Summer is finally here! Time to take advantage of all the glorious sunny weather, plethora of spirited activities and ideal vacation destinations before it's too late. While this is definitely the season to cherish the outdoors, it's also important to remember that all that time spent outside will leave your immune system more susceptible to allergens and unwanted germs. Here are a few tips on keeping you healthy and active this summer instead of spending the season bedridden and fatigued.
Adjust your diet
It's no coincidence that the healthier you eat, the better you will feel. Knowing which foods you consume to help boost your immune system is the ultimate weapon in avoiding certain ailments, and it all starts with ingesting essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are the key toward eliminating reactive oxygen species, free radicals and other damaging molecules from entering your body and prompting infection. Your best source for antioxidants come from colorful fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, carrots, cherries, tomatoes and blueberries. All these foods possess beneficial phytonutrients that can break down and devour invading germs. In addition to receiving excessive sunlight, implementing more vitamin D through the foods you eat is another component of achieving a healthy immune system. The best ways of getting adequate levels of vitamin D besides being out in the sun include:
- Canned tuna
- Low-fat milk or yogurt
- Fortified tofu
Summer is when you essentially have no excuse not to receive plenty of physical activity and exercise. With indoor and outdoor access available, summer is the ideal time to finally achieve that New Year's resolution and get back in shape. And if you need any more motivation, exercise is a strong companion for a healthy immune system. While you're out there running around, stimulating blood flow and cardiovascular activity as well as flushing out excess bacteria from your lungs, all this activity is sending antibodies and white blood cells traveling throughout the body at a quicker rate, leading to better prevention of illnesses. On top of increasing immune ability, exercise leads to more effective sleep and stress reduction, two other traits that can keep you feeling fresh and lively. Some easy summer activities that can keep your heart pumping and immune system thriving can include:
- 30 minutes of walking
- 18 holes of golf
- An hour long bike ride
- Rollerblading or biking instead of driving to work
- Jogging with your pet to the park
- Partaking in a few hours of tennis per week
Get your eight hours
As advocated by the National Sleep Foundation, eight hours is the magic number when it comes to getting an efficient night's rest. Besides avoiding waking up on the wrong side of the bed, sleep is essential for aiding your line of defense against disease. While you are asleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which work to fight against symptoms of infection or inflammation. When you are consistently not receiving the recommended quantity of sleep, cytokine production is reduced, making it easier for you to become sick. Frequent exercise during the day will help your body achieve quality sleep at night for those who tend to endure restless nights of tossing and turning.
Symbiotics Colostrum Plus
An efficient and easy way to provide your immune system with proper assistance is by taking two capsules of Symbiotics Colostrum Plus a day. Colostrum Plus boosts immune factors with Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs) which serve as an immune system stabilizer.* Colostrum's dual action—in the bloodstream and in the GI tract, helps maintain healthy intestinal flora in a normal GI tract.* Symbiotics Colostrum Plus is a uniquely helpful supplement providing Lactoferrin, Immunoglobulins and Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs).
For those who have yet to experience the immunity supporting properties of colostrum, it is time to get acquainted. Colostrum is the pre-milk produced in the mammary glands of all mammals to give their newborn the support to transition from the protected environment of the womb into our biologically active world. Colostrum possesses a number of essential components: immunoglobulins, lactoferrin and proline-rich polypeptides work to balance your immune system and at the same time, keep you feeling like being active after intense exercise. Of all the incredible qualities of colostrum, it is the naturally occurring growth factors that can provide support that athletes seek – prolonged stamina and strengthened muscles. Here are a few reasons why the growth factors make colostrum a must-have supplement for your body:
What they are
Growth factors are essentially naturally occurring hormones abundant in colostrum. They serves to stimulate cellular growth within the body. Activating cellular activity is important because it provides an opportunity for the body to maintain a balanced immune defense. Some of these factors can include smoothing out muscle cells and promoting communication between immune cells to support a normal, healthy body. They also assist with the maturation of cells, specifically helping bone morphogenetic proteins.
How they work
In a nutshell, growth factors act as chemical messengers that provide quicker communication between various cells within the body. Let's say that your skin is irritated. Growth factors will act as the body's messenger service, issuing signals to skin cells to work together with fibroblasts to return to a normal functional state.
Why you need it
As we continue to age, it is harder for our bodies to continuously produce or obtain growth factors. Everything from the immune system, to energy levels, to skin starts to show signs of wear the older we become, which is why adding colostrum to your diet will help keep your body feeling and looking younger. Steady contribution of growth factors may help ease early aging side effects.
An excellent source of growth factors is Symbiotics Colostrum Plus. Symbiotics Colostrum Plus has been tested in laboratories to verify the absence of artificial hormones, pesticides and antibiotics, so you can rest assured your body is receiving a full-on natural product. It is never too late to start seeing and feeling the effects of the natural growth factors in colostrum.
One of the most loathed aspects of aging is that the number of ways to lower your libido seem to increase the older you become. While some of these factors are essentially inevitable, there are still plenty lifestyle elements that you may not realize are taking the spark out of your love life. In addition to taking the right libido supplements, eliminating a few of these sex drive lowering components to your day will help you get your desire back and feeling vigorous in no time.
All the pressure and tension endured throughout the day can more often than not be enough to wipe anyone out. Stress will also accumulate if you continue to focus on all the weighing issues of your job or home life even when you are not partaking in them. To rid this distraction from your libido, there are a few alterations to your day that you can easily achieve. First off, try engaging in frequent daily physical activity, which is a great way to free your mind of all your problems as well as stimulate your libido. Meditation is another attribute that can provide the brain with clarity through various breathing and stretching exercises. Finally, nothing will loosen you up like receiving a quality massage, a practice that has been alleviating stress in people for centuries.
If you continue to endure consecutive evenings staying up all night staring at the ceiling, the odds are that being intimate will be the last thing on your mind the next night you come back to bed. Exhaustion is a huge proponent of low libido, and frequent lack of rest will also elevate your cortisol levels, a naturally produced steroid hormone that is commonly associated with low libido qualities. Simple remedies for a solid night of eight hours in total slumber can include eliminating late night snacks or alcoholic beverages, avoiding watching television or electronic devices before bed and even exercising for at least 30 minutes at some point during the day. Your libido and your spouse will thank you after receiving a sufficient night's rest.
While this can go without saying, what you put into your body will definitely have an impact on what's inside of it. Poor nutritional habits such as frequent fast-food dinners or too many trips to the cookie jar can produce poor health symptoms, such as reduction and blood flow or receiving lack of essential nutrients. These are factors that play a big role in decreased libido, because all your energy is being used up to burn empty calories. Eating healthy is never a bad idea when it comes to trying to get back in the mood.
One of the leading libido supplements available, Naturade Vitali-T-Aid Energy is a safe and healthy way to boost your sex drive and increase satisfaction in your performance and energy. Containing a blend of stimulating ingredients such as L-arginine, Asian ginseng and caffeine from natural coffee beans, your stamina and libido will be the last thing you will worry about after taking just two capsules of Naturade Vitali-T-Aid Energy!
While some people can never get enough of the health benefits of soy, others cannot physically experience the wonders of this bean because they are allergic to it. Soy allergy is one of the most common types of food allergens experienced in the world, with it being included as one of the eight foods that make up 90 percent of all nutritional allergies. While most children born with this condition eventually outgrow it, soy allergies continue to plague some people through adulthood, which is why there are plenty of quality options for finding a soy-free protein powder that will pack all the energy, nutrition and probiotics you need to keep your days fully vitalized. Here are a few options for soy-free protein sources currently available on the market.
VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake
Plenty of protein is just one of the essential qualities this powder will provide to your favorite beverage. By adding 2 scoops of VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake to your glass, you're not only getting a quality protein booster that is entirely soy-free, but you are also replenishing your body with a wide variety of nutritional dynamics, including 22 essential vitamins and minerals, sufficient sources of dietary fiber and omega-3 blend as well as an invigorating digestive enzymes mixture that will assist your digestive system. On top of having no soy content, VeganSmart All-In-One Nutritional Shake is also dairy free, for those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to gluten.
Soy-Free Veg Protein Booster
The title of this protein powder says it all. One serving of Soy-Free Veg Protein Booster is loaded with 20 grams of protein, which is enough to accommodate to 40 percent of your daily recommended amount. Plus it is bursting with essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own, which will allow your body to maximize its enhancement of immune function and antioxidant activity. Naturade Soy-Free Veg can be blended into your morning smoothie, afternoon juice or evening workout beverage, and can even be used as an ingredient to your favorite dish to increase your protein intake. Did we mention that it's also 100 percent soy-free?
Naturade Pea Protein
This perfectly accommodating vegan formula protein powder is another source for those allergic to soy who are still looking for an all natural way to receive their protein. One packet of Naturade Pea Protein will transform your beverage of choice into an easily digestible source of nine essential amino acids, that is based off of entirely non-GMO pea protein recipe that is 100% gluten-free, cholesterol-free, soy-free and dairy-free.
It seems like we are bombarded with health information reminding us of the importance of maintaining low cholesterol levels, but it's seldom understood which types of cholesterol should be monitored and which need to be sustained. Our bodies need some cholesterol to efficiently function, and while most cholesterol is naturally produced, it is what we consume that causes good versus bad cholesterol. Here is an overview on why good cholesterol is key, the proper levels and some nutritional ways to eliminate unnecessary cholesterol:
Consequences of poor cholesterol
This waxy, fat-like substance is found in all cells of our body and works to make hormones, produce vitamin D and other substances that help us digest food. Because we are essentially able to produce all the cholesterol we need on our own, monitoring our food intake is the most effective way to retain healthy cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is moved around through your body in small bundles called lipoproteins, compiled out of fat on the inside and protein and the outside. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the two types of lipoproteins, with HDL often being referred to as "good" cholesterol and LDL as "bad."
While HDL helps collect excess amounts of cholesterol throughout your body and send it to your liver for disposal, LDL carries cholesterol to all parts of the body, especially the arteries that supply blood to the heart. When too much LDL is developed, the walls of your arteries become built up with cholesterol, which can slow down blood flow, disrupt cardiovascular activity and elevate your risk of heart disorder.
The right levels to maintain
The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that everyone aged 20 and over should get their cholesterol levels checked at a minimum of every five years, with more frequent check ups as you age. When you get your levels examined, the doctor will test for your lipoprotein profile, which consists of four components that include total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides, which are another form of fat in your blood.
A healthy level of cholesterol is determined to be the following:
- Total cholesterol should be under 200 milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood
- LDL cholesterol should be under 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol should be slightly above 60 mg/dL
- Triglyceride levels below 150 mg/dL
If your total cholesterol levels are found to be at 240 mg/dL or higher, that is when finding a way to lower cholesterol should become a top priority for your health. In addition, any LDL cholesterol levels found to be above 160 mg/dL is also considered to put you at risk for artery blockage.
Tips to lower cholesterol
While nutrition is essential for keeping healthy cholesterol levels stable, there are plenty of lifestyle modifications that can be made to help get your number lower. Receiving frequent physical activity, losing weight and avoid tobacco use can easily make a positive impact on your cholesterol levels, on top of a healthy diet. As for eating habits, try consuming foods that are rich in soluble fiber, which help absorb cholesterol from the intestines and reducing the amount of LDL in your body. If you are eating a lot of meat in your diet, try switching your entrees out for some fish, which can lower the amount of your LDL-boosting saturated fats intake and boost your omega-3 fatty acid levels, which can help reduce triglycerides in your body. Fruits can also do wonders for your cholesterol levels, and are typically loaded with pectin, a form of soluble fiber that works to decrease LDL build up in the body.
Naturade Total Soy can help you reduce cholesterol
Over 40 clinical studies on Soy Protein and cholesterol reduction led the Food & Drug Administration to declare that "25 grams of Soy Protein daily, in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Just one delicious 8 oz. shake of Naturade Total Soy supplies more than half of the suggested amount of Soy Protein daily. With just one serving per day, you receive 50 percent of your daily protein recommendations, and the soy protein could assist in decreasing your total and LDL cholesterol, as well as your risk of cardiovascular complications.
For years now, a popular dieting book titled, "Eat Right For Your Type," has continued to be a dominant trend for those curious to try a new method of losing weight that focuses on consuming foods that accommodate your blood type. The official book outlining the effective methods of the diet was written by Dr. Peter D'Adamo, and has continued to be a bestseller for years. While many attest to the method as an effective means of dieting, new research has indicated that the theory behind the eating plan is not as successful as it claims to be. Here is a general overview regarding the blood type diet, what it entails and what experts are saying about it.
How it works
Dr. D'Adamo persists that the secret to healthy eating and losing weight is through knowing what type of foods cater to your specific blood type. The four major blood groups of A, B, O and AB each have their own distinctive nutritional plan that will work with lectins, or carbohydrate-binding proteins, in the body to maintain not only a healthy nourishment balance, but also prevent various diseases and ailments from affecting ourselves as well. D'Adamo breaks each blood type down into these categories:
- Type A is "the agrarian or cultivator" group, where an emphasis on vegetables and avoiding red meat are encouraged.
- Type B is "the nomad" group, where dairy products are the main source of nutrition to help boost your immune system.
- Type AB is "the enigma" group, and should be focused on an even balance between both the Type A and B diets.
- Type O is "the hunter" group, and consists of a predominantly high protein meal style of diet.
Things to know
The overall theory behind the blood type diet is that you are imitating the type of foods your ancestors ate thousands of years ago. After reviewing various anthropology research studies to determine the types of agriculture prehistoric humans with their respected blood types would have consumed, D'Adamo developed his dietary outline according to his conclusions. The doctor also encourages continuous physical activity along with the eating plan to see any major results, and the specific exercises also pertain to your specific blood type. Some examples include that Type A's should stick to more meditation and stretching activities such as yoga and Tai Chi, while Type O's need to focus on more aerobic based exercises, such as jogging and cycling.
Other key attributes outlined in the diet according to D'Adamo's book include:
- Knowing which spices and condiments on top of foods will help someone of a specific blood type achieve ideal health and weight.
- Which antioxidants, vitamins and minerals should be emphasized as well as avoided.
- The proper medications that function cohesively in your system.
- What types of physical exercise can be alleviate your symptoms of stress, fatigue and soreness.
- Understanding the characteristics of your blood type to avoid experiencing common illnesses and infections.
- Slowing down the aging process by avoiding specific health factors that negatively impact your blood type and cause rapid cell deterioration.
Does it work?
Millions of books sold and countless positive testimonies later, researchers from the University of Toronto have recently put D'Adamo's dieting theory to the test. The doctors assembled a study consisting of 1,455 study participants, equally ranging from the four main blood types and all considered to be healthy, to see how the diet impacted their health and weight. Before beginning the blood type diet, the participants supplied the researchers with detailed information regarding their own personal diets, as well as providing DNA samples that helped distinguish their levels of cardiometabolic risk factors, such as insulin, cholesterol and triglycerides.
After reviewing the results, as well as the proposed diet scores implemented from D'Adamo's book, the researchers confidently stated that no evidence supports this blood type diet theory, and that any indications of positive health attributes had nothing to do with adhering to an individual's blood type. Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, a professor from the University of Toronto and lead contributor to the study, was very stern of his team's findings.
"Based on the data of 1,455 study participants, we found no evidence to support the 'blood-type' diet theory," El-Sohemy said in a statement. "The way an individual responds to any one of these diets has absolutely nothing to do with their blood type and has everything to do with their ability to stick to a sensible vegetarian or low-carbohydrate diet. We can now be confident in saying that the blood type diet hypothesis is false."
Whether or not the diet is a complete farce or not, the obvious proponent to anyone trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle is simply through eating nutritiously and receiving significant physical activity every week. If the blood type diet is working for you, there is surely nothing wrong with sticking to it, however, in the end, nothing beats old fashioned nutrition and exercise.
Whether you are looking to lower cholesterol, boost your immune health or drop a little weight this summer, there are many online fitness gurus you can look to for inspiration. Getting your daily dose of healthy eating and exercise is a critical component of your success when you're striving for wellness, and these online experts could be just the thing to steer you on the right path.
There's no doubt that yoga has taken off in popularity in recent years when it comes to body weight training. Tara Stiles, a yoga instructor whose YouTube videos have gained quite a following, focuses specifically on how this ancient practice can give you more energy and cultivate a svelte body. Her training expertise is perfect for beginners, as her approach is laid-back and fun, and she also narrows down which poses will work for your specific fitness needs and muscle groups.
Russell's cardio and toning plans work wonderfully for people who can't seem to find the hours in the day for exercise. Many of her videos on YouTube can be performed in 15 minutes or less. She also offers exercises based on themes, such as fitness moves for brides or finding ways to get arm muscles like celebrities.
Dr. Mehmet Oz
Made famous by Oprah, Dr. Oz has become a household name thanks to his popular daytime TV show. However, there is a wealth of wellness information on his website for you to explore as well, even if you don't have time for the tube. Many of the themes he focuses on are centered around healthy eating, all-natural anti-aging ideas and how diet and exercise can help prevent diseases.
Tone It Up
Karena Dawn and Katrina Hodgson are noted nutrition coaches and personal trainers who offer an all-around approach to staying fit with their website Toneitup.com. From recipes and nutrition programs to weekly schedules and fitness playlists, this site has it all. The two fitness gurus offer advice on fitness-related yoga moves, stretching, triathlon training and proper kettlebell use as well as toning routines for specific muscle groups like legs, abs and arms.
Tim Ferriss' "4 Hour Body" tactics are controversial in some circles, but many people have found weight loss success with his advice and podcasts. Most of his ideas are geared toward "lifestyle design" and revolve around slow-carb dieting interspersed with occasional "cheat days."
Staying fit and healthy with a weight loss supplement or testosterone booster could be an excellent pairing with any of these online wellness programs.
While some people enjoy their favorite junk foods when coping with stress, there are plenty of healthier food choices available that naturally reduce anxiety. If you can eat nutritiously, receive all the essential antioxidants and minerals your body needs and ease all your mental tension at the same time, wouldn't you want to take advantage of it? Put down the ice cream and throw out the cookie jar, here are five healthy options that can help you eliminate stress:
Salads, sandwiches or all by themselves, the flavor of an avocado is extremely compatible. They are also known to help alleviate stress thanks to their abundance in potassium, a key mineral that helps blood pressure stay low.
Don't take our word for it, trust researchers from the University of Basel in Sweden where doctors discovered all of the brain boosting and mental calming qualities drinking green tea can provide. The colleagues supplied green tea supplements to a number of volunteers, finding that it was able to improve overall cognitive performance. This meant that the brain's connectivity effectiveness was increased, leading to better memory and decreasing the likelihood of psychological trauma.
A huge contributor of protein and omega-3 fatty acids for our bodies, salmon is a great way to relieve your stress. Researchers from Ohio State University have attributed eating 2.5 grams of omega-3, which would be the equivalent of having a 12-ounce salmon fillet, can reduce your stress by upwards of 20 percent. Salmon is an ideal entree option that will pack you with protein while calming down your nerves.
Pretzels tend to get a bad reputation as an unhealthy snack due an abundance of salt, but eating pretzels made from whole-wheat bread has some truly nutritional qualities. Not only can whole-wheat pretzels stimulate some energy in the body, but its carbohydrates work to release a chemical in your brain known as serotonin, which is known to help put you in a good mood and increase motivation.
For a perfect snack that will help reduce your hunger as well as your anxiety, almonds are great. The generous portions of zinc in almonds help to boost your immune system, allowing you to feel terrific all day.
Water conservation is an often unacknowledged environmental issue that can impact not just your life but the lives of many other people and animals. It's a matter that truly affects our country, and with the average American using upwards to 100 gallons of water everyday, at least 36 states have projected water shortages within the past year. Everything from protecting ecosystems, conserving energy and saving money can be linked to water conservation, and the best place to start exhibiting concern for preserving the world around you can begin in your own home. The kitchen is a primary location for water waste, and cooking is its main partner in crime. Here are just a few tips to utilize water to the fullest while preparing your next meal at home:
From pasta to poultry to potatoes, practically every food can be cooked through steaming, which is also an excellent way to conserve water in the kitchen. Steaming food preserves a generous amount of water compared to boiling, typically using more than 50 percent less water while still serving as a healthy method of preparing a meal. Steaming is also able to preserve more nutrients than boiling, especially with vegetables because the food is not completely submerged in heated water which tends to evaporate the majority of the nutritional content.
Double it up
Sometimes preparing a full course dinner for the family requires an abundance of pots and pans. Instead of having every food item dedicated to a specific kitchen appliance, cook two foods with one pot instead. If you are boiling pasta, wait until there are only a few minutes left on the timer and add the veggies you are using, which generally only take two to three minutes to cook anyway. You will be amazed at how using this food preparation strategy can gradually reduce the amount of water you use to cook over time.
Reduce your measurements
Typically the directions for cooking food tend to lean on the generous side of measurements when it comes to water portions. The truth is that you don't necessarily always need the amount of water called for on the packaging instructions, and skipping out on a few ounces or cups of water with every entree starts to add up in the long run.
Doing the dishes
People are prone to go overboard when it comes to how much water they use to clean their dishes. First off, continuing to run water while soaping down and scrubbing off food debris is a classic wasting offense. Simply plugging up your sink, making a little bath for your dishes and only use the amount of water you have provided for yourself will easily save gallons every time you have to clean. Also, what is the point of sending a plate or bowl through the dishwasher if you have already rinsed and cleaned it out in the sink? Try to stick to one or the other and odds are you will be doing yourself a favor when it comes to your water bill.
Juicing is essentially an attempt to cut out the middleman when it comes to extracting the nutrients of fruits and vegetables. While some argue in favor of juicing because it helps your body digest nutrients easier than it would processing entire foods, others warn that the processes causes you to miss out on primary health benefits such as dietary fiber intake. While the debate rages on, here are a few reasons why juicing is a great resource for health benefits, and a few ways that you can make up for any lost nutrients and still relish the savory contents of a refreshing glass of juice:
Help your digestive system
The biggest advantage of juicing is how it makes the digestive process much simpler for your body. When extracting all of the juice from fruits and vegetables, you are giving your body a rest from having to expend energy breaking down all the solid contents. Your stomach needs to use a number of different digestive enzymes when you consume foods with different vitamins and minerals, which can result in bloating and indigestion. Juicing typically means you are only consuming a few specific foods at a time, which can relieve stomach discomfort and also speed up the digestive process.
Boost your immune system
Juicing is a great way to treat common illnesses, especially if you are prone to deal with allergy symptoms on a daily basis. Chopping up some carrots and apples and pooling their health resources together will provide you with plenty of vitamin A to flush out unwanted toxins in the body as well as generous amounts of vitamin C to fight against cold and flu components.
Adding to the list of benefits, juicing can be a great way to help cut some calories from your diet and lose weight, but it is important to keep track of everything you are putting into the juicer. A common misconception with juicing is that simply dumping fruit and vegetables into the machine will eliminate the calories the foods possessed originally. As always, moderation is key. Be sure not to overdo your juicing, because three or more beverages can easily start to pack on the pounds due to calorie and sugar levels.
Keep in mind that there is no hard scientific evidence to prove that juicing is healthier than consuming whole fruits and vegetables. The attraction of juicing is due to the body's ability to absorb nutrients more quickly in liquid form. Plus, it's a great way to get creative in the kitchen and come up with new concoctions that taste great and have your body feeling even better. Remember that while juicing is a fast and easy source for nutrients, it is always advised to continue consuming whole fruits and vegetables as well.