Monday, March 21, 2011

What are “Helpful” Bacteria? And What Exactly do Probiotics Do?

The human body depends on probiotics, also know as helpful bacteria, friendly bacteria or beneficial bacteria, for a healthy intestinal tract. A vigorous digestive system is fundamental for good health as it directly influences the absorption of nutrients and conversion of food matter to energy. Likewise, a healthy intestinal tract promotes a strong immune system that efficiently wards off disease and illness. Essentially, your digestive health is the cornerstone of your entire body’s well-being.

As unpleasant as it my sound in our modern, antibiotic-driven age, the human body naturally contains trillions of bacteria, making up around one pound of your total body weight. And this is a GOOD thing. We depend on our intestinal bacteria to digest nutrients, produce important compounds like fatty acids as well as Vitamins B & K, and to create a hostile environment for unfriendly bacteria. In an ideal world, your intestines would contain approximately 80% of beneficial bacteria.

Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world and many people have half or even less than that. Modern-day challenges like poor diet, dehydration, chlorinated drinking water, antibiotic treated meats and popular medications all kill off some of the beneficial bacteria present in our bodies and create a hostile environment for the remaining population. Many naturally occurring probiotics also decline with age, compromising an aging body’s immune system. For this reason, it is important to take care of your digestive health by actively promoting a less hostile environment for these important helpful bacteria to flourish. After all, if they flourish, so will your health.

If you are just starting to address your digestive health, many doctors recommend starting with a probiotic cleanse like PRO EM•1® Daily Probiotic Cleanse. This treatment is a living liquid probiotic supplement featuring cutting edge EM Technology, making it easy to absorb, effective and yet gentle enough for daily use. It contains only all-natural, certified organic ingredients, features non-genetically modified, live (never freeze-dried) microorganisms, and has no preservatives, animal products, wheat or soy. PRO EM•1® not only supports a healthy digestive system, but it also promotes weight loss, improves nutrient absorption, removes toxins, and controls yeast build up which can lead to yeast infections. It is also helpful for individuals with irritable bowel syndrome and chronic digestive issues. You can complement the probiotic cleanse system with other high-quality digestive health products such as EM-X Gold.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tips for Keeping the Perfect Pond

Outdoor ponds and water gardens are a beautiful addition to any backyard. If you live in a warm climate, a water feature can substantially lower the temperature in your yard, and there is nothing more relaxing than lounging outside and listening to the sound of water on a hot summer day. Keeping your pond water clear and pristine, however, is considerably more difficult that simply filling a plastic lining full of water. Below are several tips for keeping your pond as beautiful as possible even during the hot summer months when algae blooms thrive.

Regular Cleaning

This one may seem a bit obvious, but it is important to regularly clean your pond. Even with a good pond skimmer, you will need to occasionally remove detritus that has collected at the bottom of your pond. Cleaning your pond is also important, because debris such as leaves, sticks and other waste material may form the perfect breeding ground for algae which is not only unattractive, but may potentially damage your pond’s delicate ecosystem.

Proper Aeration

It’s a good idea to keep you pond well aerated. Adequate aeration helps increase the amount of oxygen in your water which is highly beneficial for your plants and fish. Proper aeration can be achieved with a water feature such as a waterfall or a submersible aeration system.

Plenty of Shade

It’s generally recommended to provide your pond with plenty of shade. Too much direct sunlight can promote algae growth, which, as mentioned earlier, is not only unattractive, but it will ultimately compete with plants for vital nutrients. If you pond receives an overabundance of sunlight, you may want to consider placing plants around the edge of the pond to increase the amount of shade. Water plants such as lilies and water lettuce are another beautiful option and can make a dramatic difference in your pond’s temperature.

Beneficial Bacteria

Introducing beneficial effective microorganisms to your pond will enhance the ecosystem and reduce water stagnation. Beneficial bacteria, found in high quality products such as Teraganix’s EM-1 Effective Microorganisms, will literally eat away the unwanted organic material in your pond or water feature, keeping the water clean and clear. Not only do these microbial inoculants rid the water of unwanted biological debris, but it also has the ability to neutralize salts, such as calcium, preventing them from crystallizing on pond surfaces.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Starting an Organic Vegetable Garden - 5 Easy Steps

In recent years there has been a growing interest in organic vegetable gardening as a hobby. There are a number of factors contributing to this trend. A recent upswing in "foodie" culture has created an appreciation for fresh, high quality produce. Likewise, a growing awareness of health issues, sustainable living and sourcing food locally, has made gardening at home an attractive option. From a psychological perspective, the recent recession has led many individuals to seek out inexpensive, yet meaningful ways to spend their free time. Not to mention, our fast-paced, technology-driven lives often create a longing to reconnect with nature.

For these reasons, organic gardening has experienced a sort of renaissance. If you are interested in starting an organic vegetable garden, here are 5 easy steps to get you started.

1. Determine the type of vegetables and herbs you want to grow.

Consider your climate zone and select compatible vegetables. Research each vegetable’s planting schedule and map out your activities for the next few months. If you are brand new to gardening, start small with a couple hearty vegetables like beans, squash, arugula, tomatillos, peppers or potatoes. Rosemary is a particularly versatile, hearty herb and will make the garden smell wonderful. As your experience and confidence grows, you can expand your repertoire into other vegetables and herbs.

2. Select a location for your garden.

The best location will be exposed to sunlight at least 6 hours a day. It should have rich soil and efficient drainage so that water puddles do not linger. Decide the size and shape of the garden and designate the parameters. If you want clean lines, wooden stakes and some string can help you create a precise geometric border.

3. Clear the location for your garden bed.

Chances are, the space you have selected is occupied. If plants or gravel currently inhabit the area, they will need to be removed. This is typically the most difficult part of the gardening process, so rest assured that once this is done, gardening gets much easier!

4. Prepare the soil.

High quality soil is fundamental for a healthy, successful garden. Dig up the ground and turn the soil. If it’s available, add in natural compost or an all natural fertilizer. Likewise, most gardens will benefit from added beneficial soil organisms found in products like EM•1® Effective Microorganisms®. These microbes convert organic matter into a food source for plants, making vegetables more nutritious, heartier and just plain tastier.

5. Plant your organic vegetable garden.

If you are at the start of the season, plant organic seeds. If you prefer starting with a seedling or small plant, when you are at the nursery be sure to rule out any plants that have been grown with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Not only are synthetic fertilizers unattractive health-wise, but the plants will also be somewhat addicted to the chemicals, making the transition to your garden more likely to be unsuccessful. Inspect each plant for signs of disease or bug infestation. A plant's stems, leaves and root system should look vital, rather than scraggly or weak. Once you have selected healthy, organic plants, be sure to water you plants before planting. A soaked root system will help the plant make the transition. Dig a hole twice as deep (or slightly more) as the plant’s root ball. After the soil has been filled in and lightly compacted, water the plant again. Once all your plants are planted, cover the garden bed with 3 inches of organic mulch. This will help the soil retain moisture and stave off weeds. Finish your garden with labels, which will help you remember what each plant is as the season progresses.