Immune system

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7 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs Every Day

A healthy and balanced diet is the key to a healthy body and life. Having a balanced diet is necessary for you to get the right amount of nutrients your body needs. Nutrients help to provide our bodies with energy, are necessary for body structures, and help to regulate our bodily functions.

To stay healthy our bodies needs natural whole foods that are packed with nutrients. Without these seven nutrients – carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, water, vitamins and minerals – our bodies would not be able to survive. In this blog post we will go through each nutrient, where to find them, and why each one is important for your health.

  1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are used for energy. They are broken down into glucose in your gut and are used as fuel for all respiration. Carbohydrates have been blamed for causing weight gain, but this is a huge myth. The truth is that some of the world’s healthies foods are high sources of carbohydrates. While refined carbs may be unhealthy in high amounts, whole food sources of carbs are extremely healthy. Carbohydrates can be found in sweet and starchy foods like bananas, lentils, quinoa, beans, potatoes, and rice.

  1. Fats

Fats are also another source used for energy. Your muscles use a mixture of fats and glycogen to perform movements. Glycogen is the principal stored form of carbohydrate energy (glucose) which is reserved in your muscles. This mixture of fats and glycogen depends on how intense the exercise is, how long it lasts, and ultimately how fit you are. For example, if you start jogging, your muscles will start to use more glycogen then when you are walking. Healthy fats can be found in avocados, eggs, fatty fish, nuts, chia seeds, extra vegetable oils (like olive, avocado, and flaxseed). Coconut oil also provides a great source of plant-based fats.

  1. Protein

Protein are known as the building blocks of our bodies. Normally when we think of protein we think of muscles, but every cell, from your skin to hair, contains protein. Even all of your hormones, antibodies, and other important substances are composed of protein. Our bodies also need protein to build cells, to make blood, and to restore and repair tissues. Proteins are made up of different amino acids. While our bodies are able to create some amino acids on its own, there are many essential amino acids that can only come from food.

While meat, fish, and eggs are good sources of essential amino acids, you can also get protein from plant sources like beans, soy, nuts, lentils, and some whole grains.

  1. Vitamins

Vitamins are essential for supporting the immune system and staying healthy. The body needs these micronutrients to support its functions. There are thirteen essential vitamins that the body needs to function properly, including vitamin A, B, C, and D. Each vitamin plays an important role in the body, and many Americans are not getting enough of them. If you eat a varied, well-balanced diet full of vegetables and fruits, and have a normal and healthy functioning digestive tract, you are more than likely getting a sufficient amount of vitamins from your diet!

  1. Minerals

Much like vitamins, minerals help to support the body. They are essential for many body functions, including strong bones and teeth, regulating your metabolism, and staying properly hydrated. Some of the most common essential minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc. You can find sources of minerals within food, but often times supplementation of minerals is helpful.

  1. Water

You can go for weeks without food, but you can’t last than a few days without water. Water is so incredibly important for every system in your body. It’s also the main thing you are made from – about 62% of your body weight is water! Water helps to support brain function and mood. It also helps to flush out toxins, carry nutrients to your cells, hydrates your body, and promotes healthy digestion.

  1. Fiber

Fiber is a substance called cellulose formed within the cell walls of plants. You cannot actually digest it. It passes straight through the gut and is excreted. There are two types of fiber: soluble fiber which dissolves in water and insoluble fiber that doesn’t dissolve. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive tract, and you can find sources of fiber in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and bran.

Categorize Your Nutrients

With nutrition, we often group nutrients by size or what they do within the body. Let’s start with the two main groups, micronutrients and macronutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are called macronutrients because they’re large, and energy nutrients because they provide the fuel your body needs. Vitamins are minerals are called micronutrients because they’re so much smaller in comparison. This doesn’t mean they are less important – they are still essential for your health, but in smaller amounts. Water and Fiber are typically left alone in their own group.

Maximize The Benefits Of Nutrients

Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins and fats, and whole grains is the best way to get enough of these essential nutrients. These micronutrients and macronutrients are vital for your body to function normally and stay healthy!

7 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs Every Day 2019-01-17T13:36:57+00:00

It’s cold outside! Do your joints hurt?

As you begin to wrap up in your winter woolies, you may notice that your joints are beginning to stiffen up with the cold weather. Stiffness, aches, and pains are often associated with changes in the weather, especially during the falling temperatures of winter. The idea of cold weather causing internal pain seems a bit far-fetched, but it’s not just your imagination. Read on to learn the whys and hows of weather-related joint pain and what you can do to help your body!

Why Does The Weather Affect Our Body?

Changes in the atmospheric pressure in winter can cause our tendons, muscles, and surrounding tissues to expand. When we are cold our body restricts how much blood it sends to our extremities, so that it can focus on supplying our vital organs, like the heart and lungs. This makes the soft tissues around the joints less pliable, so joints often begin to feel tight, stiff, and very uncomfortable. Those who suffer with joint pain often blame the cold weather for making their condition worse, when in fact, this is not the case. The change in barometric pressure, which happens when the weather outside is changing, is what actually causes your joint pain to worsen. On the contrary, high humidity often has a significant impact on the pain in your joints. This is usually caused from dehydration in the body. Either way, weather can greatly affect how our joints are feeling our bodies whether we like it or not.

Are Some People More Susceptible Than Others?

Everyone’s body reacts to fluctuating temperatures and pressure. Joint problems or pain can react badly to the drop in barometric pressure during the winter weather and what may be a dull ache during the summer months, can become a shooting pain during winter when the weather is damp and cold. People that have arthritis and those experiencing chronic pain are more vulnerable to feeling discomfort. As well, the drop in temperature can have a major effect on your mood. When you are feeling down, the perception of pain can also become magnified!

Cope With Joint Pain This Winter

No matter the cause, winter stiffness and achiness are something many people experience. In order to reduce some of the symptoms of stiff and sore joints during the winter months, it is important to make the best effort to act against the cold.

  1. Layer Up

Ease the shock of cold weather on your body by dressing in layers to stay warm, especially if you’re going to be outside. Bundling up in when it’s cold out can help to reduce the shock to your joints and muscles, so don’t forget your hat and scarf to keep yourself insulated.

  1. Exercise

Build up muscle and bone strength through exercise. This reduces pressure on your joints, so they are less prone to injury. Properly warming up before exercise and cooling down helps to decrease tightening in the muscles after exercising. Also, maintaining a healthy weight to decrease stress on your joints, especially your knees. The holidays can be a perfect excuse to put on some “winter weight,” but reducing joint pressure that’s caused by your own body weight is another way to potentially reduce pain levels this winter.

  1. Improve Your Diet

There are a few essential vitamins that help to keep our bones healthy and muscles functioning. Including food sources such as eggs, fatty fish, mushrooms, and milk all support the health and functioning of your muscles and bones. As well, increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains can help.

  1. Stay Hydrated

In the colder weather, you might not drink as much water as you do during the summer, but it’s still important. Drinking water can help keep your joints lubricated, which in turn can help reduce your pain level

  1. Heat

Apply heating pads or taking warm water baths can with easing pain on tender areas. Heat helps relax your muscles and can be super effective when it is colder outside. Also, wearing compression garments or thermal agents may help.

Bust Your Winter Aches and Pains

Act against your achy joints now! This winter doesn’t have to be a pain. Try your best to follow these simple steps that may help to ease your aches and pains this year.

It’s cold outside! Do your joints hurt? 2019-01-04T09:30:29+00:00

Boost Your Health This Season With Vitamin D

Where has all the sunshine gone? The changing of seasons brings colder weather and fewer hours of natural sunlight. Here is something to ask yourself – are you getting enough vitamin D? There can be many signs or symptoms that you are not getting enough of the sunshine vitamin in your life, and it’s important to understand how essential this vitamin is for your health.

Why Do I Need Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is best known for supporting the health of your bones. However, this vitamin is also crucial for you overall brain and body health. Optimal levels of vitamin D can help to boost your mood, support your overall brain function, and generally improve your overall health and wellbeing.

Getting necessary amounts of vitamin D can be particularly challenging during the winter season, especially from November to March, when there are fewer hours of sunlight. Due to the falling temperatures, the tendency is to stay inside where it’s warm. Getting lower levels of vitamin D can cause you to not feel like your best self, so check out these four tips and tricks to get more vitamin D in your life.

How To Get More Vitamin D This Winter

  1. Increase Natural Light

Daily exposure to appropriate levels (even just 10-15 minutes a day) of direct sunlight can boost vitamin D3 levels which can help improve your mood. If you have a hard time getting enough natural light during the winter, consider purchasing a vitamin D lamp for your home!

  1. Chase The Sun

If getting enough levels of vitamin D from the sun’s rays is difficult for you during the winter months, consider saving for a vacation to a sunny destination during the winter months.

  1. Quality Sleep

Insufficient and inconsistent sleep can increase irritability and moodiness. To remain on top of your game, it’s recommended that you get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Getting appropriate levels of sunlight during the day, and optimal amounts of vitamin D from foods or supplements can also help maintain your body’s natural production of serotonin. The brain naturally converts serotonin into melatonin, our main sleep hormone that increases your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

  1. Vitamin D – Rich Diet

Food is an essential part for increasing and maintaining your levels of vitamin D. Great sources of vitamin D include eggs, mushrooms, and fish (especially wild salmon, tune, and mackerel). Always aim for wild salmon or wild fish compared to those that have been farmed as the vitamin D levels per serving are much higher.

Beat The Winter Blues With Vitamin D

When it comes to your health and mood, the evidence is clear. The higher your vitamin D levels, the more likely you are to feel happy and healthy. Since vitamin D helps to support your overall health, getting enough of this vitamin can help you get through this gloomy winter season!

Boost Your Health This Season With Vitamin D 2018-12-19T08:17:58+00:00

Your Ultimate Guide to Vitamin D

Vitamin D, more commonly known as “the sunshine vitamin” is beneficial for your health, bones, and immune system. Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies produce it in response to sunlight. But did you know that over 41% of people living in the United States are Vitamin D deficient?

With the change of seasons, getting enough Vitamin D in your diet is crucial. Mid-winter fatigue can make the smallest daily tasks seem challenging. This is often a result of spending more time indoors due to the change in weather. This year, combat your seasonal slump with these helpful tips and tricks!

Why is Vitamin D Beneficial?

Vitamin D is a big deal – are you getting all the vitamin D you really need? Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for your health. The best way for you to get vitamin D is spend time outdoors. However, with the onset of cold weather and increasingly longer nights, it is very important to get sufficient levels of vitamin D from your diet.

  1. Bone Health

Strong bones depend on many things, including vitamin D. You probably already know that calcium is essential for developing and maintaining bone health, but vitamin D is needed to stimulate movements of molecules like calcium and phosphorus. As well, vitamin D is needed to absorb both calcium and phosphorus efficiently!

  1. Healthy Immune Function

Your immune system helps to fight all sorts of unwanted quests in your body. Most of us believe that vitamin C helps to ward of colds and the flue, but vitamin D is just as important for supporting your immune health.

  1. Boost Your Mood

If vitamin D is nicknamed the sunshine vitamin, it stands to reason that one too many dreary days filled with cloudy skies could affect your natural vitamin D intake. Vitamin D is essential for boosting your mood. Vitamin D can affect the function of our two “happiness” neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.

  1. Improve Gut Health

Vitamin D supports the health of your gut microbiome. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation, boosting your vitamin D levels may help to alleviate your symptoms!

5 Best Food Sources of Vitamin D

While sunlight is the best natural source of vitamin D, the reality is that the majority of us are not spending enough time in the sun. This is especially true during the winter months. So, while exposure to sunlight is the top natural source of vitamin D, adding these foods to your diet is going to ensure you aren’t slipping into deficient levels.

  1. Wild-Caught Salmon

One of the best sources of naturally occurring vitamin D is from fatty fish. Salmon is a great choice, and it is especially important to consumer wild salmon compared to farmed. Wild salmon contains much higher levels of natural vitamin D over farmed salmon.

  1. Raw Oysters

This may not be the most appealing food to some, but raw oysters are low in calories and high in nutrients. In addition to be a great source of natural vitamin D, oysters contain vitamin B12, copper, phosphorous, and zinc.

  1. Mushrooms

Portobello, morrel, button, white and shiitake mushrooms all contain ergosterol, a vitamin D precursor. Did you also know that setting your mushrooms out in the sun can boost their vitamin D content? The UV rays help to trigger photosynthesis, and increases the vitamin D levels, like how it does with humans too! Mushrooms make an incredible source of vitamin D if you are vegetarian or vegan.

  1. Sunflower Sprouts

These nutritious greens contain easily-digested chlorophyll, minerals, and natural sources of vitamin D. Sunflower sprouts also offer all the amino acids needed to form a complete plant protein. This mega-healthy food is a great source for vitamin D if you are vegetarian or vegan.

  1. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds contain large amounts of fiber and omega 3, but did you know that they are also a great source of vitamin D? These tiny seeds pack such a nutritional punch and you should include them if your diet. You can soak, grind or enjoy these seeds whole for a nutritious and delicious boost!

Enjoy the Sun and Your Good Health!

Exposure to natural sunlight is the major source of vitamin D for children and adults. Getting a healthy dose of 10-15 minutes of sun provides the body with ideal levels of vitamin D. However, this isn’t true in the spring and fall when the sun is lower in the sky, let alone in winter months. It is almost impossible for your body to produce its own vitamin D from the sun if you live in colder climates, putting you at risk for vitamin D deficiency. When you cannot spend time in the sun, natural food sources of vitamin D are needed to keep you looking and feeling your best!

Your Ultimate Guide to Vitamin D 2018-11-30T08:13:31+00:00

The Anatomy Of A Diet: How To Tailor Your Diet To Your Needs, Lifestyle, and Goals

A diet should be a lifestyle change if you want it to be effective. With so many options out there, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Getting clear on your goals and working a nutrition plan into your lifestyle can help you get the best results.

Nutrition Physiology

Your body needs certain nutrients, vitamins, and minerals for optimal function. There are seven major nutrients required for survival. Other elements, like water and fiber, don’t give you energy but help to keep you alive.

One of the problems with modern foods is that they provide calories without delivering adequate nutrition. You’re probably familiar with the term “empty calories.” Foods with empty calories tend to contain added sugars and fats with minimal nutritional value. Making your diet easy to maintain for your lifestyle can help you stick with it and reach your health goals.

What Are Your Diet Goals?

Eating a healthy diet can help you reach any goal – whether that be weightloss or simply living a healthier lifestyle. Setting a goal also gives you a basis for evaluating your changes and determine whether it’s working or whether you need to tweak something. If you don’t see results, you’re not likely to continue to make lifestyle changes. However, you won’t know what results you desire if you don’t set goals first. Working with a health or nutritional professional can aid you in defining your diet mission and help you stay on track.

The Importance Of Changing Your Habits

Once you have set your diet goals, you can work towards establishing consistency in your diet. When a habit and an intention conflict with each other, the brain is more likely to direct your behavior based on the habit rather than the intention. Therefore, transforming your diet changes into a habit is one of the keys to making this work for your lifestyle.

Once you have established a habit, the decision-making part of your brain is dampened. That’s a good thing when it comes to your diet. Instead of talking yourself into choosing veggies over potato chips, it becomes a no-brainer. It also frees your mind and allows you to focus on more important things so that you’re not thinking about food all the time.

5 Tips For Making Your Diet Work For Your Lifestyle

The following tips will help you set healthy habits that you can stick with for life!

  1. Start Slow

Have you ever run headstrong into a new routine only to find yourself burning out shortly afterward? The key to designing a diet for your lifestyle is to start small. To make a diet part of your life, create a change that’s so miniscule that avoiding it seems impossible.

You can use this idea for eating healthier by consuming just one more vegetable than you normally would. Once you take the first step, your mind will start to let go of its resistance to the idea. Within a few days or weeks, you’ll begin to have a compulsion to build on the habit instead of giving up, which is what can happen if you make too many big changes too quickly.

  1. Give Yourself A Cue

Changing any habit requires planning. You don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing your diet routine though. Using a simple cue can help you automate your behavior change. This works even if you don’t do it every time or forget to do it periodically.

Some cues that you could use include:

  • While I cook, I’ll drink a full glass of water.
  • With each meal, I’ll eat some greens.
  • When I crave sugar, I’ll drink sparkling water instead.

The cues allow you to repeat the behavior in a consistent context, which is one way to solidify habit change. They also give you a chance to adapt to your diet in a way that works with your lifestyle.

  1. Write It Down

Writing down your cues and posting them in a prominent place can help you remember them so that the habits begin to stick. Keeping track of other aspects of your diet, such as daily calorie consumption, favorite quick and easy meals, and cravings, in a journal can also help you modify a diet based on your lifestyle.

You can’t change anything in your life if you’re not aware of it. Recording information about what you eat and how you feel can give you a clear picture of what works and doesn’t work when it comes to your diet. When you know what’s effective, you can focus on creating consistency around it so that you can maintain the healthy habit.

  1. Make It Enjoyable

No matter how effective a diet appears to be, if sticking to it is grueling, you’re not likely to continue. Be flexible, and focus on what you enjoy!

For example, if you’re trying to avoid dairy, you might crave cheese all day. Instead of inwardly complaining that you can’t eat the cheese, focus on the abundant variety of foods that you can eat. Choose fruits and vegetables that you absolutely love, and give yourself a chance to experiment with different ways of cooking and eating them to come up with delicious meals and snacks that you will eventually find yourself craving.

  1. Plan Ahead

Go into every day with a plan. Taking a few moments every evening to prepare for the next day can help you modify a diet for your lifestyle and avoid surprises that might otherwise make you fall off the wagon.

Prepping for a catered lunch meeting by packing your own lunch can prevent you from snacking on cheese cubes and fancy desserts. Knowing what vegetables are in your refrigerator can help you start the day with a healthy breakfast instead of waking up and relying on a sugary granola bar because your cupboards were empty.

You don’t have to meal plan for an entire week if that doesn’t work for you. Just spend a few moments to come up with a diet strategy for every day, and that planning will also become a habit that sets you up for long-term success!

The Anatomy Of A Diet: How To Tailor Your Diet To Your Needs, Lifestyle, and Goals 2018-11-27T08:26:37+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

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

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

Let The Sunshine In

Do You Really Need Vitamin D3? Absolutely!

Vitamin D is necessary for a multitude of bodily functions.  The vitamin promotes calcium absorption, modulates cell growth, regulates immune function, and controls inflammation. Unfortunately, the vitamin is not found in many foods. It is important to understand how to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D.   A deficiency can result in fatigue, increased frequency of illness, body aches, depression, weakened ability to heal, bone loss, and hair loss.

Vitamin D is the Sunshine Vitamin

Although it can be difficult to get vitamin D from foods, it’s relatively easy to boost levels of the vitamin with sun exposure. Your body produces the nutrient when sunlight hits your skin. UVB rays are responsible for vitamin D production.

The effectiveness of this method for encouraging vitamin D production varies. It depends on the strength of the sun, time of day, amount of exposed skin, and skin color. People who live in areas with longer winters and extended periods of darkness are at a higher risk for vitamin D deficiencies than people who live in warmer, sunnier regions. However, even people who live near the equator can suffer from low levels of the vitamin.

Many people don’t get outdoors enough. When they do, they often wear sunscreen. This is a good thing when it comes to preventing skin cancer, but broad-spectrum sunscreen can limit the amount of vitamin D that your body makes. You don’t need to be out in the sun for long to get enough vitamin D.  Approximately 15 to 20 minutes will do, depending on the color of your skin. Fair-skinned individuals tend to produce vitamin D more quickly than those with dark skin.

Why Do You Need Vitamin D3 Anyway?

There are different types of vitamin D.  Cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3, is the form naturally produced by your body when the sun hits your skin. This is also the type that is found in foods, such as fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk. Your kidneys and liver must convert vitamin D3 into a usable form, but this is usually the favored form of vitamin D supplementation.

Although most people think of calcium as a nutrient that is necessary for bone growth, vitamin D is also crucial. That’s because vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium. Children who don’t get enough of the vitamin may develop rickets, a disease characterized by soft, poorly developed bones. Adults can develop misshapen and brittle bones.

Recent studies explain that vitamin D is actually a hormone. Since this was discovered, the necessity of vitamin D3 intake and production was reevaluated.

The vitamin stimulates genes that are involved in immune system regulation. Researchers say that a deficiency in the vitamin is linked to increased risk of autoimmune disease. People with low levels of vitamin D are also more prone to infection.

Treatment with vitamin D3 may also help people with the following conditions:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pain disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis

Some psychological symptoms are associated with low levels of the nutrient. Vitamin D activates the release of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. Deficiencies have been correlated with seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that hits when the weather turns cold and dark.

10 Facts about Vitamin D and Immunity

  1. Every tissue in the human body has vitamin D receptors.

The nutrient is needed for every part of the body to function optimally.

  1. Vitamin D’s anti-bacterial properties have been maintained through 60 million years of evolution.

Researchers say that this is evidence that vitamin D is vital to our survival.

  1. Vitamin D is the first line of defense against bacteria

The adaptive immune system develops antibodies in response to foreign invaders. The innate immune system, which is the immediate reaction to germs, may be turned on by vitamin D.

  1. Vitamin D hinders inflammation.

Inflammation has been identified as the possible cause for may diseases. Vitamin D may help reduce inflammation, and restore your health.

  1. T cells need vitamin D to activate.

T cells, which are those that fight off harmful bacteria, extend vitamin D receptors when they need to be activated. Without enough of the vitamin, T cells can’t mobilize to fight disease.

  1. Vitamin D may lower the risk of cancer.

People with high levels of vitamin D may be less likely to develop colorectal, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.

  1. Vitamin D may be just as effective as a flu vaccine.

Maintaining high levels of Vitamin D strengthen your immune system.  A strong immune system is vital to help prevent infection.

  1. Vitamin D promotes a healthy gut

The vitamin helps maintain the balance of healthy and unhealthy bacteria.

  1. Vitamin D makes your immune system more intelligent.

Regulatory T cells, which distinguish between your own cells and external invaders, are promoted by vitamin D.  This may help regulate, treat, and prevent autoimmune disease.

  1. People have been unknowingly getting vitamin D treatments for tuberculosis for years.

In the past, people with tuberculosis were sent to facilities where they received sunlight treatment. Doctors may not have realized that their patients were actually recovering because their vitamin D levels were boosted. People with low vitamin D levels are five times more likely to develop tuberculosis.

10 Foods That Contain Vitamin D3

1) Sardines and other fatty fish

2) Brazil nuts

3) Chia Seeds

4) Egg yolks

5) Fortified cereals

6) White mushrooms

7) Tuna, both canned and fresh

8) Orange juice fortified with vitamin D

9) Beef liver

10) Milk with added vitamin D and fortified soy milk

 Vitamin D3 Basics

Vitamin D is essential.It is important to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D for a happy and healthier you.

Natural Light

Exposure to sunlight promotes healthy sleeping cycles, and encourages healthy vitamin D3 production, both factors that help maintain healthy energy levels. Spend at least 15 minutes outside whenever you can, to benefit from natural sunlight.

Balance Your Diet

A healthy diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors supply vitamins and minerals that are necessary for energy production. Foods that are high in vitamin D3 also increase energy when low sunlight exposure is related to fatigue.

Exercise More Often

Exercise releases hormones that fight fatigue and lower stress. Low-intensity exercises like walking and yoga suit a wide range of fitness levels and effectively increase energy.

De-Stress

Stress has a huge impact on your physical and mental health, especially when accompanied by the mid-winter blues. Stress management classes, yoga, and guided meditations are options that reduce stress, resulting in more energy.

 

Let The Sunshine In 2018-07-28T21:49:39+00:00