The Anti-Stress Vitamin–Are you deficient?

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) is especially needed to nourish the adrenal glands under stress; and who’s not under some of kind of stress in today’s fast-forward lifestyle!  Any kind of stress takes its toll–good, bad, physical, mental, emotional.  Pantothenic acid is easily destroyed by overcooking, drugs, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and stress.  Woops!  Chances are, we could all be borderline deficient.

Some possible signs of deficiency:  kidney problems, thinning hair, nerve problems, stomach ulcers, weakness, fatigue, adrenal exhaustion, sensitivity to noise and/or chemicals, and premature graying of the hair. 

Foods and herbs high in this vitamin:  beans, broccoli florets, cabbage, corn (non GMO), potatoes, peas, unsulphured blackstrap molasses, alfalfa, capsicum, catnip, hops, kelp, red clover, and licorice root (highest herbal source, but only use for about 6 weeks, then change to another herb, as it can lower blood pressure).  Stir some blackstrap molasses into your tea, coffee, oatmeal, yogure, or into some grain or nut milk.  Try it in hot water as a coffee substitute.  It’s also high in minerals such as iron and chromium.

Once again, always take a complete B-Complex supplement before adding a single B.  Add at least one of the above foods to your diet every day.  Add some capsicum drops to your coffee or tea, or better yet, to some herbal tea made from alfalfa, catnip, hops, or red clover.  If you suffer from allergies, alfalfa capsules may be a good choice for you.  Red clover helps to purify the bloodstream, and catnip and hops are calming herbs.  Kelp is rich in minerals and feeds the thyroid.  Bee Pollen is a good source of B vitamins.

Recommended Nature’s Sunshine supplements:  Alfalfa Capsules, Red Clover Capsules, Capsicum Liquid, Catnip Capsules, Hops Capsules, Vitamin B-Complex Capsules (33 mg. B-5), Vitamin B-Comples, Balanced (45 mg. B-5), Pantothenic Acid Capsules (250 mg.), Ultimate Green Zone Powder or Capsules, Kelp Capsules, Bee Pollen Capsules.  Order at member’s prices at

As always, keep learning to be healthy, and email me with any questions at and/or visit my website at

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Natural Health Practitioner

B3 (Niacin) deficiency?

Niacin has been called the “courage or happy vitamin”, because even a slight deficiency may affect personality and cause mental disturbances such as apprehension, hostility, suspicion, tension, etc.  Vitamin B3 is necessary for healthy blood circulation, good digestion, good skin tone, defending against mental illness, healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system, and helping to retard the accumulation of cholesterol and fats in the arteries.  Without it, sugars, starches, and fats cannot be burned as fuel, and as a result, accumulate as fat. 

Some deficiency signs when Niacin is lacking in the diet include:  diarrhea, severe skin disease, soreness of the tongue or mouth, loss of appetite or weight, weakness, inflammation of the intestinal tract, memory loss, depression, insomnia, mood swings.

Vitamin B3 is rapidly destroyed by alcohol and depleted by the refining process of foods (i.e., sugar, corn, white flour, and white rice).  Foods and herbs high in this nutrient include the following:  fish, nuts, brown rice, wheat germ, soybeans (organic, non-GMO), whole grains, mushrooms, green peas, paprika, organic peanuts and peanut butter (non-hydrogenated), tomato paste, alfalfa, capsicum, hops, kelp, red clover, rose hips, papaya, feverfew, and wood betony.

Vitamin B-Complex, Balanced (tablets), contains 50 mg. of niacin in a base of wheat germ, cabbage, wild lettuce, watercress, and rice polishings, for better absorption.  Vitamin B-Complex Capsules contain 33 mg. of niacin in a base of acerola, lemon bioflavonoids, rose hips, rutin, and wheat germ.  Remember, never take a single B vitamin unless you are also taking a B-Complex which contains all of the B’s.  Too much of one may lead to a deficiency in another.  Both of these products can be ordered from at member prices. 

Please visit my website at and email me with any health questions at  This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat disease, or to take the place of any medical care that you may need.

Keep learning to be healthy!                                                                                                                                        Lisa Hernandez, Certified Natural Health Practitioner

Learning to be Healthy–Vitamin B2–the greatest single vitamin deficiency in the U.S.

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) helps the cells in tissues to exchange oxygen, promoting general health and energy.  It also helps to maintain clear skin and healthy hair and increase resistance to disease. 

Some possible deficiency signs are:  eye problems (red, bloodshot, tired, watery, burning sensation under eyelids, loss of distant vision, itching), mouth problems, painful or swollen lips, red or painful tongue, skin problems (white heads, dermatitis, oily skin), hair loss, oily hair, dandruff, and dizziness.

Foods and herbs high in vitamin B2:  eggs, raw green leafy vegetables, chicken, yogurt, almonds, alfalfa, capsicum, catnip, kelp, red clover, rose hips, and papaya. 

Some factors that may influence riboflavin deficiency:  consumption of refined sugar, alcohol, and poor nutrition, surgery, birth control pills, antibiotic use, low stomach acid, mental stress, diuretics, and malabsorption.

Recommended Nature’s Sunshine Products:  Alfalfa Capsules, Ultimate Green Zone, Vitamin B-Complex Capsules, Papaya Mint Enzymes, Catnip & Fennel Liquid, Kelp Capsules, Red Clover Capsules, Rose Hips Capsules.  All can be ordered at  Any questions can be sent to  

This information is not intended to diagnose or treat disease, or to take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Keep learning to be healthy!  Lisa Hernandez, CNHP


Are you deficient? Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 is important for healthy digestion, including the production of stomach acid that is needed to digest protein and destroy pathogens like parasites, viruses, and bacteria before they can enter the intestinal tract.  This vitamin is also necessary for a healthy nervous system, and is the chief nerve relaxant of all the B vitamins.  A deficiency may cause a breakdown of the myelin sheath, which covers and insulates nerve endings.

Some possible deficiency signs:  inability to stand noise, burning or tingling in soles of feet, eye problems (twitching, bleeding retina), nerve problems, irritability, loss of morale, loss of sense of humor, listlessness, jealousy, depression, apathy, digestive problems, nausea, loss of stomach acidity, lack of appetite, muscle and ligament problems, difficulty in rising from knees, loss of muscles on lower arms and legs, fatigue, low thyroid activity, constipation, sleep problems, leg cramps after exercising, edema, bed wetting, and high blood pressure.

Foods and herbs high in vitamin B1:  yogurt (unsweetened with active, live cultures), wheat germ and bran, sunflower seeds (raw), whole grains, nuts (raw), fish (cooked), brown rice, raw green leafy vegetables, organic eggs, alfalfa, capsicum, catnip, garlic, kelp, red clover, papaya.

Birth control pills, smoking, chlorinated water, eating raw fish, and alcohol consumption, all destroy this vitamin. Drinking black tea may block thiamine absorption.  To help prevent thiamine loss when cooking, add lemon or vinegar to help stabilize B1 against heat destruction.

When taking any B-vitamin supplement, it’s best to take all the B vitamins together (B-complex), and then, if needed, add extra B1.  Nature’s Sunshine has two B-complex formulas–one is balanced, with 5 mg. of vitamin B1, and the other is a capsule that contains 33 mg. of B1.  If you have many of the above symptoms, you might want to use the capsules with 33 mg. of B1.  I like to buy the 2-oz. capsicum extract and add several drops to my herbal teas (red clover, catnip, and alfalfa are high in B1) or green lemonade (see recipe at  Add lots of fresh garlic to foods, and consider taking kelp capsules, especially if you have an underactive thyroid, for the iodine and trace mineral content.  These supplements can be ordered at member prices at  This post is intended for information only and is not intended to diagnose or treat disease, or to take the place of any medical care that you may need.

Keep learning to be healthy!  Lisa Hernandez, Certified Natural Health Practitioner


Vitamin A–Are you Deficient?

Did you know that Vitamin A is important for a healthy immune system, healthy skin, eyes, and mucous membranes?  Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of blindness in the developing world.

Some possible signs of deficiency include immune problems, frequent infections, colds or flu, skin problems (dryness, rashes, acne), brittle hair and nails, roughness on elbows, chronic sinus problems, eye problems (poor night vision, impaired vision, eyelids glued shut in the morning, inability to distinguish the colors blue and yellow), lung weakness, loss of smell and taste, swollen lymph nodes, and infertility.

Foods high in vitamin A include wild-caught salmon, mackerel, and sardines, cod liver oil, butter (unsalted, organic is best), and egg yolks from pasture-raised chickens.

Beta-Carotene is found in plant foods and converted to vitamin A in the body.  It gives the yellow and orange color to foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, mangos, pumpkin, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and apricots.  Other good sources  include sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted), peas, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables.

Some herbs high in vitamin A are spirulina, gotu kola, barley grass, yellow dock, uva ursi, peppermint, parsley, and alfalfa.

Individuals with diabetes or hyperthyroidism may not store vitamin A.

If there is insufficient friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract, it may be difficult to absorb vitamin A.

Healthy actions:

Include plenty of of foods rich in vitamin A and/or beta-carotene in your daily diet, as well as a serving of fermented foods, like sauerkraut, kefir, apple cider vinegar, or plain, organic, unsweetened yogurt with the words “live, active cultures” listed on the label.  Sweetened yogurt is counterproductive, as sugar feeds the growth of unfriendly bacteria.

Consider taking a multi-strain probiotic, especially if you have digestive or immune issues and don’t eat fermented foods.

My go-to supplement is Ultimate Green Zone, which helps to fill in nutritional gaps.  It contains a variety of whole foods and herbs rich in beta-carotene and essential fatty acids, as well as prebiotics to help feed friendly gut bacteria.

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.

Welcome to learning to be Healthy!

Through one blog at a time find out how a deficiency of any nutrient can cause undesirable symptoms and possibly lead to disease.  Learn to choose foods and herbs that contain high amounts of necessary nutrients.  Feel free to email me with questions at and/or visit my website at

Blessings of health,                                                                                                        Lisa Hernandez, Certified Natural Health Practitioner