Skin health

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

Make Yourself Your Number One Priority In 2019

Can you believe that we are nearly at the finish line? 2019 is galloping towards us and we’re more than ready to take our first steps. Whether or not we believe in resolutions, this time of year inspires us all to reflect and figure out ways to improve ourselves. While there is nothing wrong with setting goals, the thought process that goes into our New Year’s resolutions does a disservice in that it doesn’t fully acknowledge the process you made previously. You don’t become a new person overnight. Your story carries over to the new year. Only this time, you’re working to bring to life a better version of yourself. Make yourself a priority in 2019 and remember these words… “New year, same me, but better.”

It is so easy to get bogged down in the craziness of everyday life and push your own needs aside. When you do this, not only do you suffer, but you are not at your best for everyone else around you. You will actually be a better individual if you put yourself first this upcoming year – so start doing these ten things!

  1. Listen To Your Body

You, and practically everyone else, probably don’t listen to your body like you should. Only by tuning in to how you feel each moment can you truly take care of yourself.

  1. Nourish Yourself

Most of us are not nearly mindful enough about what we are putting into our bodies, whether that be food, water, beverages, or what have you. There is a direct connection between the way you feel and what you are ingesting. Pay attention to how you feel and take care of yourself.

  1. Get Your Rest

If you need rest, then rest. It is tempting to push yourself – we all want to be superheroes these days, and society tells us that’s the way to go. Unfortunately, that’s not the real story. If you can make yourself your first priority, that means that sometimes you allow yourself a much need break.

  1. Be Selfish

Being selfish isn’t a bad thing. Don’t push aside your needs for the needs of others. This has such a negative connotation, but don’t be afraid of owning your needs and making sure that you meet them! This is the only way you can truly put yourself first and prioritize your own happiness.

  1. Get Moving

Do. Not. Make. Excuses. Not. To. Exercise. If you need physical activity, make time for yourself and schedule it! This is a huge issue today – no one ever think that their physical health should be prioritized over the other things they have to do. When you put yourself first, you will make time for yourself and realize that your health comes first.

  1. Reflect

Reflect on what you do. The same goes for actions. Think before you do things. This is a great way to learn and understand more about yourself and what you need and want. You can’t prioritize yourself if you don’t understand yourself.

  1. Know Your Limits

It’s okay to have boundaries! It’s actually really healthy believe it or not. Don’t overwork yourself, overshare yourself with others, or exhaust yourself trying to make every else happy. It’s not worth it.

  1. Ask For What You Want and Need

You’d be surprised what you can achieve simply by being honest, direct, and open. It never hurts to ask, and sometimes you might actually get what you want by doing so.

  1. Believe In Yourself

Easier said than done, we know. You can start by making it a priority to work on getting to a place where you truly do believe in yourself. Every little step in the right direction helps!

  1. Trust Your Instincts

They’re there for a reason. If your gut tells you that something isn’t right for you, then take a step back to listen and observe. If you disregard your own instincts, you are not making yourself a priority!

Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet

As 2019 picks up steam, and it will quickly, we encourage you to think about ways you can put yourself at the top of your resolutions list. In fact, go ahead and erase everything else. It doesn’t matter. Where you develop a “You, first” practice, you’ll be able to more truthfully participate in life and the way you want to live it.

Stay tuned for more on the best ways to nourish your body, tips and tricks, recipes, and so much more. We’ll be participating in this journey alongside you, and we can’t wait to share what we learn. We can’t imagine a better way to start the year, and we wish you and your loved ones another year full of health and happiness.

Make Yourself Your Number One Priority In 2019 2018-12-31T12:09:15+00:00

Your Journey To Becoming A Better You

When you carry around a bit more weight that what is recommended, you are not only putting unnecessary stress on your body, but you are also putting your health at risk. Sometimes, it takes a life-altering experience for an overweight person to take action about their health. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Losing weight should be a conscious and consistent effort for it to be effective. Remember, shedding a few extra pounds does not only unburden you, but it also gives you more energy and confidence in pursuing everything that your heart desires. So, instead of complaining about how tired you are, or wishing you could find beautiful clothes that fit you, why not take action now? Don’t put it off for another week, or after the holiday season. When it comes to your health and feeling good, it’s never to late to start.

Why Should I Take Action Now?

  1. Increase Body Positivity

Sweating it out, whether in the gym, at home, or at the park, leads to an increase in the happy hormones in your body. This includes serotonin, which is an important mood-enhancing neurotransmitter that is naturally produced when you exercise. Another positive neurochemical that is released when you are getting active is dopamine, which is the hormone that makes you feel good whenever you achieve something.

  1. Boost Your Mood

When you don’t feel good about yourself, there’s a big chance that you’ll feel less than good about everything in general. Your outlook on life turns negative. However, losing a few extra pounds can be the solution. The effects that physical activity have on your mood should not be questioned.

  1. Increase Energy

Doing yoga, going for a running, or lifting weights at the gym support the production of endorphins in your body. These neurochemical changes trigger positive feelings, often referred to as the “runner’s high”. You push yourself to work harder as you have an increase in energy. This also means that your workout sessions will feel more comfortable and more fun. And as you progress, you will start to feel better about yourself, which will motivate you even more.

  1. Become Healthier

There are many health conditions that can be developed if you are not active and taking care of your body. Your blood pressure can increase, cholesterol levels grow, develop high blood sugar, and even excess fat lingering in certain areas. Sweating it out and engaging in physical activities can help to support your health, and reduce any risks you might be facing.

  1. More Fertile

If you are trying to get pregnant, you could face a potential problem. Women who are overweight have a lower overall infertility rate and a higher rate of miscarriage. Similarly, men who weigh more than their BMI (Body Mass Index) have a lower concentration of sperm which lowers their chances of impregnating their partners.

  1. Feel Younger

Because you start to feel more energetic, you will begin to feel much younger and full of life. As a result, not only will you feel younger, but you will also look more youthful too!

Simple Changes That Will Help You On Your Journey

If you’ve got an extra ten pounds on your frame thanks to college, an active social life, or your nine to five, you might think that losing that weight will be simple. However, this is not the case. People who want to lose weight have likely developed poor eating habits, and it clear what they need to do in order to make a change. On the other hand, if you’re already pretty healthy in general, the shifts you’d have to make in order to reach your target weight are not as apparent. Use these tips and tricks to get started:

  1. Use Your Hands to Measure Portion Size

If your portion size is slightly out of line, then the calories you are consuming will follow. It’s so easy to go overboard don serving sizes but measuring everything you eat can also make you go crazy. A good way to determine the right amount if to rely on your hands as your guide. Aim for two handfuls of veggies, one fistful of whole-grain carbohydrates, a palm full of lean protein, and a slight drizzle of plant-based fat with every meal.

  1. Space Out Your Meals

You might be thinking that going through the day eating a little bit here and there, and then devouring all of your calories in the evening can help to lose those extra pounds. Did you know that the timing of food intake can impact the success of your weight loss journey? Eating early in the day stars firing up your metabolism, so that it can function steadily throughout your day. Eating late at night will give your metabolism a few hours to kick in before you go to sleep.

  1. Write Everything Down

It may feel as if you’ve been making all the right choices but sneaking tings could be adding to your daily caloric intake. To find out what they are, try tracking your food intake, and then analyze the results to see where the extra calories are hiding. This can help you see where you can make further changes.

  1. Get enough rest

Something as simple as lack of sleep might be the source of your weight gain. When you’re lacking sleep, you become less alert at making healthy decision. Lack of sleeps lead to cravings of a carb-heavy breakfast, and in the evening, you’ll feel too tired to cook. However, if you’re getting an adequate amount of rest, you’ll be better equipped to make healthy, lower-calorie, food choices throughout the day and have unbounding energy for your workouts too!

Start Your Journey Now

Making a lifestyle change takes dedication and determination. There’s not shortcut to this journey, even though you’ve been told over and over how easy it is – just take this pill, follow that diet, or buy this piece of equipment, and all of your problems will be solved. This is your journey, and you can start not. It’s ok to not be perfect every day. On the good days, you’ll eat all your fruits and veggies, say no to that pizza, and do your workout even though you are tired. On the bad days, you’ll wake up late, forget to bring your lunch, have an extra piece of pie at your holiday party, or skip your workout. Both the good and the bad days will happen. This trick is to never give up, even when you feel like you are not seeing any results. You are simply a person trying his or her best to make good decisions and live a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Your Journey To Becoming A Better You 2018-12-22T17:05:19+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

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

Healthy Diet, Healthy Skin, Healthy Self

 

The most important contributor to skin health is your diet. Your diet can help improve the general look of your skin, and deal with some specific, widespread problems like acne and wrinkles.  Antioxidants, omega 3- fatty acids, zinc, Vitamin A, and dietary fiber that have their origin in natural food like fish, can aid in maintaining and improving skin health by stimulating the skin’s hydration status, oil production, thickness, elasticity, and firmness.

How does the food you eat (or don’t eat!) affect your skin? What are, manifestations of a poor diet? And what types of food really make the biggest impact? These questions will all be answered.

So, let’s begin!

Skin health is incredibly important

General skin health should be prioritized because it is crucial for 4 major reasons:

  • Maintaining and regulating body temperature
  • Healing of wounds
  • Immune response to outside threats
  • Blood pressure control

Skin health has been a key topic for research and exploration amongst scientists across the globe and it has been discovered that a lot of nutritional deficiencies are first manifested as skin problems!

  • Vitamin B 12 deficiency: usually observed as hyperpigmentation issues or discoloration of the skin.
  • Vitamin C deficiency: causes scurvy. It can also result in skin hemorrhages.
  • Niacin deficiency: pellagra was observed as one of the symptoms. Niacin deficiency causes scaly skin sore.

Learn To Improve Your Skin By Following Traditional Practices

There are reports across the world that individuals who resort to a diet low in sugar and dairy products are less susceptible to acne.

Now, consider the following:

The Yupik in Alaska, are used to consuming a totally traditional diet – and there is no presence of acne. Although it was later found out that the ones who started consuming a stereotypical American diet, high in unrefined carbohydrates, sugar, and fried foods, began to have break outs.

The Zulus in Africa, too, began to get acne only after resorting to such an American diet.

In Brazil, the urban population is as susceptible to acne as is the rest of the world. However, the incidence is much lower in the rural population of Brazil.

What could be the possible reason? Rural people consume a diet rich in nuts, fruits, vegetables, wild game, and other foraged foods. There was a total absence of any sort of processed, packaged, flash fried foods.

The Underlying Connection Between Weight And Wrinkles – Diving Deep To Explore A Way Out

While it’s obvious that malnourishment can affect skin health negatively, so does obesity. Excessive weight gain affects skin health by altering hormone levels, production of oils, vascular circulation, and collagen turnover. Being overweight or obese oftentimes comes from people consuming a diet rich in processed foods like cookies, cakes, burgers, ice-cream, white bread, and not consuming enough fresh fruits and green vegetables.

This renders individuals at a risk of developing a condition known as insulin resistance, which in turn can lead to diabetes. With this condition, insulin doesn’t work efficiently. What normally happens is that insulin, which is a hormone, is liable for ‘unlocking’ the cells so that glucose can gain entry into the cells. Let’s dive deep!

Glucose is the fuel for the body, providing energy for carrying out daily tasks. Now when glucose cannot enter the cells, it begins to accumulate in the bloodstream. This, of course, is dangerous for the body but is also harmful to the health of the skin. It starts to react with the structural proteins, like collagen and elastin, which normally keep the skin firm and provide texture.

This reaction leads to the formation of detrimental by-products called advanced glycosylation end- products or popularly referred as AGEs. These AGEs stick to the walls of the blood vessels. As a result, the structural proteins start losing their efficiency and hence, the skin becomes loose and starts to sag.

When the skin loses its elasticity, wrinklesand fine lines begin to emerge. The skin also becomes more vulnerable to damage by ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

What can you do? A diet rich in antioxidants like fresh fruits and vegetables is crucial for maintaining the health of your skin. Also, meals rich in olive oil and legumes have proven to be beneficial for improving and protecting skin health due to the presence of antioxidants, healthy fats, and vitamins.

Skin appearance and resilience can be improved by increasing the intake of Vitamin C and omega 3- fats from fish, combined with reduced saturated fat and carbohydrate consumption.

Skin health can be optimized even further by vitamins, especially carotenoids (Vitamin A). These are not substitutes for sunscreen, which defends the skin from UV rays, but the intake of a diet high in these nutrients can help protect your skin from UV light damage.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids from plant sources can help boost cell-mediated immunity by reducing inflammation in the skin.

Prevent Acne and Wrinkles By Following These Three Tips

An anti-acne diet mainly consists of three parts:

  1. Foods – rating low on glycemic index like beans, nuts, lentils, and green vegetables.
  2. Diet high in zinc such as lentils and red meat due to its known advantage to decrease acne.
  3. Intake of omega 3- fatty acid rich foods like fish.

A typical anti-wrinkle diet is (more or less) the same as anti-acne diet (by now you should start to see the pattern). Sugary food intake should be avoided, because sugar can have an adverse effect on collagen (the stuff that keeps your skin nice and smooth). Foods rating high on glycemic index, as well as dairy should also be avoided.

According to researchers, the intake of fresh, colored fruits and veggies infuses your skin with natural UVA and UVB fighting antioxidants. They also help maintain the blood sugar levels of the body. Keeping your blood sugar at a moderate level helps keep your skin firm and well textured.

12 Fruits For Your Skin

  • Strawberry
  • Plum
  • Orange
  • Red grape
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Pink grapefruit
  • White grape
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Tomato
  • Pear
  • Honeydew melon

Vegetables with the highest ORAC score should be mandatory in your diet. ORAC stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity. The vegetables ranking high on ORAC scales are beetroot, artichokes, red chicory, cabbage, broccoli, red chili, and yellow pepper. A high ORAC score means more antioxidant activity. Moreover, consumption of inflammation-fighting like mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts, and broccoli are exceptionally beneficial for skin health. Vegetables like tomatoes, squash, carrots, yams, apricots, sweet potato, and beet are rich in carotenoids and antioxidants.

14 Nutritional All-Stars For Your Skin

  • Sprouts: usually termed as little food factories because they synthesize vitamins and enzymes within themselves. These very enzymes aid in digestion and help in breaking down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. An average adult should consume at least one serving, and one serving itself is sufficient to meet the daily requirement of 40mg of Vitamin C. Sprouts alone are responsible for elevating the levels of Vitamin B in the body by 20 – 30%, particularly regarding Vitamin B1, folic acid, and biotin.
  • Fish: Fish is a rich source of omega 3- fatty acids. Individuals having fish once a week had 60% fewer chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Eating fish also reduces your chances of developing heart disease significantly. Fish contains many important vitamins and minerals.For example, Pomfret, also known as Black Sea Bream or Angel Fish is filled with Vitamins D and B12, magnesium, and calcium.
  • Apricot: apricots are excellent sources of B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene which makes them beneficial for your skin. Apricot oil is obtained from the dried seeds of the fruit. This essential oil produced inside the kernel is rich in gamma-linolenic acid which boosts regeneration of skin cells. The light non-greasy oil is full of Vitamins A and E making it a great skin hydrator.
  • Dark chocolate: chocolate is a primary source of nitric oxide. This aids in keeping the blood pressure under control and is more efficient than red wine. It also scores over green tea in phenols and flavonoids (which act as an antioxidant). And antioxidants are great for your skin. Dark chocolate stimulates endorphins because it contains serotonin, which keeps you in a positive state of mind.
  • Yogurt: naturally fermented and refrigerated yogurt contains more probiotics and populates your gut with healthy flora and fauna which are important for the proper digestion of foods. These also protect against colds and flu.
  • Leafy green vegetables: leafy green vegetables are rich in antioxidants. Studies have found that minimum of one serving a day improves the cognitive ability in addition to benefitting heart and bone health and preventing cancer. Spinach deserves special mention over here because it is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. Intake of spinach not only works wonders on your skin, but it also adds 2.2 years to your life.
  • Beans: beans are full of fiber, phytoestrogens, and are a low-fat source of protein. Beans are also high in calcium, folic acid, and Vitamin B6.
  • Berries: berries naturally have higher levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are wonderful for maintaining skin health. Moreover, they lower the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, cognitive impairments, and some types of cancer. Blueberries, cranberries, and black currants are also extremely beneficial to your health. Similar benefits can also be attained from Cape gooseberry, which is a rich source of Vitamin C, and Indian gooseberry.
  • Purple cabbage: it has the same antioxidants as berries. Purple cabbage is also utilized as a healthy and colorful garnish.
  • Nuts: raw nuts should be a-must in your diet. These are full of omega 3- fatty acids and Vitamin E which work wonders on skin and hair. Five or more 140-gram servings of nuts in a week cut the risk of developing heart disease by half.
  • Tomatoes: food items like plums, tomatoes, prunes, pears, beetroots, apples,and bell peppers are rich in boron and phytoestrogens. Antioxidants in tomatoes results in radiant skin. Boron increases the body’s ability to hold on to estrogen. It also helps ease menopause symptoms. It is responsible for keeping our bones strong by reducing the amount of calcium excreted each day.
  • Ground flaxseeds: flaxseeds are filled with fiber and omega 3s which not only maintain healthy skin but has positive effects on keeping your immune system strong. Grind them up and add to yogurt, oats, salads, pancakes, soups, sandwiches, or anything you desire!
  • Coconut oil: coconut oil is a blessing for mankind. The oil prevents any kind of bacterial infection on the skin. Moreover, it contains lauric acid and medium chain fatty acid which is easily absorbed and digested. The natural saturated fat promotes good cholesterol (HDL) and reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) in addition to keeping the heart healthy.
  • Brown rice: brown rice has all the Vitamin B’s, as well as zinc, magnesium, chromium, and calcium.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Skin, Healthy Self

The path to a healthier skin starts with a healthy diet. The good news is that a lot of the foods you would consume for healthy skin have other positive impacts on the rest of your health too! Therefore, healthy skin is an expression of your overall health.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Skin, Healthy Self 2018-07-28T21:48:44+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