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).
When we think about bacteria, we tend to associate it with negative connotations. This simply isn't the case, as bacteria is a crucial factor for boosting our immune system, manufacturing essential vitamins and assisting in improving our overall digestion process. There are already millions of living bacteria cells lined up along the walls of our stomach and intestine that work to break down nutrients for our bodies. Specifically, probiotics are a form of bacteria that are key components for aiding digestion, and while certain foods such as yogurt, pickles and tempeh are solid solutions to providing more of these small organisms to your gut, there are more efficient and faster ways to receive the proper amount of probiotics you need.
How probiotics work
When your digestive system endures an unstable balance of healthy gut bacteria, your intestines can experience pain and the entire metabolism process may slow down. When you consume probiotics, these microorganisms work to help build and strengthen the lining of your gut and intestines, so unwanted bacteria that can provoke nauseating symptoms such as upset stomach and diarrhea can be eliminated. They also help regulate the speed and processing of food being broken down within your intestine, making sure that all the quality vitamins and minerals are being properly absorbed. Essentially, the main functions for probiotics are as follows:
- Boosting your immune system by increasing production of antibodies
- Destroying toxins generated by "bad" bacteria in the intestines
- Producing B vitamins that quicken the metabolism process
- Preventing infection within the gut and intestinal lining
- Sending signals to cells to provide relief against potential illnesses in the intestines
Benefits of probiotics
There are many lifestyle factors that play into how "bad" bacteria or an imbalance of "good" organisms within the gut and intestine can develop. If you are not eating nutritiously, breathing in polluted environments or not receiving enough sleep, you are putting yourself at risk for poor digestion and possible infection within the intestines. Fortunately, probiotics are safe and easy way to increase the presence of "good" bacteria in the body, which can prevent nauseating symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome as well as the common cold and flu.
Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU
If you are looking for immediate digestive relief, try using Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU to give your immune system the help it needs while letting you feel better in no time. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU contains billions of good bacteria forming colonies with every capsule, that will work to strengthen the lining of your intestines, maintain healthy intestinal flora and leave your stomach feeling refreshed and free. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU is completely allergen and dairy free, and is recommended for anyone experiencing symptoms of bloating, gas and general digestive discomfort.
As obesity continues to evolve into a growing epidemic, researchers are continuing to try and find new opportunities for rapid weight loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of all Americans are obese, which can lead to serious complications involving cardiovascular health, blood pressure levels and other hazardous health side effects.
Recent studies discuss how bacterial buildup inside our intestines might provide a direct link to diabetes, and fluctuation in our bacterial population could provide a clear connection to being overweight. Intestinal flora, or microorganisms that live within our intestinal lines, was the subject of focus for researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. The collaborators tested 169 obese participants and 123 non-obese subjects to determine whether their intestinal flora could spell out weight loss for them in the future. The researchers said that individuals with minimal bacterial species in their intestines are more likely to develop complications from obesity, specifically regarding abrupt weight gain conditions and chronic inflammation. Essentially, obese or healthy-fitted people with low intestinal flora had higher risks for hazardous side effects than those with rich intestinal flora.
The most important aspect to the examination was that weight gain was found to not officially be a primary diagnosis to some the worst elements of poor intestinal flora intake. Gut bacteria is essential for your body to improve its digestive process and boost immune health. The human gut pertains about 10 times more bacteria than all the cells throughout your body combined, protecting your intestines from infection, improving the lining of your immune system as well as regulating metabolism.
Jeroen Raes, a professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and lead contributor to the study, acknowledged that you don't have to be overweight to experience all the typically related symptoms of diabetes.
"We were able to distinguish between two groups based on their intestinal flora: people with a large richness of bacterial species in their intestines and people with a few less bacterial species," Raes said in a statement. "A species-rich bacterial flora appeared to function differently compared to the poorer variety. It was surprising to see that obese and non-obese people were found in both groups."
Factors for unhealthy gut flora
As further studies are necessary to help understand intestinal flora's relationship with overweight symptoms, there are several factors that can pay into developing unhealthy gut flora. These lifestyle choices can include:
- Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
- Diets low in fermentable fibers
- Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils
- Chronic stress
- Chronic infections
If you are concerned about maintaining a healthy intestinal flora level, there are still plenty of ways to avoid inflammation of intestinal bacteria. Ingesting plenty of fermentable fibers, such as sweet potatoes or yams, can be beneficial, as well as eliminating your use of table salt and sodium intake with your diet. These are just a few of the ways intestinal bacteria can not only help you avoid obesity, but defend your immune system from unwanted illnesses as well.
There are an estimated 15 million people living in the U.S. with a food allergy, according to Food Allergy Research and Education, which is a number that has continued to rise over the past several years. Children are at the root of the problem, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that food allergies with children has risen more than 50 percent since 1997. While most people are aware of what foods can spawn allergic symptoms, some people are still left in the dark, which is why recognizing the most common forms of food allergies is essential in preventing potential severe reactions in the future.
While anyone can potentially become allergic to just about any food, there are only eight foods that account for 90 percent of all food-allergic reactions in the U.S. Here is the breakdown of those foods:
- Tree nuts
A peanut allergy is typically the most common form of food sensitivity, and symptoms can range from minor skin reactions or digestive problems to severe constriction of airways or loss of consciousness. Peanut allergies are also the greatest cause of food-induced anaphylaxis, which can be a serious medical emergency that can potentially require adrenaline injections.
Peanuts are different than tree nuts, in the general sense that peanuts do not grow on trees as do almonds, cashews and walnuts. However, it is important to note that an estimated 25 to 40 percent of people allergic to peanuts are also prone to hypersensitivity with tree nuts. If you are allergic to one or the other, it is advised to generally stay away from nuts as a whole.
Milk is the most reported allergy among infants and children, and an estimated 2.5 percent of children aged three years and younger are allergic to milk. The reason why children are prone to milk allergies is due to the high levels of antibodies that are prevalent in cow's milk, but most children are actually capable to grow out of the allergy the older they become. Blood testing is available from doctors to determine whether or not a child can ward off their milk allergy.
Fish and shellfish
Fish and shellfish allergies tend to lead to the most severe types of reactions among all food allergies. These types of allergens are generally not discovered until you become an adult, in which 40 percent of fish allergies and 60 percent of shellfish allergies are found out as a grown-up. Allergies to fish and shellfish are not the same family of fish, so you can consume one while being allergic to the other.
Take control of food allergies
Food allergies are essentially the result of a specific ingredient in a food triggering a hazardous response in your immune system, prompting a wide variety of potential side effects. Practically all food allergies are discovered simply through trying new foods the older you get, and can be extremely unpredictable. Once you're aware of your food allergy, reading the ingredients on labels is the most important thing you can do when it comes to preventing reactions.
Food labels are required to list when something has a particular ingredient that could prompt allergies. For instance, with wheat allergies, a label will list ingredients with wheat in them in parenthesis, such as flour (wheat). It is also crucial to know your symptoms as well, and always have the appropriate medication handy in the rare instance something you eat unknowingly has the allergen.
Getting ready to take off for a vacation or booking your next flight for work is always somewhat stressful. You have to remember to make hotel reservations, bring your passport if you are heading out of the country and last but not least, pack that toothbrush. With so many different obstacles to juggle, it is easy to forget about your own health sometimes, but it is your immune system that that should be on the forefront of your mind when it comes to frequent travel. Everything from changing time zones to drinking foreign tap water can have some sort of physical impact on your body, so for the next time you find yourself taking the red eye flight away from home, here are a few tips to help give your immune system a much needed boost:
As simple as this tip can be, maintaining plenty of fluid intake is as essential as it gets when it comes to a healthy immune system. When you are traveling in a plane, the air pressure and drop in humidity can provoke dehydration, which is the biggest advocate for an unprotected immune system. It is recommended that while traveling you should drink 8 ounces of water every hour, and try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, especially when traveling by plane.
Antioxidants are your friend
When your body enters a location it is not familiar with, it becomes more susceptible to floating bacteria and viruses with which your immune system has never been acquainted. That is why ingesting plenty of healthy antioxidants is your best source for preventative action against illness. Loading up on vitamins A, C and E is the simplest way to keep your body in tip top condition. Some great foods bursting with antioxidants include:
- pinto beans
You can also get plenty of antioxidants by consuming just a few capsules of Symbiotics Lactoferrin, which is proven to defend your immune system while sprucing you up with some much needed traveling energy.
Colostrum is key
If you are not aware of all the immune boosting properties adding some colostrum can provide for your body, it is time to get with the picture. Everything from easing digestion to increasing your immune response is supplied through colostrum supplements, and the amount of proteins, antibodies and antioxidants each serving contains is practically unparalleled to any other vitamin supplement out there. Try taking a few capsules of Symbiotics Colostrum Plus during your next trip, and get ready to conquer the world!
Stress not only comes in many forms, but also affects us in a variety of ways. Whether it is deadlines from work forcing us to skip lunch or pulling an all-nighter trying to finish a college paper, pressure never seems to take a break.
While those examples are the more general consequences of stress, one of the lesser discussed symptoms of stress is an unhealthy immune system. This can not only result in feeling under the weather, but can turn you into a coughing and sneezing fest on top of an already intense boardroom meeting. Keeping your immune system happy is essential to controlling stress levels, so here is an overview of how stress affects the immune system, plus some tips to combat against feeling both sick and anxious:
When posed with a situation that inflicts stress, our bodies go through what is commonly referred to as the "fight or flight" response. Adrenaline kicks through the body and activates a stress hormone called corticosteroids that can reduce the immune system's ability to effectively fight off unwanted bacteria and antigens. Stress doesn't simply go away easily. A strenuous event such as a car accident or mounting pressure from a boss tends to stick within our minds, leading us to constantly think about it, which in turn produces more and more corticosteroids.
Every time you conjure up more feelings of stress, your immune system is thrown through a limbo, leaving you susceptible to illness. Researchers from Ohio State University have also found that our moods are often influenced by our immune cells' reactions that occur when our brains signal stress. Using mice, the doctors found that repeated exposure to stress can produce the highest concentrations of immune cells traveling to the brain, which not only leaves the immune system more vulnerable to infection, but also force the cells to infiltrate areas of the brain linked to anxiety and fear, therefore inducing even more stress.
In another study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University, professors found that loneliness and isolation, in addition to chronic stress, can harm overall immune system health. After analyzing blood samples from people prone toward loneliness against those more socially active, the researchers discovered that the lonely test subjects had higher levels of inflammation-related proteins, which can regularly cause problems for immune systems.
Lisa Jaremka, a professor at Ohio State University and lead author of the study, said her team's research signals a clear connection between stress and poor immune health.
"It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems," Jaremka said in a statement. "The same processes involved in stress and reactivation of these viruses is probably also relevant to the loneliness findings. Loneliness has been thought of in many ways as a chronic stressor – a socially painful situation that can last for quite a long time."
Coping with stress
An important way to help ease the tension in your life and simultaneously boost your immune system is by learning how to recognize and handle stress factors. A few tips to help you alleviate stress include:
- Identify what is building pressure on your life.
- Understand what stressors you can and can't control.
- Eliminate unnecessary stress by avoiding people or environments that provoke tension.
- Express your feelings through writing or conversation with someone close instead of bottling your emotions.
- Focus on the positive and adjust your goals and standards accordingly.
- Find the time to do an activity you enjoy every day.
These are just a few ways to learn how to cope with stress. Being able to combine a number of these guidelines to your everyday life can put your mind at ease, but keep your immune system healthy.
If you are often finding yourself tossing and turning at night, you might not only be hurting your chances at a perky morning, but you could be damaging your immune system as well. Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health have analyzed how consistent sleep deprivation can negatively impact your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness.
The researchers took a group of healthy men and assigned them to 4 to 5 hours of sleep every night before having to fulfill a typical workday. They discovered that the men who had at least three hours less than the normal eight hours of sleep at night had weakened white blood cells as well as significant changes in gene levels – two sure signs of a frail immune system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 50 to 70 million American adults who have some variation of a sleeping disorder. If you are struggling with obtaining the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, here are a few tips to help you get the slumber you need to be active and productive throughout the entire day.
Establish a routine bedtime
Getting your body to adhere to a strict time schedule is essential for receiving a good night's rest. If you find yourself tuning out at 10 p.m. one night then staying up until 2 a.m. the next, your body's internal clock will be confused. Once you have established your preferred time to fall asleep, try to stick to that time even on the weekends, which is often when sleeping routines are thrown out of sync. The same can be said for waking up in the morning as well.
Know what you are putting into your body
Guess what? If you are smoking cigarettes, eating ice cream or drinking nightly cocktails before bedtime, the odds are your sleep will suffer from it. Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine usually take hours to wear off, which will keep your brain wired and mind wandering while you are trying to get some shut-eye. Avoid these late-night temptations as much as possible.
Avoid lights at all cost
Many people resort to watching television, scanning computer screens or flipping through their electronic music players before falling asleep. All these lights right before rest can reduce your body's production of melatonin, the naturally produced hormone that helps you sleep efficiently and is regulated by light exposure. Try not to watch television or read from electronic devices before sleep to ensure proper melatonin regulation in your body.
Limit your naps
If you are someone who frequently needs a cat nap during the day to get by, you aren't doing your body any favors by catching up on lost sleep at night. Any naps that last for more than 30 minutes can affect your body's sleep cycle, and the best time for naps is during the early afternoon. Before napping, try to make sure your blinds or shades are closed so sunlight can not readjust your internal clock.
Get your stress out
The more your mind is at ease, the better your body will sleep. Simply making sure you are organized and know what you need to do for tomorrow is one of the more efficient methods of getting a healthier eight hours of sleep.
As if you needed another reason to work out during the day, routine physical activity is one of the best ways you will enjoy a deep and peaceful sleep at night. Don't exercise too closely to your bedtime though. Get a solid 30 minutes of a workout right around dinner time for the best sleeping results.
There are many new products on the market promoting their inclusion of lactoferrin as a healthy ingredient, but what exactly is lactoferrin? Lactoferrin is a protein found naturally in cow and human milk, and it is especially abundant in colostrum. It is also found naturally in our tears and saliva, and possesses a wide variety of healthy benefits for our bodies. Here are just a few ways that lactoferrin can help:
Lactoferrin has been proven to help regulate the absorption of iron throughout the body, as well as provide iron to the cells that need it. Iron is crucial for everyday vital bodily requirements, such as facilitating muscle function, supplying oxygen to our brains and bloodstream and preventing general symptoms of iron deficiency, which include fatigue, weakness and headaches. Without enough iron, your body will struggle with the strength necessary to carry on throughout the day.
Boost your immune system
Lactoferrin is also essential in providing an increased defense for our immune systems. Lactoferrin deprives unwanted bacteria in the body from the nutrients they need to continue spreading. Lactoferrin is able to boost your body with beneficial antioxidants, enhance oxygenation of the tissues and improve white blood cell health.
If you are having trouble maintaining healthy or clear skin, lactoferrin also works at reducing acne activity and preventing breakouts. In a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, researchers found that young adults who took lactoferrin supplements twice a day for eight weeks were able to reduce acne outbreaks by 22.5 percent, while 77 percent of participants reported fewer signs of acne activity.
These are just a few of the ways lactoferrin can help keep your body healthy and feeling great. A perfect way to get started taking lactoferrin is with Symbiotics Lactoferrin Capsules.
With all the warmer weather, raindrops and sunshine that come with spring, the new season also means allergies are back. Instead of letting pollen and hay fever get the best of you this year, fight back with food!
Turns out that what you eat can also impact the way your body reacts to potent allergens. So for those who want to spend their spring outdoors throwing the ball around and walking the dog instead of staying home with a runny nose and itchy eyes, here's a list of foods and meals that can help ease your allergy symptoms.
Not only is breakfast the most important meal of the day, but it can also be your first line of defense against allergies. Start your day off right with a hot beverage, fresh fruit and some old fashioned vitamin D. Some steamy green tea can help relieve any congestion problems in the morning, and get rid of any excess mucus that promotes wheezing and coughing.
It is no secret that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but the vitamin C and antioxidants found in your average apple, orange or strawberries can do wonders for easing allergy symptoms. Try a little yogurt on the side too, which contains Lactobacillus casei, a probiotic that helps balance bacteria levels in your stomach, so your immune system won't overreact to allergens.
Anything that has plenty of vitamin D is a great choice for a first meal of the day. Vitamin D absorbs calcium and phosphorus, which help boost immune health and absorb essential nutrients the body needs to fight back against allergens. A breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, fortified yogurt and a bowl of whole grain cereal will not only load you up with vitamin D, but also contains omega-3 fatty acids that are known to reduce asthma symptoms.
When the sun is at its highest is also when allergies are at their peak. One of the biggest allies against allergies is the flavonoid quercetin, which possess an anti-inflammatory compound that is proven to help reduce allergy symptoms. Quercetin is found in broccoli, cranberries, sweet potatoes, onions and is especially abundant in capers, which are little green pea-sized flower buds normally found in Mediterranean cuisine.
Adding a few slices of onions or tomatoes to a sandwich or salad can give you a healthy boost of quercetin. For a quick and portable meal, try making a vegetarian quesadilla using vegetables high in quercetin, as well as bell peppers, which are loaded with vitamin C while packing a spice that can help loosen up nasal congestion.
Of course, there is nothing that warms the soul and soothes a scratchy throat like a bowl of hot soup. Besides aiding your immune system in processing digestion, a steamy serving of chicken noodle or tomato soup can also reduce inflammation, stimulate blood circulation as well as replenish your body with the essential minerals necessary to get through a day of wheezing and sneezing.
After a hard day's work, allergies are the last thing you want to have to deal with. Help the side effects go away with a hearty dinner that's packed with therapeutic properties perfect for an ideal slumber. Fish are your friend when it comes to allergies due to their remedial qualities, and serving up an entree of shrimp stir fry topped with a few pinches of ginger can help get rid of throat and nose congestion as well as offer more omega-3 fatty acids to improve inflammatory conditions.
Spicy foods can also provide ways to help clear nasal passages, so whipping up some spicy chicken enchiladas with a little cayenne pepper might be what your airways need for some mucus-thinning benefits.
Garnishing your food with sides of kale or collard greens is also a great way to add some carotenoids to your system, which are organic pigments that work as antioxidants to increase immune health and improve cell communication so blood cells can work together to ward off unwanted allergens.
Following a steady diet of any number of these combinations can provide your body with what you need for a healthier, more enjoyable spring season. To recap, here are specific foods that have the most anti-allergen properties:
- Green tea
- Tomato soup
- Kale or collard greens
If you ever run out of meal ideas, you can always reach for a Naturade Pea Protein Powder that is loaded with essential amino acids proven to boost immune strength. It is also 100 percent cholesterol free and vegan friendly.
If you aren't familiar with lactoferrin, now is the time to learn about it. This iron-binding protein, which is found in large quantities in both human and animal colostrum, has many positive health benefits. Just in case you haven't heard of colostrum, it is the first milk that a mammal mother delivers to her newborn offspring, and it's important because it kickstarts the immune system.
Lactoferrin is important because it deprives invasive bacteria of the iron they need to reproduce. It also controls cytokine releases and sends iron into the red blood cells, which is important in providing oxygen to the body's tissues.
Benefits of lactoferrin
This important protein can increase iron levels in the blood and possibly decrease inflammation. There's also some evidence that it promotes bone health in women and works as an anti-fungal.
Lactoferrin is just one component of colostrum. If you're interested in lactoferrin for the boost it can provide to your immune health, try Symbiotics Lactoferrin, which has been isolated from bovine colostrum, or consider a total colostrum supplement like Symbiotics Lactoferrin with Colostrum Plus, which naturally supports immune health and improves digestive health.