3 Natural Ways to Boost your Immune System

A healthy immune system is crucial to feeling and looking our best. It is responsible for protecting the body against various infections and disease, and when compromised, we are more vulnerable to getting sick. Our immunity can be increased with good nutrition, moderate exercise, quality sleep, and healthy relationships. Let’s get more specific and look at 5 natural ways we can boost your immune system.   1. Get the D Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that can boost the body’s natural defenses. It’s known as the sunshine vitamin as the body produces it when the cholesterol in our skin is exposed to sunlight. All we need is 10-30 minutes in mid-day sun. Because the sun is converting the cholesterol on top of our skin into Vitamin D, it's best not to wear sunscreen for the first few minutes we are in the sun depending on how sensitive our skin is.  For those of us with less melanin, which is a natural sunscreen, we may need to apply sunscreen after only 10 minutes while darker-skinned individuals can possibly go without sunscreen altogether. We can also eat foods rich in Vitamin D like fatty fish (examples:  tuna, mackerel, and salmon), beef liver and egg yolks as a way to supplement Vitamin D production but it will take nearly daily intake of these foods to get high enough levels, so it’s best to eat them as an addition to daily sunlight. Finally, there is also Vitamin D supplements. Be sure to choose vitamin D3 over vitamin D2 as D2 is less effective at raising Vitamin D levels in the blood.   2. Reduce inflammation Inflammation is a response of the immune system created by infection and injuries. When we experience redness, warmth, swelling, pain, or stiffness, our body is telling us there is inflammation and is looking for relief. Some anti-inflammatory foods are tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables (like spinach, kale, and collards), nuts (like almonds and walnuts), fatty fish (like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines), and fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges. While other food like soda, fast food and, trans-fat are inflammatory and should be avoided. CBD oil for inflammation works on the cannabinoid and neurotransmitters receptors that assist in maintaining the homeostasis in the body. It helps the endocannabinoid system mitigate inflammation in the body more effectively and is recommended for pain relief due to inflammation.   3. Deep sleep There are different phases to sleep and though each is important, deep sleep is the most restorative as it is when our brain waves are the slowest making the body reach its most relaxed state. In order to reach deep sleep, we recommend the following:   Set a sleeping schedule and observe it keenly. It’s recommended to go to bed by 10pm and wake between 6am-8am. Exercise during the day – in the morning sun is best for 30-45 minutes. Avoid caffeine and alcohol after the early evening. Relegate the bed for sleep or [...]

2019-08-13T16:49:43+00:00 By |

Exercise and Falls: How Working Out Can Save a Senior’s Life

Falls are Deadly for Seniors While heart disease is the number one killer in the world, falls are the leading cause of death and injury for older adults in the United States. When a senior falls, they risk lacerations, bone fractures, and head traumas. Once they have a serious injury like that, it doesn’t take long for other health issues to snowball and leave lasting damage on the person’s body. Even if the fall doesn’t take their life, it can lead to mobility issues and continued care needs that can significantly impact a senior’s mental health. The best course of action is to do whatever is possible to prevent falls for older adults. Vertigo from medications can often play a roll, so always review your medicine’s side effects, and have your doctor replace ones that cause dizziness or drowsiness. Evaluate your environment. It may behoove you to remove trip hazards like rugs, ottomans, and coffee tables in rooms with a lot of traffic. Open up curtains and let more natural light in, and consider adding more lamps and lights to rooms without windows. Seniors should have their vision tested at least once a year and report to their optometrists if they find their eyesight growing weaker or often experience blurry vision. Dress comfortably and choose shoes that are supportive and provide good friction.   Exercise as Fall Prevention One fall prevention method that often gets overlooked is regular exercise. Many people assume that because the body is less mobile than when it was young, they can’t participate in sports or work out at the gym. The truth is, exercise has a whole slew of benefits for seniors. Working out regularly helps reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Combined with a healthy diet,  it is a great way to control weight. Exercise is also really beneficial for mental health. It relieves stress and reduces anxiety. When you exercise, your brain also gets a surge of feel-good neurotransmitters that promote feelings of positivity. Working out can also help prevent overall cognitive decline -- something seniors can really benefit from. When it comes to exercises for seniors, it’s important not to push the limits too much. The best exercises are low impact for a reduced risk of injury. Keeping the workouts indoors is also a good idea. While there are benefits to exercising outdoors, when limiting oneself to the indoors, seniors have easier and quicker access to medical help if needed.   Cardio Exercises for Seniors Cardio exercises improve respiration, heart health, and immunity. An easy cardio workout for seniors to pick up is swimming. Swimming is gentle on the joints and very soothing. It doesn’t have to be done at any certain speed, and most seniors have access to a pool within their community. You can also use cardio equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, or elliptical trainers that allow you to control the intensity of your workout while tracking progress.   Balance Exercises for Seniors Balance [...]

2019-08-06T17:41:08+00:00 By |

Best Essential Oils for Autism and ADHD – The Ultimate Guide

When you hear the words essential oils, does it make you want to head to the spa? It’s true, massage therapists use oils to help people relax and unwind. But, did you know essential oils are also effective for children with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Before we discuss the best essential oils for ADHD and autism, let’s talk about what they are and what they can do for the body. What is an Essential Oil? An ‘essential oil’ is a liquid distilled from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, and other parts of a plant. The term is a contraction of the original ‘quintessential oil’ which originated from the Aristotelian idea that matter is composed of four elements: fire, air, earth, and water. The fifth element, quintessence, is the spirit or life force of matter. The chemical composition and aroma of essential oils can provide many psychological and physical therapeutic benefits. These benefits can be gained by either inhaling the scent or by applying diluted versions to the skin. Essential oils are obtained from plants through distillation, usually by using steam. Manufacturers also use an expression, solvent extraction, absolute oil extraction, resin tapping, and cold pressing. Despite the use of the word ‘oil,’ most essential oils don’t have that oily feeling. These oils are usually clear, but patchouli, orange, and lemongrass can be amber or yellow. Some people may believe essential oils are the same as perfume or fragrance oils, but they are not. Essential oils are derived from true plants and contain the true essence of the plant they came from. Fragrance oils are different because they contain artificial ingredients and substances. Also, they do not have the therapeutic benefits that essential oils can provide. General Benefits of Essential Oils for Kids Throughout history, essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes by people all over the world. Some known benefits of these oils are their ability to: Support healthy body functions and help boost the immune system. Relieve discomfort and sore muscles after exercising. Soothe the digestive system. Peppermint, for example, is known to support the healthy function of your stomach and digestive organs. Enhance a massage. Boost your ability to focus and concentrate. Help you relax and reduce your stress levels. This is perhaps one of the reasons essential oils for ADHD and autism are gaining in popularity these days. Essential oils can penetrate the skin and cross the brain-blood barrier to reach the amygdala and other limbic parts of the brain that control our mood and emotions. Promote wellness. Provide safer and non-toxic ways to clean and purify both home and workspaces. Help you achieve healthier skin and great-looking hair. Using Essential Oils on Children with Autism, ADHD, and ADD Transition periods can be challenging for many children with an autism spectrum disorder. For example, it can be hard when a child has to transition to bedtime. Studies show more than half of kids with autism have issues [...]

2019-08-06T16:56:30+00:00 By |

Staying Sharp: Tools for Keeping Our Memory Intact as We Age

You may think of memory loss as an inevitable consequence of aging. While your memory might not remain quite as sharp as it was when you were younger, there is no reason to assume that increasing forgetfulness will simply be a part of your life as you get older. Most instances of memory loss as you age are not signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Just as you can continue to exercise your body as your age, your memory can be exercised as well. Below are several ways seniors can keep their minds sharp as they get older:   Adjust Your Diet Some vitamin deficiencies can cause problems with memory, so if you find you have been struggling lately, you may want to consult a doctor about putting more vitamins into your diet. Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, might help in boosting memory.   Rest Up Sleep can be particularly important because if you aren’t sleeping well, you grow fewer neurons in the brain, and this leaves you less able to remember, concentrate and make decisions.   Address Unhealthy Habits Quitting smoking and limiting or eliminating alcohol use can also help keep your brain healthier and more agile since both contribute to circulatory disorders that affect the flow of blood to the brain.   Limit Stress Stress can affect memory, so you should practice healthy stress reduction techniques. The above suggestions to eat well, exercise regularly and get enough sleep can all help regulate stress. Other types of stress reduction can be even simpler. Practicing a kind of mindfulness, in which you pay as much attention as possible to the moment you are in and what is going on around you can help. Spending time in nature or even around plants can help with stress reduction as well.   Get Active Senior centers, other community centers and gyms may have exercise classes geared especially toward seniors   Get Social Family and friends can provide the social stimulation that helps keep your mind active. Church, senior centers, book clubs, and classes are all examples of environments that provide you with important opportunities for social engagement.   Find Balance Just like the rest of your body, your brain and your memory thrive on healthy living. If you are not already getting enough sleep, eating healthy food and getting regular physical exercise, you should start.   Try Memory-Building Activities As is the case with the other muscles in your body, if you do not exercise your mind, it won't work as well. There are many techniques you can use to make sure your brain gets the exercise it needs. Playing word or logic games such as chess, Scrabble or Sudoku are excellent ways to keep the memory sharp. Exposure to challenging reading material and learning new things also strengthen the memory. This could be a great time to learn a new language or anything else that you have wanted to learn but did not have [...]

2019-07-09T16:05:46+00:00 By |

How to Make Healthy Habits Stick

You cut out sugar one month, only to find yourself snacking on donuts the next. You decide to work out every morning, which then becomes every other morning, then once a week and then finally not at all. You plan on meditating for 20 minutes, but your boss keeps calling, so you settle for ten. That turns into a few moments of deep breathing every once in a while. Does this—or something like it—sound familiar? If the answer is yes, you’re in good company. When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, 80 percent of them fail by February. Why is it so hard to stick to our great healthy expectations? We know it’s good for us and in our best interests, but we struggle to make these healthy habits stick. One of the most effective ways to start and sustain healthy habits is to add them into your existing routine, instead of making drastic and dramatic changes. This is especially powerful for busy people with packed calendars, such as working parents, focused college students, driven professionals, jet set travelers and social butterflies. It’s hard to keep these changes going if they halt or impede your lifestyle. That’s why, when trying to make healthy habits stick, you should explore:   15-minute activities that can be squeezed into any schedule. You may have to wake up a little earlier or multitask on a few projects to carve out the time, but 15 minutes a day for some deep breathing, quick cardio or relaxing self-care is easier to sustain than trying to block out an hour or more. Plus, if you miss your 15-minute cardio session in the morning, it’s not like your whole exercise plan for the day is ruined. You can squeeze it in during lunch or at night.   Planning ahead for vacations and other routine disruptions that might tempt you to skip a run or eat pizza every night. Stay at a vacation rental instead of a hotel, so you have access to a full kitchen where you can prepare healthy meals. Unlike hotels, these types of homes are often in neighborhoods, making it easier to take a jog or brisk walk before you get the day started. Even if you are planning a staycation, a vacation rental can help you escape the daily grind and see the city like you never have before. Turnkey notes that you can choose a neighborhood that’s close to attractions and activities you want to see and do, whether you want to stay by the beach in Malibu, dine in Koreatown, or explore another L.A. neighborhood.   Meal prep recipes that give you access to wholesome, healthy foods when you’re in a hurry. All too often, we pull into the drive-thru because we’re behind in our schedule. Devote a rainy afternoon to chopping, dicing, roasting, baking and storing meals and snacks that only require a quick reheat to enjoy. You can get the whole family involved by [...]

2019-06-11T17:15:30+00:00 By |

5 Vegan Calcium Sources

How to Find Calcium Rich Vegan Foods People who are beginning to implement more vegan foods into their diet are usually concerned with the nutritional give-and-take that happens when you exclude certain types of food. Specifically, when it comes to cutting out dairy, most people are concerned with how that will affect their calcium intake. The good news is that vegan sources of calcium certainly do exist and, whereas dairy products may offer calcium in spite of other health concerns (fat content, hormones, production methods), most vegan sources of calcium have few, if any downsides and contain a large volume of other essential vitamins and nutrients that makes your body happy. As a side thought, it needs to be said that this information isn’t just for vegans. It’s been reported that over 75 percent of Americans are actually deficient in calcium. This is a problem that has serious consequences and will continue to have serious consequences. Did you know that within the next decade the surgeon general has projected that half the population over age 50 is going to be at risk for osteoporotic fractures?. Hello! America has a nutrition problem and that includes calcium, don’t be one of the statistics! Here are five sources of calcium that are friendly to all, including vegans. Even if you’re not vegan, making a conscious effort to include these foods on your plate can make a serious difference in your calcium intake and probably even get you higher than persons who consume dairy (with an added bonus of vitamins C, K, and a truckload of minerals): 1. Kale In addition to being a great food-based protector against radiation, kale also happens to offer up 180 mg of calcium per cup. Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska analyzed the calcium absorption in women who drank milk and compared it to women who consumed kale. The women who consumed kale had higher calcium levels than the milk drinking group and researchers advised of the excellent absorbability of calcium from kale. [1] 2. Collard Greens Collard greens pack a very strong calcium punch, with 1 cup alone containing 350 mg. With the established recommended intake between 1,000 and 2,000 mg daily for an average person, it only takes a relatively small serving of collard greens and other vegan alternatives to meet this criteria. Research has suggested that the bitter taste of some vegetables, like collard greens, is an indication of high calcium content and some animals can pick up on this. In fact, when given the choice between a low calcium vegetable like broccoli, and a high calcium vegetable like collard greens, calcium deprived mice and rats will choose the collard greens. [2] 3. Almond Butter If the bitter taste of collard greens leaves you unfulfilled, perhaps almond butter will be your answer. In addition to its great taste and raw quality (when purchased in its raw form) just 2 small tablespoons of almond button contains 86 mg of calcium. Almond butter [...]

2018-06-18T17:57:01+00:00 By |

Turmeric and Black Pepper: A Winning Combination

How Turmeric and Black Pepper Work Together to Help Digestion and More Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a spice held in high regard for its bountiful health properties and its culinary uses. It’s a favorite herb of Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine, and its therapeutic uses date back thousands of years. Numerous studies have found that turmeric root can have a significant positive effect on neurological, cardiovascular, metabolic, immune system, and cellular health. It may even help support your thyroid and promote longevity. Turmeric owes its many health-promoting qualities to curcumin, the natural compound that gives turmeric its rich golden color.[1, 2] The Trouble With Turmeric For all its miraculous health benefits, turmeric does have one weakness. The golden spice has very low bioavailability. This means that your body can only use a very small portion of the turmeric you consume. As the absorption levels of curcumin are very low, your body cannot harness the full healing properties of the spice. Fortunately, there is a simple way to enhance bioavailability. Just add black pepper to unlock the full potential of turmeric. Black Pepper Can Boost Bioavailability by 2000% Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is one of the most commonly consumed spices on the planet. In many parts of the world, you can find it on nearly every dinner table, right next to the salt. It’s usually just called “pepper,” but it also bears the nicknames “black gold” and “the king of spices.” It has a phenomenally long shelf life. Properly stored, black pepper can maintain its taste and aroma for many years. Black pepper also has many health benefits of its own. It’s been used to relieve nausea, headaches, poor digestion, and sore throats.[3] Much like how turmeric owes its healthy properties to curcumin, black pepper gets both its health benefits and its pungent flavor from a natural alkaloid compound called piperine. Taking turmeric with black pepper may boost its bioavailability up to an astonishing 2000%. This is because piperine acts as an excellent bio-enhancer. Put simply, it can improve the bioavailability of other substances in the body.[1] The serving needed is quite small. You only need a pinch of pepper to enhance the absorption of turmeric. The Powerful Potential of Piperine When you consume a nutrient, your digestive system can only absorb a certain portion of it. The proportion of a nutrient that your body can digest, absorb, and utilize is its bioavailability. For example, the bioavailability of protein is very high. Most people use over 90% of the protein they consume. After it moves through your digestive system, your body eliminates the rest as waste. For a nutrient to be absorbed into your body, it must pass through a membrane in your gut into your bloodstream. Large molecules have a more difficult time getting through this barrier. Piperine may help relax your intestinal membrane, allowing larger particles, like turmeric, to pass through.[4] The effect of piperine on the liver may play another factor. As part [...]

2018-06-18T18:49:42+00:00 By |

What Is Calcium?

Learn How Calcium Increases Bone and Teeth Health Calcium is, quite simply, an essential element that is highly important for living organisms to survive. This includes humans and 1.5 to 2% of a human’s overall body weight consists of the element calcium. Represented by the elemental symbol of ‘Ca’, a certain amount of calcium is required each day in order to avoid a deficiency and subsequent disease. Calcium is most well known for its ability to optimize and boost the health levels of bones and teeth, but it is also responsible for certain communications between the brain and other parts of the body. It is also particularly important when it comes to protecting against bone degenerating diseases like osteoporosis, which leads to the breakdown of bones and subsequent fractures. Calcium in the Body Up until the age of 20-25, calcium even builds upon the strength of the bones within the human body. After this age, when the bones reach what’s known as their ‘peak mass’, the element then goes further and assists in the maintenance and upkeep of the bones as well as helping to slow down bone density loss. While bone density loss is considered a ‘natural’ part of the aging process, an adequate and high quality form of calcium intake can help to defeat this issue through the adequate supply of calcium infusing the body with bone-enhancing properties. Upwards of 99 percent of the calcium within our bodies is stored within the bones and teeth, however other areas that utilize calcium also store at least small portions of the element. This includes the muscles and the blood in order to regulate muscle contraction, normal heartbeat, and proper blood coagulation. Hormone and enzyme release is another key characteristic of calcium, and is perhaps one of the most notable. Calcium directly helps blood vessels travel around the body as they should while being responsible for the release of many important hormones and enzymes. These hormones and enzymes help to regulate bodily functions, aid in proper assimilation of nutrients, and much more. Calcium Protects Against Obesity, Disease Calcium has even been found to be a major ally in the fight against unwanted fat. It was found in a 2010 study performed by North Carolina State University, in fact, that adequate calcium early in life can protect against obesity. The information brought awareness to the many functions of calcium outside of simple bone and teeth maintenance. According to one of the scientific researchers from the study: “While the importance of calcium nutrition throughout childhood and adolescence is well-recognized, our work suggests that calcium nutrition of the neonate may be of greater importance to lifelong bone health, due to its programming effects on mesenchymal stem cells.” Calcium Deficiencies A calcium deficiency can trigger life-threatening diseases over time, or generate symptoms such as as seizures and neck pain. Most popularly, osteoporosis has been linked time and time again to an inadequate calcium supply within the body. In the event [...]

2018-06-18T18:51:57+00:00 By |

The Top Nutritious Foods High in Fiber

Learn Which High Fiber Foods Help with Weight Loss and More Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. This essential nutrient is found only in plants; you can’t get it from animal products. Although fiber passes through your gut undigested, it’s a very important nutrient for maintaining health. The Benefits of a High Fiber Diet A high fiber intake supports your health in a number of different ways, but it’s best known for promoting regularity. Fiber adds bulk to your stool, preventing constipation and making bowel movements easier. Fiber’s benefits don’t begin and end in the bowels. Eating fiber helps you feel fuller faster, which supports healthy weight loss. It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, obesity, constipation, and breast cancer.[1, 2] Unfortunately, most of us simply do not get enough fiber in our diets. Experts recommend that people should eat between 21 and 38 grams of fiber every day. The average American only consumes 16 grams.[3] Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber There are two varieties of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel in your digestive tract. Soluble fiber is good for controlling cholesterol and supporting heart health. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water; it passes essentially unchanged through your digestive system. It aids digestion and helps relieve constipation.[3] What Are the Best High Fiber Foods? Because the average American diet contains so little dietary fiber, it’s important to plan your meals accordingly. Fiber supplements are readily available, but the best way to add fiber is always through food. Here are some of the best food sources of dietary fiber. All measurements are based on 100 gram servings unless otherwise stated. Vegetables Your mother knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your veggies. A diet high in greens can lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and balance blood sugar. Vegetables are also an excellent source of fiber.[4] These are a few of the best veggies you can eat to increase your fiber intake. Brussels Sprouts When cooked, Brussels sprouts contain 2.6 g of fiber. They are also an excellent source of folate, manganese, and vitamins C and K.[5] Broccoli Chopped raw broccoli contains 2.6 g of fiber. Cooking actually concentrates this slightly to 3.3 g. Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies are loaded with health-promoting compounds called phenolics, which are associated with lower risks of coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, asthma, and other serious conditions.[5, 6] Artichokes Artichokes are the immature flower head of a type of thistle, and they are way more delicious than that makes them sound. One medium artichoke contains 6.8 g of dietary fiber, which is about 5.7 g per 100 g.[5] Fruit Fruit is cholesterol-free and naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. Many fruits are also an excellent source of fiber. Here are a few of the best fibrous fruits. Prunes There’s a reason they call prunes “nature’s [...]

2018-06-18T18:57:45+00:00 By |
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