Health Food Products Just In: MaraNatha Nut Butters

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 by Abby B.
Being involved in merchandising for the Web department at Swanson, I get the privilege and excitement of seeing new products come through as soon as they are added to our product mix.  This inspires me to constantly be trying new things, and I have found many new natural health food products, all natural health supplements and natural beauty products I now don't want to be without.

One of the newer additions to our site, and one of these new loves of mine, are the MaraNatha brand peanut and almond butters. My favorite are the Organic Creamy Peanut Butter and the All Natural No Stir Creamy Almond Butter.
Organic  Peanut Butter
I had only tried a couple of organic peanut butters before, purchased in natural and organic foods sections at various grocery stores.  This one, however, has become my new favorite! The hint of sea salt doesn't make the spread overly salty, and the full, roasted flavor of the peanuts comes through in every bite. As an organic peanut butter, it has the good monounsaturated fats and zero trans fats, as well as no added sugar. It also gives you a good helping of fiber.  One of my favorite snacks as of late has been the classic "Ants on a Log," but I've been making mine with a twist.  Just spread some MaraNatha Organic Peanut Butter over freshly cut celery, and top with Swanson Organic Thompson Seedless Raisins and Eden Foods Organic Dried Cranberries.  It makes a tasty, healthful snack for both kids and adults!

As for the almond butter, I was a little skeptical as I haAll Natural Almond Butterven't had many other nut butters before, aside from peanut butter.  But the fresh almond taste and smooth texture made me fall in love with this treat.  I've recently been trying it with various fresh fruits and whole-grain crackers. My favorite find so far has been spreading some of it on whole-grain toast, topped with a dollop of Y.S. Organic Honey.  Just like the peanut butter, this almond butter has heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, along with a good serving of fiber. Plus, since it's made from almonds, it is also a great source of magnesium and Vitamin E, as well as calcium and iron. 

Both of these products are also gluten-free, an added bonus for those of you with dietary restrictions or who might simply be looking to cut out some of the gluten intake from your diet.  Plus, we also carry both of these in their crunchy counterparts, so if you're looking for something a little more hearty, those might be just right for you.  Happy healthy eating!