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.
Colostrum – specifically bovine colostrum - is the first milk that a mother provides to her newborn calf. In fact, all female mammals produce colostrum, but that of the bovine variety is often taken as a supplement by athletes and others because of its immune-boosting properties. However, it's important that the product comes from only the first milkings as this milk contains a host of beneficial immune factors called proline-rich polypeptides, which include:
- Cytokines for stimulating an under-active immune system
- Immunoglobulin, which helps repair muscles
- Lactoferrin – an iron-binding protein that helps release iron into the red blood cells and also deprives bacteria of the iron it needs to reproduce
- Many others
Colostrum also contains insulin-like growth factors which restore muscles and build immune support, as well as a host of nutritional components like vitamins, minerals, essential oils and amino acids.
If you're looking for a bovine colostrum supplement to boost your immune system and regulate your intestinal health, check out Proline-Rich Polypeptides with Colostrum PLUS, which comes in capsule form. Or, consider mixing the flavorless Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Powder into your protein shake for a healthy immune boost.
In order to understand colostrum peptides, it's first important to understand what proline-rich polypeptides (PRPs) are. First, proline is a non-essential amino acid, meaning it can be made by the body. Polypeptides are proteins linked together linearly with peptide bonds. The body needs all types of protein to function properly, and the importance of PRPs is that they contribute to immune health.
When a pathogen is introduced, our bodies react with a complex inflammatory immune response that sends leukocytes – white blood cells – to combat the infection or bacteria. PRPs are necessary for this process – they contribute to the stimulation of white blood cells and they make the blood vessels in the skin more permeable so the antibodies and white blood cells can respond to the infection.
So where does colostrum come in? PRPs are especially abundant in colostrum – the first milk from all mammals after giving birth that has immune properties for their young. Colostrum with PRPs can give a boost an under-active immune system and restore balance. Naturade's Proline-Rich Polypeptides with Colostrum PLUS is a good option to try.
Proline-Rich Polypeptides are a mouthful to say, but if you don't know what they are, you probably should – especially with cold and flu season upon us. PRPs come from colostrum, the first milk of newly nursing cows, and PRPs are the component largely responsible for providing a quick dose of immunity to new calves.
PRPs are actually found in all other mammals' colostrum, and humans can benefit from bovine colostrum too. One good source of PRPs is Naturade's Proline-Rich Polypeptides with Colostrum Plus supplement, which is safe and effective for people of all ages. It's used to help balance the immune system and to provide a boost when you feel challenged or stressed. Naturade's PRP enriched colostrum product is antibiotic-, hormone- rBST- and pesticide-free. It comes as a powder that you mix into your morning or post-workout smoothie – 1/3 a scoop, twice per day. You can triple this amount if you're experiencing a time of increased stress.
Consider PRPs and colostrum to give your immune system a kick in the pants before winter rushes in!
Being sick with the flu is the worst, especially during the holiday season when you would rather be eating cookies and sipping on spiked eggnog. So, it might be a good idea to get the flu shot to protect your immune health, especially if you're one of those people that just seems to catch everything that's going around.
The flu vaccine is available in a shot or nasal spray form. While the vaccine doesn't protect against every type of influenza the same as others, it's formulated to reduce your symptoms of the most virulent and common strains of influenza each season. The flu vaccine is advised for anyone older than six months. and it's especially recommended for seniors, pregnant women, children, people with disabilities, those living in nursing homes, people who are overweight or people with lowered immune systems due to health conditions.
You can get the flu vaccine whenever it is available in your area, which often begins as early as September. Most people should try to be vaccinated by the end of October, as there are occasionally shortages of the shot. The flu season typically peaks in January or February, and it has been known to last until May. Thus, even if you don't receive the flu shot until December, it will likely still be worth it.
While the vaccine has been shown to be effective in making one's symptoms less severe, it doesn't automatically prevent you from getting the flu. There are other things you can do to protect yourself. Try an immunity booster like Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Immune Formula, which supports a robust gastrointestinal tract and helps protect you by keeping your immune system strong.
If you love your furry friend or are considering adopting a pooch, you should know that despite being human's best friend, the benefits of having a dog are abundant. Research has shown that dog ownership – and even interacting with and petting someone else's pup – has positive social, emotional and physical benefits. Here are the health benefits of having a loyal dog:
People with pet canines are more likely to be physically active because dogs need walking. This is especially true of people with large pooches – weighing over 45 pounds – because they need more exercise than smaller breeds. Other studies have even found a link between petting a dog and lowering blood pressure, and that pet owners may have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, suggesting that dog ownership or regular visits with one might contribute to improved heart health. One study even indicated that dog ownership significantly increased the survival rate of people who had a heart attack.
Additionally, other studies have shown that growing up with a dog or other pets is good for a child's immune system. According to one study of 397 1 year olds, those with dogs at home had fewer respiratory and ear infections than those without a furry friend in the home. Additionally, babies with a canine friend in their homes were rated as healthy 81 percent of the time, while babies without dogs in the house were healthy only 64 percent of the time. Researchers believe that exposure to dogs' germs is actually what helps to improve immune health in children.
Dogs can also improve emotional health. Pets have been shown to reduce depression, stress, loneliness and anxiety. Owning a pet helps to give structure to a person's day, as animals need to be taken care of regularly. Studies show that touch is very important for emotional well-being, and for those living alone, pups can provide this important physical contact. Additionally, children and adults alike often find comfort from a dog during times of grief. Dogs are often used as therapy animals in hospitals to bring comfort and happiness to children and adults with serious illnesses.
Aside from the myriad emotional and physical benefits of dog ownership, these loyal pals can also provide vital social benefits. When people go outside to walk them, they're more likely to have conversations with people around them like other pet owners – animals provide an easy topic of conversation. In one study at a veterans' hospital, people were more likely to talk with each other when a dog was in the room. This is very important for people who live alone, such as elderly adults who are more likely to be isolated.
Also, children with autism who have difficulty connecting with people are able to interact more comfortably with their pets, which may help to build a sense of empathy and promote better interactions with other people over time.
Whether you live in a city, in the mountains, at the beach or in a suburban neighborhood, biking can be a great way to get from place to place. In addition to being an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to get around, biking has numerous health benefits that can keep you fit while you're having fun. Here are ten reasons to grab life by the handlebars and take advantage of all your bicycle has to offer.
1. It's good for your heart
Because it gets your heart pumping and helps regulate breathing, bicycling can be good for cardiovascular health. Frequent biking can also help improve stamina and endurance.
2. Weight loss
Biking is a great way to burn calories and keep weight down, but it can also lead to a faster metabolism, meaning that you can stay fit even after your ride is over.
3. Benefits the immune system
Studies have shown that riding your bike can actually help strengthen your immune system, which may help keep you healthy year-round.
4. It's easy on joints
Unlike high-impact physical activities like running, biking gets you moving without putting too much stress on your joints. Knees, ankles and feet can all benefit from a low impact fitness routine like cycling, which makes it an especially great exercise for those who may want to stay active while recovering from an injury.
5. Strengthens and tones muscles
Because cycling primarily uses your largest muscle group – the legs – many cyclists see improved muscle tone in their thighs, calves and hips. And, because it's a low-impact activity, you'll build muscle gradually without risking a muscle strain or tear.
6. Improves coordination
It's a fairly common misconception that biking is a workout that only helps your legs, but it's actually a full-body workout! Bikers pedal with their legs, steer with their arms and keep their heads on a swivel to look for cars and pedestrians. This can lead to improved arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands and body-to-eye coordination.
7. Reduces stress
According to some psychotherapists, biking can actually be extremely effective in reducing stress. In fact, more general practitioners are actually recommending that their patients try biking when they feel overwhelmed.
8. Improves mental health
In addition to lessening stress, biking can improve general mental health. Neurologists have found that a spike in endorphins occurs after bike rides, leading cyclists to experience a "biker's high," similar to what joggers feel after a run.
9. Corrects posture
Many of the muscles you use on a bike ride are the same ones that can help improve posture. Cyclists need strong abdominal muscles to pedal without wobbling, and the back is a contributor to bike fitness as well, especially on longer rides.
10. You'll sleep better
Many cyclists know how well a good bike ride can wear you out, and it's true – biking can help you fall and stay asleep each night. Scientists have found that outdoor exercise like cycling helps helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which can in turn improve and regulate sleeping patterns. In addition, because stress hormones like cortisol can prevent deep sleep, cycling's stress-relieving ability means you'll snooze more soundly, too.
Traveling is notoriously harsh on immune system health. Whether you're in a plane, train or automobile, being in an enclosed space for a few (or several!) hours with others can allow the spread of germs from one person to the next quite easily.
But the stress of travel can also contribute to poor immune health. Maybe flying makes you nervous, there's a screaming baby on your plane, you just don't sleep well sitting up or you go stir-crazy if you can't get any exercise. You can boost your immune system with antibiotics and other supplements, but how can you take care of those pesky elevated stress levels and the desire to just move? Here are some exercises to stay mentally and physically healthy during your business or leisure travel:
Hotel room bodyweight workouts
If your hotel doesn't have a weight room or even a lone treadmill, never fear! You can get a great cardio workout while working your entire body – legs, chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, back and abs – with just your body weight, 20 minutes and standard hotel room implements like a bed, desk and chair. Here are several easy exercises to do in your hotel room:
- Do bodyweight squats with arms outstretched, making sure your knees are in proper position.
- Use the edge of the bed or, if you're tall, the ubiquitous hotel room desk to do inclined pushups, keeping your feet on the floor.
- Do the plank, which can be done anywhere.
- Do some jumping squats – they aren't pretty, but they sure do work. Only do them in your hotel room if you have tall ceilings so as not to injure your fingers on the upswing.
- Triceps dips can be done off the edge of a bed or chair.
- In lieu of weights, do one-armed luggage rows – provided you have a small suitcase. The nice thing about suitcases is that you can pack or unpack as much as you need to get the proper weight.
- Lunges are easy to do anywhere as well.
- If you don't mind touching the hotel room floor (some people are picky) you can add in crunches, reverse crunches and pushups.
Pick and choose from the activities above and do several continuous reps for the best cardio workout, but go at your own pace.
Other workout options
- Yoga is a great way to reduce stress. If you get particularly stressed while flying, check out this article about the many different yoga positions that you can do on an airplane. There are great options for both seat and aisle positions, provided you don't mind a few confused looks from other passengers.
- Check out local jogging trails or parks ahead of time for the places you're visiting. There are likely some runners forums online that mention good running paths no matter what city you're in.
- Check ahead of time to see if your hotel has a gym or pool, and don't forget your sneakers, workout clothes or swimsuit.
- Bring easy-to-pack workout items like jump ropes, ankle swim weights, dumbbells you can fill with water or resistance bands.
Now that summer is almost here, your travel plans are nearing as well. Whether you're headed to the beaches of Florida or are exploring the streets of Rome, you'll want to make sure that you arrive to your destination healthy and stay feeling great throughout your trip.
Traveling can take a toll on the immune system, whether it's from the stressors of getting to your destination or staying up late and taking part in more social engagements. Here are a few tips to keep your immune system in tip-top shape so you can enjoy your summer vacation without the sniffles:
Drinking lots of water can ward off dehydration – which is one of the most common contributors to summer sickness. You're sweating more, which means you're losing moisture. Replace the water you've lost by amping up your fluid intake. This doesn't have to mean just chugging water, however. Fruits like cantaloupe and watermelon have high H2O content to keep you full and hydrated.
Consume more vitamin C and D
Both of these vitamins ensure that your immune system is ready to go prior to your trip. Think of vitamins C and D as the guardians standing at the front gate of your immune system. Without them, bacteria and unwanted substances are more likely to get into your body and wreak havoc on your summer vacation. Vitamin C and D can be found in many foods as well as in supplement form. Also found in supplement form is Naturade's Symbiotics Colostrum Plus which further helps to produce a balanced immune response.
Opt for fresh air
While hot and humid summer days may prompt you to spend all day enjoying the air conditioning in your hotel, this may not be helping your chances for warding the summer sniffles. Recycled air can give unwanted substances a chance to flourish and spread. Air conditioning also removes moisture from the air, causing dryness. Take the time to enjoy the great outdoors and breathe in some fresh air.
If you know you're leaving for vacation in a week or so, get an ample amount of sleep beforehand to prepare your immune system. Sleep deprivation can weaken the system and make it more susceptible to developing an illness. Sleep produces more natural levels of melatonin, restoring the immune system.
Maintain good oral health
While your oral health may be an afterthought when it comes to preventing a cold, it can play a big role in your overall health. Brush and floss and use antiseptic mouthwash before and after your trip to keep bacteria away.
Wash your hands
The cardinal rule of staying healthy has always been to wash your hands – and that is no different when you're on the road.
Everyone could always use a little more energy during the day, especially when the day is busy and life priorities demand attention. We know that sleep is hard to come by and there is only so much that coffee can do. But the good news is, you don't have to go through your day simply completing the motions. Here are a few ways you can find some more energy throughout the day and increase your productivity:
Combine coffee and naps
Short, 20-minute naps are often needed during the day to help refuel your body and keep you feeling refreshed. When you do take that nap, however, you may want to think about combining it with a cup of coffee. According to LifeHack, these two elements together can have a big impact on productivity. Coffee enters the bloodstream about twenty minutes after you drink it. So if you take a short nap, you'll feel ready to go upon waking up.
Drink lots of water
Water has been shown to enhance performance for even the most demanding endurance activities. Instead of downing sugary drinks like juice and soda, fill up on some good old H2O. You may tend to reach for the water more often if you make it fun to drink. Add some lemon, lime or frozen fruit to your water to keep it cool, add antioxidants and boost flavor.
Grab a lemon
Sniffing a lemon may actually revitalize your senses and leave you feeling more energized. The citrus scent from fruits like oranges, lemons and limes can stimulate alertness and wake you up. It doesn't hurt to incorporate them into your diet as well!
Eat the right foods
Unfortunately, greasy burgers and sweet snacks aren't going to provide you with the natural energy you need to take on the day. You will often feel sluggish and tired. Choose foods high in nutrients, like vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Other great foods that are going to give you a powerful boost include brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans, salmon, yogurt and eggs. Eating the right foods is important especially in the morning so you can start the day off with energy. Try a bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit and honey for a delicious kick to begin the morning.
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Getting enough sleep to stay energized during the day seems like common sense. However, it's important to not overdo it. Sleeping too much can actually deplete your energy levels and make it harder to fall asleep later that night. Go to bed around the same time each night to get your body on a regular sleep schedule. The proper amount of sleep may also keep your immune system healthy.
Wear bright colors
Your mood and energy level can actually be affected by what you're wearing. According to Marie Claire, wearing darker colors promotes a more somber mood, while bright and fun colors can project a cheery mood onto others, which can give you an equally peppy energy level.