Why Do I Need Probiotics?

There are several lifestyle and environmental factors that can lead to problems with your gut health. Stress, aging, modern American diet, exposure to toxins, and the use of antibiotics (both as medicine and within the food we eat) can all throw off the balance of our microbiome.

Everything from your energy levels and mood to your mental health, weight, and sleep, can be affected by the balance of good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. The effects of an unbalanced microbiome can be serious. When the gut becomes unbalanced with these unhealthy levels of bacteria, probiotics help to bring your gut back to balance.

Probiotics are the “good” bacteria in your gut that support your digestive health and your immune system. These microbes that are present in the lower intestinal tract help us to digest food. They help the body to absorb nutrients, making sure that your body is getting the vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids from the foods that you are eating. Probiotics also keep any harmful bacteria in check. Probiotics do this by crowding out the bad bacteria and preventing the bacteria from living in your gut.

Now that you can see how probiotics help the body, how do you know if your body needs them? Probiotics exist naturally in your gut, but lifestyle and environmental factors can deplete our natural levels. But how do we know if they have been depleted?

Take a look at these 6 signs that indicate you should be boosting your diet with these good guys!

  1. Antibiotic Use

Antibiotic means anti-life, which is the exact opposite of the meaning of probiotic or pro-life. Antibiotics were designed to remove bacteria from the body, including your good guys. Boosting your diet with probiotic rich foods after a round of antibiotics can help to reintroduce the healthy gut flora back into the body.

  1. Food Poisoning

If you have recently suffered from food poisoning or have eaten something that just didn’t agree with your system, these is a good chance that bad bacteria have started making a home in your body. Including probiotic rich foods in your diet can help to fight off these bad guys and get your digestion back to normal.

  1. Digestive Issues

If your gut has not been functioning like it normally does, boosting your diet with probiotic rich foods can be extremely helpful. Oftentimes the small addition of these healthy flora into your diet can put an end to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating and gas.

  1. Skin Conditions

If you are suffering from acne, eczema, rashes, or hives, it is most likely due to poor digestion and an imbalance in your gut bacteria. Start to include probiotic rich foods in your diet to help your skin clear up.

  1. Moody

Are you feeling stressed, anxious, irritable, or depressed? It could be because your intestinal flora is out of whack. Boost your diet with probiotic rich foods to help bring your gut back into balance.

  1. Weakened Immunity

If you feel like you get sick from the flu every year, you’ve used all your sick days at work, and seem to catch any bug that goes around, it’s time to include probiotic rich foods in your diet. Healthy bacteria in the gut supports your immune system, and helps to fight off any foreign microbes in your body.

The Best Food Sources of Probiotics

Are you wondering how and what probiotic rich foods you should add into your diet? You don’t always need supplements to get your daily dose of probiotics. There are so many natural foods loaded with cultures of the good gut flora. The top sources of probiotics include:

  1. Yogurt – especially plain Greek yogurt
  2. Kefir
  3. Fermented vegetables – such as pickles or sauerkraut
  4. Kombucha
  5. Kimchi
  6. Miso
  7. Tempeh
  8. Olives

Create A Healthier You

Including probiotic rich foods in your diet helps to keep up your levels of good flora and is a form of prevention. By incorporating these top eight natural sources of probiotics into your diet, your good bacteria will thrive and help you with living a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Why Do I Need Probiotics? 2018-11-12T12:27:13+00:00

Fight Your Cold This Fall: Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Have you ever heard the phrase, “A capsule of black cumin seed oil a day keeps the doctor away?”

No? Well neither have we… but it’s true. We all get sick. It’s pretty impossible to avoid. Cold and flu viruses are constantly surrounding us, but they’re not the only things to be worried about.

One of the main reasons we get sick, especially in the winter of when adapting to a new environment, is that our immune system weakens. Your immune system isn’t prepared for drastic changes in weather or for encountering new people or places that could carry bugs your body isn’t familiar with.

If you have children, you may remember them getting frequent sniffles, colds, and flus in their first years of school. And it’s not just the children, the first-year teachers and daycare workers often experience the same thing too. When the weather gest colder, there is often an increase in common illnesses among the general population too.

Now, what if you had a way to make sure that your body was prepared for whatever came it way? What if you could boost your immune system and turn your body into an incredible fortress against any harmful pathogens?

Reinforce Your Immunity

Black cumin seed is your all-in-one immune system supporter. This tiny super seed is beneficial to your immune system because it promotes healthy white blood cell levels in the body.  When you get a cold, flu, bronchitis, or fever, your body’s first method of defense is with white blood cells. Your white blood cells are how your body recovers from any illness. Black cumin seed can help boost your natural defense. It soothes the body while strengthening it at the same time. Black cumin seeds bring your immune system to balance by increasing immune function but not encouraging immune reactions against the body’s healthy tissue.

Black cumin seeds are also packed with so many valuable nutrients. They are a significant source of fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and other vitamins and minerals. Ensuring that your body is getting enough nutrients can help to strengthen your immune system. Staying hydrated can help to boost your immune health too. Water helps your body to produce fluid to transport white blood cells and other immune system cells throughout the body.

Add This Super Seed To Your Diet This Fall

Start boosting your immune system this fall with black cumin seeds. Incorporating this super seed into your daily routine is simple. You can try sautéing fresh spinach with ginger, hot chili, plus a teaspoon of black cumin seeds and sprinkle it on fish or chicken before baking or broiling. You can even add a spoonful of black cumin seeds to your smoothies or lentils! You can even make a tea that helps when you are suffering from a cough or cold which helps to ease intestinal gas. Simply crush a tablespoon of black cumin seeds and let them steep with pure honey and warm water. Ready to cook with black seed oil? Here’s an easy salad dressing recipe for you to try.

Black Cumin Magic Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

½ cup ground black cumin seeds or black cumin seed oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp raw honey

2 fresh chopped garlic cloves

1 tsp. raw ginger

1 tsp. turmeric

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Combine all ingredients in a jar or bowl and mix/stir until blended together. Add to salad and enjoy!

Fight Your Cold This Fall: Boost Your Immune System Naturally 2018-11-08T10:49:36+00:00

Improve your Breathing and Lung Health with Your Diet

The lungs are an essential part of human life. Our lungs work almost tirelessly, pulling air in and eliminating out what can’t be used over and over, day and night. Breathing brings in oxygen and expels carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism. Breathing is also essential for our ability to speak and sing.

The lungs are made of hundreds of thousands of branching tubes that end in tiny air sacs called alveoli. Did you know that there are over three hundred million of these tiny sacs in our lungs? All of them work together to keep up with the respiratory demands of the body and maximize the exchange of gases.

Our lungs make up a large part of our immune system too. Pollutants and infectious-causing microbes are captured by mucus in the lungs and are then shuttled upward for us to cough out or swallow. Sneezing is another mechanism that the lungs help us to rid of infection and pollution, often before these invades even pass beyond the sinuses.

The lungs are actually remarkable, and they should be cared for:

First and most importantly, do not smoke. Smoking destroys the cilia that help remove infection and pollutants, resulting in blocked airways.

Second, do your best to avoid pollutants both indoors and outdoors. However, this is difficult and isn’t always possible to do. Try limiting your exposure to environmental toxins. For example, wear a mask or respirator when painting or doing any hobbies that include dust or industrial gases. This helps more than you think!

Exercise is also important. It doesn’t necessarily strengthen the lungs as they rely on the diaphragm muscle, but any improvement of the cardiovascular system making the job of the lungs easier! Get moving for thirty minutes each day to lighten the load on your lungs and increase the efficiency of oxygen transportation and metabolism. These thirty minutes don’t have to be all at once and can even be broken up throughout the day. Try parking further away from the grocery store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, get up from your work desk and walk around the office, do some jumping jacks, walk your neighborhood, or even run on the spot for a bit. Anything is better than staying on the sofa!

What we eat can affect the health of our lungs too. For example some foods can create excess mucus that makes it more difficult to eliminate pollutants.

Also, our food indirectly touches the lungs through the cardiovascular system and by supporting the immune system which provides protection.

Eating well goes hand in hand with exercise for keeping your lungs strong and healthy, and not overburdened. Fresh, raw, and unprocessed foods are the best way to get the enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that will keep you breathing easy!

12 Healthy Foods for Healthy Lungs

  • Water

Water plays a huge role in health and is the base of any cleansing action. Pure, clean water is essential to keeping blood flowing to and from the lungs. It also keeps our lungs hydrated and the mucus flowing which moves toxins, microbes, and pollutants out.

  • Garlic and Onions

These pungent foods are great for the heart and thusly the lungs too!

They help to boost the immune system to help fight off any foreign invaders.

  • Ginger and Turmeric

These spices have immune boosting properties and promote the elimination of pollutants from the lungs.

  • Chili Peppers

Peppers are filled with capsaicin, the spicy compound that gives them their kick! Capsaicin promotes blood flow, stimulates mucus membranes and helps to fight off infection.

  • Cruciferous Vegetables

Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale have high levels of chlorophyll that helps to cleanse our blood and support the health of our lungs.

  • Pomegranates

Pomegranates and their juice contain many vitamins that boost the immune system and thusly, the health of our lungs. Pomegranates contain Ellagic acid, a property which is especially important for supporting lung health.

  • Apples

Flavonoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E all support the lungs to function at their best. Apples are rich in all of these properties and promote healthy lungs.

  • Grapefruit

Grapefruit and the flavonoid Naringin which it contains, are especially good at cleansing the lungs after quitting smoking!

  • Beans, Seeds, and Nuts

These all contain rich amounts of magnesium, a mineral that contributes to healthy lung function.

  • Carrots

Carrots are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and lycopene, which are all immune boosters that affect lung health and lower the chances of developing lung disease.

  • Oranges

Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6. These help the lungs transfer oxygen, as well as support healthy immune function.

  • Pumpkin

Pumpkin is another food rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, like carrots.

Improve your Breathing and Lung Health with Your Diet 2018-11-03T18:23:47+00:00

Bring Your Gut Health Back To Balance

Have you been feeling not like yourself lately? With the coming changes in the weather as we transition, it is typical to feel a bit off. Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep, you have low energy, or you’re just feeling blue. Did you know that a huge portion of your gut microbiome is situated in the digestive tract, where nearly 80% of your immune system resides? Thusly, if your gut microbiome doesn’t contain enough probiotics, you may not be feeling like your best self.

The difficult part of your gut health is knowing the signs of an imbalance, because they aren’t limited to troubles with your tummy. Here are the top five signs that your gut and microbiome may be out of whack!

  1. Are you moody?

You may think that your brain is located far from your gut, but did you know that your gut is in constant communication with your brain? This has a huge influence over your mood and emotions. This is because your friendly gut flora work to produce and regulate important mood-enhancing chemicals, like dopamine, cortisol, and serotonin.

  1. Do you feel under the weather?

Since your immunity is reflected by your gut health, where the majority of your beneficial bacteria live, if there is an imbalance going on with your microbiome your immune function is generally compromised and cannot effectively protect you from harmful pathogens. So, if you’re constantly feeling out of it and not like yourself, the root problem may be an insufficient number of the friendly flora in your gut!

  1. Are you low in energy?

If your energy in the morning is gone, and you feel like you’re living in a haze, it is time to consider all that is going on in your gut (or lack thereof). A deficiency of your friendly gut flora makes it a lot harder for your body to properly digest food and absorb the nutrients your body needs. This can leave you feeling worn out and fatigued before you day has even begun! So, before you go to grab another cup of coffee to help get you through the day, think about supporting your gut microbiome first!

  1. Do you feel uncomfortable in your own skin?

Are you continuously experiencing breakouts, irritations, rashes, or itches? Keep in mind that your gut may be responsible for these skin issues! Undesirable bacteria lingering in your intestines can cause a less than optimal complexion. And it’s not just your skin that gets affected – your microbiome can play a big role in whether or not your maintaining a healthy body weight!

  1. Are you experiencing stomach sensitivities?

Although most of the common signs for an imbalance in your gut occur all throughout the body, some signs do actually show up in the gut itself! If you experience bouts of constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or gas, it may be due to a lack of the friendly flora that work to keep the bad guys in check!

Give Your Gut Some Extra Love

If you’re experiencing an imbalance in your guy, there’s no need to let it affect your life and performance. Follow these simple steps to help support your microbiome now!

Get Active

It’s time to get moving! Physically active people tend to have more healthy gut bacteria than those who do not exercise. Working out doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Find a way to move that brings joy to your being. That could be running, swimming, martial arts, hockey, or any other activity that’s fun and raises your heart rate.

Healthy Choices

Eating a diet consisting of natural, whole, raw food (and organic if possible) that is full of nutrient rich fruits and vegetables will keep your entire system strong and your microbiome happy. This is because many plant-based foods – like apples, bananas, asparagus, and oats – are excellent sources of prebiotics, which are fibers that support the growth of your friendly flora. Try your best to avoid sugars, GMOS, processed foods, alcohol, and foods with other artificial ingredients that all deplete your healthy gut flora.

Relax

When you’re stressed out, your healthy gut bacteria may be less helpful since your body goes into its “fight or flight” mode. This can also cause an imbalance within your intestinal bacteria and make you more susceptible to the unfriendly guys. So, find something that truly calms you down such as yoga, meditation, journaling, or any other relaxation techniques.

Support Your Gut Daily 

Strengthening the support of your friendly bacteria encourages a lifetime of vitality for your mind, body, and spirit. After all, a balanced, nourished gut can have you feeling like yourself again, so you can live a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Bring Your Gut Health Back To Balance 2018-10-30T23:26:54+00:00

Do You Need More Energy? Boost Your Vitality With Your Diet!

Do you want to feel energetic and vibrant throughout the day? If you’re like most of our readers, you live a fast-paced life. This can leave you feeling tired, worn out, and lethargic.

Fatigue doesn’t always mean that you are tired. Lack of energy can often be related to many health symptoms. Did you know that you can boost your energy and vitality with you diet? The main reason for low energy has to do with shortcomings in your diet and the fact that you are probably not getting enough of the nutrients that you need. Let’s take a look at which vitamins give you more energy and which foods offer them naturally!

The Four B’s

Key vitamins that boost energy include these four B vitamins: B1, B2, B6 and B12. Each of these B vitamins are important for the metabolism of your cells and the formation of red blood cells. They play a part with how your body processes the nutrients you eat and converts them into energy. B12 is especially important. A diet that doesn’t include a lot of B12 foods can result in noticeable fatigue and changes with mood. The good news is that we can get sources of these B vitamins naturally from leafy green vegetables, peas, lentils, beans, as well as from poultry, beef, seafood, dairy and whole grain products.

Iron

Iron is an essential nutrient and part of your hemoglobin that aids your body in transporting oxygen through the bloodstream. Iron plays a major role with creating energy from the nutrients that we consume. Fatigue is often associated with insufficient oxygenation. An Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States. You can get Iron from natural food sources from the foods mentioned above along with pumpkin seeds, quinoa, and even dark chocolate!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is another essential vitamin for your health. Vitamin C helps to maintain our blood vessels, play a key role with energy production, mood, maintaining healthy skin, and bones. But did you know that your body needs Vitamin C to make L-carnitine, which helps your body burn fat for energy. Fatigue is often one of the first signs of vitamin C depletion! Natural sources of vitamin C can be found within citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes, as well as kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, and berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries!

Folic Acid

As part of one of the eight B-Vitamins, folate helps the body with converting the food we eat into glucose, which provides our bodies with energy. When combined with vitamin B12, folic acid significantly boosts energy levels within all individuals. Natural sources of folate can be found in black eyed peas, asparagus, lentils, walnuts, spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, peanuts, as well as beef.

Calcium and Vitamin D

Are your calcium and vitamin D levels low? Calcium and Vitamin D are needed for energy production. Deficiencies of these both these vitamins are linked to symptoms of fatigue. Opt for natural foods high in calcium such as salmon and sardines, kale, collards, broccoli, turnips, bok choy, and sesame seeds.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for energy production. Your body needs magnesium to create energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the fundamental unit of energy within the body’s cells. Without proper levels of this mineral, the nutrients that your takin in through food would not be metabolized into energy. Magnesium also supports increased muscle function, and bone quality (when taken with calcium and vitamin D). Natural sources of magnesium include avocados, nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, whole grains, fatty fish, and dark chocolate!

Zinc

Zinc is a vital part of keeping your metabolism running smoothly. Zinc helps to metabolize protein, carbs, as well as fats, and when you don’t have enough, you can experience reduced energy and sluggishness. You can get zinc through natural foods like oysters, which contain more zinc per serving than any other food, as well as poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, and whole grains.

Selenium

Selenium is an essential trace mineral and antioxidant that is vital to good health and physical and mental energy. Unusual lethargy, tiredness, and a lack of energy over several days could all be symptoms of a selenium deficiency. Natural sources of selenium can be found within many natural food sources such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, lean meats, nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Are you experiencing low energy? Your diet can help.

If you find that you are feeling sluggish, and it is hard for you to get through the day, it is time to take a look at your diet. Fatigue is often related to poor nutrition. Fight your fatigue by including fresh, whole foods, that are high in vitamins and minerals in order to boost your energy levels and vitality!

 

 

Do You Need More Energy? Boost Your Vitality With Your Diet! 2018-10-24T12:47:33+00:00

What Is Candida and How To Fight It Naturally

When there are balanced levels in the body, Candida is a fungus that aids with nutrient absorption and digestion. However, if Candida overproduces, it can become a serious concern that has the ability to cause a wide variety of negative and serious health problems. The best way to reduce and eliminate any symptoms is to change your diet, but what exactly do you need to do? Read on and learn exactly how to combat your Candida overgrowth naturally.

Candida is a fungal infection that can affect men and women of all ages and various parts of the body. It commonly occurs in the mouth, nose, ears, as well as your gut. Due to its many and varied symptoms, Candida is often ignored or misdiagnosed.

Level Up Your Diet – Remove Problem Foods

The good news is that there are many natural candida treatments. The main natural treatment is to make a change in your diet to reduce the overgrowth of yeast. This involves removing the foods from your diet that feed the candida and encourage it to flourish in your body. The top foods to remove include sugar, white flour, yeast, and alcohol. These top offenders are believed to promote the candida overgrowth.

Avoiding sugar in all of its various forms truly is the key to combatting candida naturally. The candida yeast cells need sugar to build their cell walls, expand their colonies, and switch into their more virulent, fungal form. This is why a diet low in sugar is absolutely necessary as part of treating a candida overgrowth.

Moving forward, you want your diet to be centered around vegetables, high-quality protein foods, and gluten-free gains like brown rice and quinoa. Avoiding fruit when beginning any Candida treatment is also recommended because even though fruit is very healthy, the natural fructose gets turned into sugar within your body. For vegetables, you also want to try to avoid these starchy variety: potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, and peas. These veggies have a high carbohydrate content and should be avoided during the start of your candida treatment.

Level Up Your Diet – Boost Your Immunity

You will also want to make sure that you include these top foods on a daily basis in your diet: apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and other fermented veggies, leafy greens, coconut oil, garlic, chia and flaxseeds, and spices like turmeric and cinnamon!

In order to have success with combatting your candida naturally, you need to boost your immune system which can take anywhere from a week to several months. A strong immune system is crucial for removing excess candida cells. It all depends on you and how strict you are with your diet, and the severity of your candida.

Best Foods to Fight Candida:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

The acid and enzymes in apple cider vinegar help to kill and get rid of excess yeast in your body.

  • Fermented Foods

Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain microflora that help protect the intestines. Regular consumption will help improve the immune system and make your body less hospitable for candida.

  • Leafy Greens

Leafy green veggies help to alkalize the body, which fights against the acidic nature of yeast overgrowth. Greens contains zero sugar and high amounts of magnesium, that naturally detox the body, vitamin C to build the immune system, chlorophyll to cleanse the body, B vitamins to energize the body and iron to give the body full support.

  • Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil has antimicrobial properties that kill off harmful candida through ingestion and topical application.

  • Garlic

Garlic contains a number of Sulphur containing compounds that have extremely potent antifungal properties. Raw garlic benefits your fight against candida specifically.

  • Chia and Flaxseeds

Polyphenols found in flaxseeds and chia seeds support the growth of probiotics in the gut and support the elimination of yeast and candida in the body.

  • Turmeric and Cinnamon

Turmeric’s active compound curcumin fights the growth of candida in the body. Cinnamon also has similar properties, so it is best to include these two spices in your diet if you are suffering from a candida overgrowth!

Follow Up Care

Once you’re free of your candida symptoms and the candida itself, then what happens? As you guessed, going back to your old habits and ways of eating will likely just bring the candida back all over again. Sticking to a diet full of raw, fermented, and cooked vegetables is the best way to ensure that the overgrowth doesn’t come back. In general, it is always best to avoid sugary and processed foods. Real, whole, and natural foods are always your best bet!

What Is Candida and How To Fight It Naturally 2018-10-19T14:30:07+00:00

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Enough Vitamin D3

An estimated one billion people are believed to have a vitamin D3 deficiency. Often called “the sunshine vitamin”, vitamin D is essential for proper calcium absorption and to maintain phosphate levels, keep your immunity strong, and stimulate proper bone and cell development.

What Happens if I Don’t Get Enough Vitamin D3?

Not getting enough vitamin D3 can leave you vulnerable to some serious health problems, including:

  • High blood pressure and heart disease
  • Insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes
  • Impaired immune function, which can lead to infection
  • Brittle, thinning bones, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis
  • Depression and cognitive dysfunction

You can reduce your risk of developing health issues by maintaining an active lifestyle and eating a balanced diet, including plenty of D3-rich foods. Your immune system relies on D3, which turns on certain peptides that are responsible for combatting microbes. Without adequate amounts of the sunshine vitamin, your body might not be able to adequately fight off invaders, leaving you vulnerable to a full-fledged infection. Of course, D3 is also necessary for the absorption of calcium and other bone-friendly minerals, which means that if you aren’t getting enough, your bones and teeth could pay the price.

How Can I Tell if I’m Not Getting Enough Vitamin D3?

It is not always easy to tell if you are suffering from a vitamin D3 shortage. Symptoms are often subtle and easy to overlook, and the deficiency can be quite severe or long-term by the time symptoms become obvious.

If you do have symptoms, they might include:

  • Foggy thinking, difficulty concentrating, mood changes, depression, anxiety, and irritability
  • Muscle weakness, decreased endurance, unexplained fatigue, and sleepiness regardless of the quantity or quality of sleep you get
  • Increasing or high blood pressure
  • Thinning or weak bones, frequent bone fractures, or osteoporosis
  • Chronic or unexplained pain, unexplained illnesses, or nutritional deficiencies

Because vitamin D3 is essential for healthy brain function, your brain might be the first thing to suffer when these levels drop. You might feel moody or irritable, or you might have a hard time concentrating. If you’re spending more time indoors or not eating a D-rich diet, that may well be the reason for your symptoms.

Vitamin D3 is also necessary for cell growth and development, so if you’re not getting enough, you might feel tired and worn out. You may not recover as quickly after a workout, or you might not be up to working out at all. You could start suffering from unexplained aches and pains, too. Don’t chalk it up to “old age” just yet: You may very well have a D3 deficiency!

If your deficiency is severe enough or goes on long enough, the side effects can become more severe, and your bones and heart could be at risk. Acting now could protect your health in the long run.

Am I At Risk?

Vitamin D3 deficiencies have become more common in recent years. Some people are more susceptible to a deficiency than others, including:

  • Those who wear sunscreen religiously or who have dark skin
  • Those who spend a lot of time inside
  • Those who are obese
  • Those who are elderly
  • Long-term exclusively breastfed babies

Wearing sunscreen protects your skin from UVA and UVB damage, but once the sun’s rays are blocked, your skin’s vitamin D production cannot be stimulated properly. If you’re fair-skinned, just 10 minutes of going in the sun without sunscreen is enough to get plenty of vitamin D. Darker skinned people produce less vitamin D, so they need to spend more time in the sun to get the same benefits. Spending too much time inside has the same effect as wearing sunscreen all the time: Your body just doesn’t have the opportunity to make the amount of vitamin D it needs to stay healthy.

Obese people are also at risk of suffering a shortage of D3. Larger or heavier people need more vitamin D3, but if they aren’t getting it through sun exposure or their diet, they will have a deficiency. Those who are elderly don’t necessarily have an increased need, but their bodies become less efficient at making it.

The Top 10 Reasons You Might Not Be Getting Enough D3

A vitamin D deficiency can happen anytime you don’t get enough vitamin D, either through your diet or when your body doesn’t make enough in response to sun exposure. There are many reasons this can happen, but the most common are the following:

  • Not getting outside enough
  • Eating a strict vegan diet
  • Living in a polluted environment or a far distance from the equator
  • Having poor gut health
  • Suffering from kidney or liver disease
  • Being pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Using medications linked to malabsorption
  • Having a magnesium deficiency
  • Being older or obese
  • Having very dark skin

Since the sunshine vitamin and good health go hand-in-hand, it’s important to make sure that you’re not at risk of suffering from a deficiency. The good news is that vitamin D3 deficiencies are easy to prevent with the right dietary changes and lifestyle habits.

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Enough Vitamin D3 2018-10-16T09:19:05+00:00

Boost Your Energy Levels With Black Cumin – The Immunity Super Seed!

You’re sitting in the office at your desk, moving through a long day of work, when it finally hits you. The dreaded afternoon slump. It’s as if you can feel your energy levels dropping through the floor.

Instead of reaching for your daily caffeine fix to get you through the rest of the day, you’ll be happy to learn that there is an even better solution with longer lasting effects and greater benefits!

Black cumin seed, otherwise known as Nigella sativa, is a flowering plant found throughout the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and India. Black cumin seed is known around the world as a super seed with many health benefits. If you haven’t heard of this amazing seed, it’s time you did!

You might know black cumin seed as an immune system booster, but what about as an energy booster? Black cumin seed is often used for combatting lack of energy and fatigue because it supports the body’s energy reserves and aids in recovery from fatigue.

What Makes It A Super Seed?

Black Cumin seed is such a great natural energy booster. The main active component in black cumin is crystalline nigellone. This compound is responsible for many of the seed’s remarkable health benefits. The seed is an amazing source of essential fatty acids, B vitamins, folic acid, protein, calcium, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.

What Are Other Health Benefits?

  1. Powerful Immunity Support

Black cumin seeds boost overall immune system function and enhances the body’s natural defenses.

  1. Heart Healthy Nutrients

Black cumin seeds support cardiovascular health.

  1. Purge Toxins

Black cumin seeds support healthy liver functions and enhances the detoxification process.

  1. Enhances Hair and Skin

This super seed supports healthy, thick hair and glowing skin. Powerful omegas and amino acids that are naturally-occurring in black seed oil work together to help add strength and fullness to the hair and support youthful-looking skin.

  1. Digestive Comfort

Black seeds enhance digestion and soothe intestinal muscles to provide digestive comfort to support healthy bowel movements.

  1. Ease Joints

This super seed supports joint comfort and mobility and maintains joint health and flexibility.

Overview

Black cumin seed can impact different bodies in different ways. The best way to uncover how black cumin seeds impacts your body is to try it out! It’s so easy to add black cumin to your daily health routine – whether you take this super seed as a supplement, add the seeds to your favorite spicy dishes, or use it as a topical skin and hair treatment! Start experiencing high energy levels and all these other super health benefits of this potent little seed for yourself today.

Boost Your Energy Levels With Black Cumin – The Immunity Super Seed! 2018-10-12T12:33:39+00:00

What are Prebiotics and Why Are They Important?

Just like how we exercise to keep our physique looking fit and strong, we must also pay attention to our gut to truly be healthy. Providing nutrients and healthy bacteria for your gut will help to create a foundation of health from the inside out, so you can live a happy and healthy lifestyle. A lot of research has been done lately on prebiotics and their crucial role on gut health.  While it is incredibly interesting to learn about how our gut health contributes to our overall health, it can also be overwhelming, especially if you are just learning!

What Are Prebiotics?

While probiotics often get all the attention, prebiotics deserve special recognition too. Prebiotics are to probiotics what sunlight is to a plant. Probiotics are living organisms and prebiotics are indigestible fibers that provide nourishment for the probiotics – like sunlight for a plant.

Our lovely microbes rely on specific nutrient, prebiotic fiber, to keep them going. These soluble fibers can be found in plant-based foods and are actually indigestible by us. This kind of fiber is an excellent prebiotic because of this reason, and its ability to pass through the upper gastrointestinal tract completely undigested. The prebiotic fiber then makes its way into the colon, where it ferments and is used as fuel. Pretty amazing right?

Why Are Prebiotics Important?

Since prebiotics nourish the probiotics in our body, they have a huge impact on our health and wellness. Here are a few benefits that prebiotics have on our health!

  1. Helps Lower Stress Hormone Cortisol

Higher levels of prebiotic in your gut are associated with lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands which are located on top of each kidney. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone released at times of stress. Having high levels of the stress hormone can cause various problems, and lead to weight gain, increase in blood pressure, and low energy. Although stress isn’t the only reason that cortisol is secreted into the bloodstream, having sufficient prebiotic levels in the gut can help to naturally lower your cortisol levels.

  1. Helps Improve Nutrient Absorption

Prebiotics can help to enhance magnesium and calcium absorption in the body. These two vitamins are essential for boosting bone health and increasing bone density. Better nutrient absorption also leads to more energy and vitality!

  1. Helps Strengthen Immunity

Prebiotics naturally support immune function by increasing the number of protective microbiome in your gut. This is extremely beneficial because prebiotic help to support the gut barrier against harmful invaders.

Prebiotic Rich Foods

Incorporating foods that are high in prebiotic fibers into your diet is an essential part of the journey toward a balanced microbiome. Prebiotic foods are high in different types of fiber that support your digestive health! It is important to consume these foods raw in order to be effective. The fiber content of these foods can be altered when cooked.

  1. Chicory Root

Chicory root is a great source of prebiotics. Approximately 47% of chicory root fiber comes from the prebiotic fiber inulin. This helps to nourish your gut bacteria and improve digestion.

  1. Dandelion

Dandelion greens can be used in salads and are a great source of fiber. Dandelions also contain inulin fiber which increases friendly bacteria in the gut and helps strengthens the immune system.

  1. Garlic

The fiber content in garlic comes from inulin as well as another naturally occurring prebiotic called fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Garlic acts as a prebiotic by promotion the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria in the gut. It also helps to stop harmful bacteria from growing.

  1. Jerusalem Artichoke

Also known as the “earth apple” the Jerusalem artichoke supports the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon. Additionally, it helps to strengthen the immune system.

  1. Onions

Similar to garlic, the inulin and FOS content helps to strengthen gut flora, break down fats, and helps to boosts the immune system.

  1. Asparagus

Asparagus is another great source of prebiotics. The inulin content in this vegetable helps to promote friendly bacteria in the gut.

  1. Bananas

The prebiotic fiber in bananas has been shown to increase healthy gut bacteria and helps with reducing bloating! Unripe bananas are also high in resistant starch (meaning it is resistant to digestion and functions as a soluble fiber) which has prebiotic effects.

  1. Whole Grains

Whole grains like barley and oats contain high amounts of beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a prebiotic fiber that promotes healthy levels of gut bacteria in the digestive tract. As well, beta-glucan helps to slow down digestion and helps to control appetite, by providing a sense of fullness.

  1. Apples

Apples are a delicious fruit that contains the fiber called pectin. The pectin in apples has a prebiotic effect that feeds the beneficial gut bacteria and lowers the harmful bacteria in your gut.

  1. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are another great source of prebiotics. Flaxseeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which promotes healthy gut bacteria, regular bowel movements, and reduces the amount of dietary fat you digest and absorb.

Probiotics and Prebiotics Go Hand In Hand

So many factors in our world today deplete the good bacteria that we have in our gut – elements in the air, pesticides in the ground, cleaning supplies in our homes, processed foods, and even antibiotics. Fortunately, you can take care of your gut barrier by making a conscious effort to live a gut healthy life. This includes choosing organic whole foods, regular exercise, and swapping harsh antibacterial chemicals for natural products and cleaning supplies. As well, people who are have an exercise regime have healthier microbiomes than those that are non-active. However, even if we live a stress-free life, eat organic whole foods, and exercise regularly, our lifestyle in the fast-paced world today can inevitably lead to some depletion of our good bacteria. The good thing is that we are able to maintain and replenish our good bacteria through our diets and supplements.  Probiotics and prebiotics are uniquely different – they work together simultaneously to sustain a healthy gut. Although we can make lifestyle changes to improve our gut-health, we must continuously replenish our body with the good guys so that we can live a happy and healthy life!

What are Prebiotics and Why Are They Important? 2018-10-05T08:15:55+00:00

How Do Enzymes Aid In Digestion?

Making sure you have good gut health is essential, even if you don’t have any digestive symptoms. When gut health becomes compromised, it usually means your body isn’t digesting food properly or fully. Improper digestion can create a chain-reaction of imbalances in the body, resulting in many unrelated health issues. Digestive enzymes can give your body the support it needs to come back into balance.

How Is Our Food Digested?

Think of your intestines as tubes running through your body. In order for nutrients to get absorbed, food must be fully digested. This includes amino acids from protein, lipids from fat, glucose from carbohydrates, and other nutrients.

Beginning in our mouths, food is partially digested by enzymes. When this partially digested food reaches the stomach and small intestines, it is further digested in different ways. Proteins get digested by stomach acid and fats are digested by bile made by the liver. The carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are then further digested by pancreatic enzymes.

When your digestion is impaired, you may need support in some of these areas listed above. Including a digestive enzyme in your diet does not inhibit your body’s natural production of enzymes. Instead, they help to ensure that everything you are eating get digested.

There are three main types of digestive enzymes:

Proteases: Break down protein into small peptides and amino acids

Lipases: Break down fat into three fatty acids plus a glycerol molecule

Amylases: Break down carbs like starch into simple sugars

Enzymes are also made in the small intestine, including lactase, maltase and sucrase. If the body is unable to make enough digestive enzymes, food molecules cannot be digested properly. This can lead to digestive disorders like lactose intolerance.

What Can Digestive Enzymes Help With?

Many health issues can be affected by, and affect, your digestion. These health areas can respond positively when including a digestive enzyme in your routine.

  1. Stress

When stress becomes too much or too constant for your body to handle, your digestion will become impaired. Your body slows down and decreases the production of digestive enzymes when you are stressed, and instead triggers hormones like cortisol to deal with it, putting your digestive needs on hold until the stress has been resolved. If stress signals continue every day, your digestion becomes increasingly impaired. Takin a digestive enzyme when you are going through any kind of prolonged stress can help make up for reduced enzyme production, and provide your body with the support it needs.

  1. IBS

When your food is not getting digested completely, instead of nourishing you, your foods end up nourishing the bacteria in your gut. This causes a big imbalance in your gut microbiome. Overgrowing bacteria produces gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping – which are all classic symptoms of IBS. Taking a digestive enzyme can help you to fully absorb the nutrients from your food.

  1. Anxiety

Few people realize that most of our neurotransmitters come from the gut. All neurotransmitters, are made from amino acids, which come from protein. If you are not digesting your protein properly, your body will not have enough amino acids to create the neurotransmitters you need to stay alert, happy, and relaxed. To improve your mood and mind, you need to increase the production of neurotransmitters. Digestive enzymes can help you with this.

Foods With Natural Digestive Enzymes

  1. Pineapples

Pineapple are a delicious tropical fruit rich in digestive enzymes. Pineapples contain a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain. These enzymes are proteases, which break down protein into its building blocks, including amino acids. This aids the digestion and absorption of proteins.

  1. Papaya

Papayas also contain proteases that help digest proteins. However, they contain a different group of proteases known as papain. If you want to eat papayas, just make sure to eat them ripe and uncooked, as heat exposure can destroy their digestive enzymes.

  1. Mango

Mangos contain the digestive enzymes amylases — a group of enzymes that break down carbs from starch (a complex carb) into sugars like glucose and maltose. Amylase enzymes are also made by the pancreas and salivary glands. They help break down carbs so that they are easily absorbed by the body.

  1. Honey

The following are enzymes found in honey, particularly raw honey: Diastases, which helps to break down starch into maltose. Amylases, which helps to break down starch into sugars like glucose and maltose. Invertase, which break down sucrose into glucose and fructose. Proteases, which break down proteins into amino acids.

  1. Bananas

Bananas are another fruit that contain natural digestive enzymes. They contain amylases and glucosidases, two groups of enzymes that break down complex carbs like starch into smaller and more easily absorbed sugars.

  1. Avocados

Avocados contain the digestive enzyme lipase. This enzyme helps digest fat molecules into smaller molecules, such as fatty acids and glycerol, which are easier for the body to absorb.

  1. Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that is popular in the natural health community. Kefir contains many digestive enzymes, including lipase, proteases and lactase.

  1. Kiwi

Kiwis are a great source of digestive enzymes, particularly a protease called actinidain. This enzyme helps digest proteins and is commercially used to tenderize tough meats.

  1. Ginger

Ginger contains the protease zingibain, which digests proteins into their building blocks

Make Your Gut Health Your Priority

Gut health and proper digestion is essential for your health, and a digestive enzyme can help support any digestive issue you are experiencing. Without sufficient digestive enzymes, the body is unable to digest food particles properly, which may lead to food intolerances.

How Do Enzymes Aid In Digestion? 2018-09-28T08:42:15+00:00