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Pure Vitamins Blog

  • 6 Herbs for Nerves and Mild Anxiety

    Herbal medicines have been used for centuries to improve mild anxiety and to soothe frazzled nerves. The following are six of the most popular herbs to consider if you’re dealing with a stressful situation. PV-nerves-and-anxiety

    Oats

    For most people, porridge often comes to mind whenever oats are mentioned, but many Western herbalists rely on the oat "straw" or the green portion of the oat plant. This can be used as a nutrient-dense tonic for improving energy and for restoring emotional reserves whenever the nervous system has become overwhelmed.

    Lemon Balm

    Lemon balm has been used for hundreds of years to create mental clarity and to help alleviate tension and mild anxiety.

    These traditional uses of lemon balm are supported by preliminary clinical studies. For instance, in a placebo-controlled study held in a laboratory setting, 18 volunteers were placed in stressful conditions. This study found that taking one dose of lemon balm at 600 mg was sufficient for reducing the negative impacts of stress and for calming the study subjects and creating a sense of alertness.*

    Valerian

    Once stress becomes an issue, getting a good night's sleep can seem next to impossible. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation will only exacerbate a person's stress.

    In clinical studies performed on insomnia sufferers, valerian, a relaxing herb, has been shown to improve overall sleep quality while limiting the amount of time that it takes for people to fall asleep. For optimal results, valerian should be used consistently for a minimum of two weeks, rather than taking sporadic doses on nights when dozing off proves difficult to do.#

    Lavender

    Often used in aromatherapy, the essential oil of lavender boasts a number of relaxing properties that make it a wonderful addition to any oil burner, bathtub and massage oil.

    When used as a herbal medicine, lavender is believed to have similar properties and may be indicated for insomnia and restlessness.

    St. John's Wort

    A number of placebo-controlled, double-blind studies have confirmed the longstanding reputation of St. John's Wort as being an effective way to alleviate mild to moderate anxiety.

    It is important to note, however, that St. John's Wort may interfere with a number of prescription drugs, so ensure you talk with your doctor before starting a St. John's wort regimen.

    Passion Flower

    Passion Flower is a sedative herb that has traditionally been used in Western herbal medicine to promote deep and restful sleep, alleviate insomnia and relieve anxiety, restlessness and nervousness. For these and other uses, passion flower is often taken along with valerian.

     

    *Kennedy DO, et al. Attenuation of laboratory-induced stress in humans after acute administration of Melissa officinalis (Lemon balm). Psychosomatic Medicine 2004;66:607-13

    # Braun L, Cohen M. Herbs and natural supplements:  an evidence-based guide, 2nd ed. Sydney:  Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2007. CD version, page:  1183-6

  • Signs You Might Be Deficient In Vitamin D

    PV-Vitamin-D-DeficiencySymptoms of Low vitamin D
    Getting enough vitamin D is crucial to keeping your body healthy. But how do you know when you are lacking in vitamin D? There are a few telltale signs that your body is not getting the vitamin D you need to function optimally.

    If you have increased hair loss, you may have a low vitamin D level. Check the drain after a shower. If you see increasing amounts of hair loss in the bottom of the shower, you may have a vitamin D deficiency.

    Decreased levels of vitamin D can lead to decreased strength in your bones, making you susceptible to sore joints, bone weakness and osteoporosis. If you have suffered from several fractures or have bone or joint pain, it might be worth having your vitamin D levels checked.

    A reduced immune function and cognitive impairment may occur when vitamin D levels are low.

    What Causes vitamin D Deficiency?

    While sunscreen helps  to protect our skin, it also blocks the sun’s rays from giving you vitamin D. You should definitely avoid direct sun for long periods of time when UV rays are at their strongest, but you could try to leave the sun block off your skin for a brief time, say 10 minutes per day late in the afternoon or early in the morning, and soak up some vitamin D. How long and what time of day you expose your skin depends on where you live and your skin type.

    If you are dark skinned or live in colder climates that receive less sun, you are exposed to less vitamin D through sunshine. If you have a job indoors or are home bound, you are not exposed to sunshine. In these cases, you are more likely have a vitamin D deficiency. Lactose intolerant people or strict vegans may not get enough vitamin D from the foods they eat.

    How Can You Get More vitamin D?

    Sunshine is the primary way to get vitamin D. But you may not be able to spend enough the time in the sun to get your vitamin D levels up. In that case, be sure to consume foods that contain vitamin D. Foods high in vitamin D include milk, fish, cod liver oil and dairy products. Vitamin D supplements are also available to help you stay healthy and keep your levels up.

  • Six Supplements That Can Boost Energy

    Six Supplements That Can Boost Energy

    An active life, refreshing sleep and a diet of natural food is a good foundation for high energy levels. However, there are times when the stress of daily life increases or when some extra support is needed. Rather than reaching for a sugary snack or caffeine, give the natural supplements below a try. PV-march-blog

    Begin With a Multivitamin

    The proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in food employ a wide range of nutrients in order to convert them to energy. Deficiency of any of these nutritional factors can impede the production of energy. A broad spectrum multivitamin and mineral formula can insure that these nutrients are there for energy conversion. Be sure to choose a formula that contains the B-complex group, including folic acid, as well as iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc in the mineral group.

    Consider these other supplements to help boost energy levels in times of need:

    B-complex when stress levels are high

    The B group of vitamins are of utmost importance in converting food into energy, and are needed in higher doses during times of stress. Since they are water-soluble they are not stored in the body, and need to be replenished every day.

    Magnesium supports nerve function

    Magnesium is essential for muscle and nerve function. It is also essential for the smooth production of energy. Being under stress increases the body's requirement for this mineral.

    Co-enzyme Q10 for an energy boost

    While Co-enzyme Q10 is a nutrient that is essential for energy production at the cellular level. As we age our bodies produce less of this substance, making supplementation a wise move. It has also been shown to be very important in heart health.

    Iron to combat fatigue

    Many women suffer from low iron level due to menstruation. This may result in fatigue, paleness of the skin and nails and mucous membranes, as well as lack of resistance to infection. Look for iron products that contains folic acid and vitamin B12, which work synergistically with the iron. See your doctor if you suspect your iron levels are low for a quick test to determine if you need to supplement with iron.

    Korean Ginseng for extra stamina

    Korean Ginseng is a traditional medicine herb that supports stamina and vitality. It aids the body and nervous system in adapting to stress, as well as enhancing physical performance. It is used to revitalise and strengthen the body during times of weakness, malaise, fatigue, exhaustion, and stress.

  • Low Carb Dieting That Works!

    PV-feb-blog
    Cutting carbs out of your diet is a popular way to achieve weight loss goals, and has the potential to be very effective. However, many fad low-carb diets are very protein and meat heavy, with very little focus on vegetables or healthy fats. The assumption that a low-carb diet should consist primarily of meat is not necessarily true and can make losing weight more difficult or slower. Follow our top tips for successful low-carb dieting below:

    Lots of Veggies. The most effective low-carb diet for fast and safe weight loss include lots of vegetables and fruits as well as meat and protein. Eating a lot of vegetables helps your body get a proper nutritional balance which satisfies cravings, and the fibre in vegetables also makes your weight loss program more effective.

    Eat Fats. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, you must make sure to get enough healthy fats in your diet to ensure fast and easy weight loss. If you remove fat entirely from your diet, it will cause your body to use up its own stored fat reserves very quickly, which can lead to hunger pangs and cravings that can make you give up on your diet. Instead of banishing fat from your food, make the choice to eat healthy fats like the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, rather than unhealthy processed fats.

    Include Exercise. A good and effective weight loss plan must always include exercise. No diet works by itself, and adding regular exercise to your weight loss plan will help you to achieve your target weight. Simply eating healthily just isn't enough on its own; you must make sure to exercise in order to burn calories and use up your body's energy reserves in a healthy and safe way.

    Control Portion Size. In addition to making healthy food choices when it comes to what to eat, you must also make good choices when it comes to how much to eat. Just because you are eating healthier foods doesn't mean that you can eat as much as you want; limiting your caloric intake every day and only eating until you are satisfied will ensure that the excess calories will not get stored as body fat. If you still feel hungry after eating sufficient calories or feel food cravings, try drinking water to signal to your brain that your body is full and satisfied.

    Add Variety. Just because you are eating well doesn't mean that it has to be boring. Eating the same thing every day can quickly get tiring and make it harder to stick to your diet. With so many delicious healthy foods to choose from, it should be easy to eat a great variety, get all the nutrition you need and still achieve your target weight.

  • How to Maintain Optimal Health in Your 30s

    Many people in their 30s spend the majority of their time behind their desk at work, at home taking care of their toddlers, or out socialising with friends. They’re busy making a career, building a family and bonding with friends that sometimes they don’t have much time for themselves, or their health.

    So how do you maintain optimal health when you’re in your 30s? Here are some essential tips to follow.

    1. Get an annual health check-up
    How to Maintain Optimal Health in Your 30s How to Maintain Optimal Health in Your 30s

    Once you reach 30 it is advisable to get a general check-up once a year. As your body ages, some of its functions slow down and even though this is normal it’s good to check and monitor the other changes your body is undergoing. Aside from the medical check-up there are also tests that you need to take for early detection and prevention of certain diseases; common ones being high cholesterol and diabetes.

    1. Prevent bone and muscle loss

    Bone loss, though not evident yet, will start in your 30s. Muscle loss will also start on the later part of your 30s. It is therefore important to take measures to prevent bone and muscle loss to maintain optimal health. To fight bone loss, it’s vital to get enough calcium in your diet. It would also be important to ensure that you’re not experiencing any Vitamin D deficiency symptoms to ensure your body is effectively using calcium from your diet. When it comes to muscle loss, make sure to have the right amount of protein, which can be taken from chicken, eggs, fish, and red meat. You can also take supplements that provide magnesium benefits to help develop healthy muscle function and help maintain bone structure and strength.

    1. Maintain a healthy weight

    Everybody knows that it’s important to keep a close eye on your weight as having a high body fat percentage increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. For those in their 30s, it’s all the more important. This is because when you’re in your 30s your metabolism slows and it will be very easy to gain weight. Follow a healthy and balanced diet to ensure you maintain a healthy weight for your age.

    1. Exercise smarter, not longer

    Regular exercise will not only help prevent muscle loss, it can also speed up your metabolism. As most people in their 30s are no longer as active as they were when in their 20s, stretching and moving daily is very important. Just because you may not have the stamina for long rigorous workouts though, doesn’t mean you should forego exercising. The key to exercising effectively is to exercise smarter, not longer. Interval training is a great workout regime to follow as this mixes different types of exercises and is done in quick but intense intervals. Be sure to add exercises for your lower body including squats and lunges as muscle loss has been found to be greater in this area.

    Metabolism can also be increased when your liver is functioning well. To ensure this you can get a liver detox, which is one many milk thistle benefits.

    You are responsible for your health. Being busy with work, family and friends should not be an excuse for having an unhealthy lifestyle, especially when you’re in your 30s. In following these four tips above, you can maintain optimal health during this time of your life.

  • Top 5 Food & Nutrition Trends You Can Expect in 2015

    2014 was a year where majority of people started focusing on eating healthier and being healthier. This meant eating more nutritious and organically grown food, getting more active, and making more health-oriented decisions, such as quitting vices, buying vitamin D supplements and the like.

    Top 5 food and nutrition trends Top 5 food and nutrition trends 2015

    This year many dietitians and nutritionists agree – the better health phenomenon is only going to get stronger. Below are the top five food trends for 2015 that reflect this notion, as predicted by various health professionals.

    1. Low-fat fades in fame – According to the ‘What’s Trending in Nutrition’ survey from Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietician, low-fat is out, and good fat is in. The survey, which was given to over 500 registered dieticians, points out that only 4% of them named low-fat as a popular trend among consumers. Meanwhile, 84% agreed that more good fats (mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids) will enter the picture and replace unhealthy, saturated fats.

     

    1. Wholefood has its day – This year it’s no longer about eating less, but eating whole. Nutritionist and author Kathleen Alleaume states that as more people become more aware of the nutritional value of whole food (organic, unprocessed food), many more will be making a switch to eating whole, plant-based food. Nutritionist and founder of Nourish Snacks, Joy Bauer agrees. Diet foods, she says, ‘which are often heavily processed and loaded with artificial sweeteners and other suspect ingredients, seem to be losing their appeal.’ This means more people will want more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains on their plates, and may also mean that more restaurants will respond by offering more organic and nourishing menu options.

     

    1. Cauliflower takes the crown – Kale has been overthrown by a new superfood, cauliflower. It’s been seen almost everywhere lately and dieticians are singing its praises online. Alleaume states that beyond mashing, steaming and baking, this old staple can be transformed into numerous different and creative dishes, including cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower porridge. It can also be pureed and added to almost any dish for a boost of flavour and nutrients.

     

    1. Going gaga for Green tea – They’ve been popular in Japan for centuries, but only now has Matcha, a high quality and potent green tea, started gaining recognition as the next big ultra-healthy beverage. It tops the ‘What’s Trending in Nutrition’ survey with 35% of respondents deeming it the health drink of choice. According to Alleaume, the tea works well as a coffee substitute with significantly less caffeine, and has health benefits that ‘soar far above those of coffee, juice, wine, or any other liquid, with high levels of antioxidants that may even outnumber so-called superfoods like goji and acai berries.’

     

    1. Ancient and unusual produce go mainstream – As the usual carrots, tomatoes and broccoli maintain popularity, their more unconventional comrades start gaining it. In the ‘What’s Trending in Nutrition’ survey half of the respondents agree that ancient grains such as amaranth and quinoa will be rising in popularity. So will exotic food choices like jicama (a Mexican yam), sunchokes (the Jerusalem artichoke) and tigernuts (a Spanish root crop).

    With these five forecasts, it looks like 2015 is sure to be one healthy and wholesome year. If you’re planning to get on the bandwagon and start eating and living healthier this year, why not add nutrient supplements to your diet as well? At Pure Vitamins, we offer a high quality array of supplements at the most reasonable prices. Our products include Coenzyme Q10, Milk Thistle, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and the best magnesium supplement in Australia. Visit our store today and start your year right and healthy!

  • New Year, Less Chair

    There's a hidden menace to your health lurking inside every home and office on the globe, even in your friendly neighbourhood coffee shop – chairs! new-year-no-chair

    Recent medical studies have discovered that sitting for long stretches of time can actually change the physiology of your muscle cells and may be detrimental to your health. cause serious illnesses. Two separate reports, one based on a study of 93,000 women who sit up to 11 hours a day and another on 82,000 men who sit for five or more hours a day outside of work, both found results that suggest that too much sitting can signal your body to halt production of important fat and sugar burning enzymes linked directly to your metabolism, causing serious risks to your health and well being.
    .
    All the time that you spend parked at the coffee shop checking your Facebook, crashed on the sofa watching TV or sitting in front of a computer screen at your office, is sending signals to your muscles on a cellular level, halting the activity of the important enzyme lipoprotein lipase and putting your health at risk.

    If you have an office job that requires you to sit a lot, the news that too much sitting can actually have a negative effect on your health and well being may be an unwelcome shock. Fortunately, there are things you can do to counteract the negative effects of sitting for long periods of timethis destructive activity. You can wake your muscles up out of their suspended animation state with just a little bit of basic exercise for two minutes every half hour you spend sitting.

    So set a timer to go off every 30 minutes and try these activities at home and at work to snap your muscles awake and keep your body fit and functioning.

    - Do the plank. More than just a weird internet fad, this simple yoga exercise is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your core, legs and arms all at the same time with minimal movement.
    - Take a walk. Getting up and taking a quick walk to water cooler or taking a bathroom break is enough to get your muscles working and keep your energy up.
    - Stand up for yourself. Just the simple act of standing up for a couple of minutes is enough to fight off the health risks of idle muscles.
    - Embrace the adverts. When watching TV, instead of fast forwarding forward winding through the ad breaks, use them as an opportunity to hop off the couch and get out of your sitting rut.
    - Take the stairs. If you’re fit and able, a quick march up and down the stairs at your work or home will do wonders for kick starting your muscles.

  • Krill Oil vs Fish Oil

    Krill Oil Pure Vitamins Krill Oil vs. Fish Oil

    You’ve probably been aware of the nutritional importance of fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids for some time. But lately, you might also have heard about krill oil as an alternative source of omega-3s. What’s the difference between these supplements? That’s a question our readers ask me repeatedly, so read on to find out. Continue reading

  • Is Stress Making You Sick?

    I’m under a fair bit of pressure right now, and frustratingly, I also feel as though I could come down with a cold at any moment.

    Stress Pure Vitamins Is stress making you sick?

    Initially, I put it down to bad luck that these two issues were occurring simultaneously, but I’ve now realised that it’s no coincidence. Being stressed out can have a significant effect on your immune system!

    Stress makes you more susceptible to colds

    In a scientific study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1991, researchers measured the stress levels of 394 healthy people, and then exposed them to either cold viruses or a control preparation that wasn’t infectious. Over the subsequent week, the quarantined participants were checked daily for symptoms such as sneezing, runny eyes, sore throat, and nasal congestion.

    The results of this study confirmed what many of us have always intuitively believed: that when you’re under stress, you’re much more likely to catch colds. On the other hand, when your stress levels are low, you’re less likely to succumb – even when people around you have been infected.

    This phenomenon occurs because the various physiological changes that occur in your body during times of stress have an impact on the immune system, reducing your ability to fight off infectious organisms.

    What can you do?

    As well as maintaining my regular exercise routine and finding time for a few meditation sessions each week, this winter I’ve decided to support my immune system and stress levels by taking a two-pronged approach with herbs and nutrients.

    Firstly I’ll be topping up my levels of B-group vitamins, as they may be needed in increased quantities during stressful periods.

    I’m also taking a multivitamin to help support my immune function and help maintain and improve my general wellbeing . The multivitamin I use has been specially formulated for women, and contains Siberian ginseng, which helps the body cope with the effects of stress.

    Additionally, I’ve decided to take echinacea and andrographis – as they support the body’s natural immune responses and may help relieve symptoms of colds and other mild upper respiratory tract infections. I also take additional vitamin C because it may help reduce the severity and duration of colds, and extra zinc because it’s essential for healthy immune system function.

  • How Do Glucosamine and Chondroitin Work?

    Glucosamine is one of the most popular natural health supplements in Australia , often taken alongside the related compound chondroitin to aid the management of osteoarthritis. But what are glucosamine and chondroitin, and how do they work? Read on to find out. Continue reading

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