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Probiotics Promote Strong Gut and Immune System

Filed Under: Immunity,Supplements at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
If you are looking for a product that can help promote a strong digestive systems and at the same time enhance your immune system, probiotics are the answer.

One of the best supplements to be taken on a regular basis, probiotics are dietary supplements that provide beneficial bacteria which can prevent gastrointestinal infections and convert sugars and carbohydrates into lactic acid. Found in foods such as yogurt and dairy products, probiotics are known as the “good bacteria” and can fortify the immune system as well as help lowering cholesterol, managing lactose intolerance, lowering blood pressure, preventing colon cancer and reducing inflammation.

Probiotics are live microorganisms very sensitive to high temperature. The majority of products must be kept refrigerated in order to maintain high potency. During the summer months, hot temperatures may a problem for probiotic products but shelf stable probiotics are also available. Although shelf stable probiotics do not have the same potency as live products, you can still benefits from these products as they contain good amount of probiotics bacteria in their formulas.

Probiotics contain many different stains and they provide different benefits. Here’s a quick list on how to choose a probiotic if you are looking to improve you immune system or to enhance your digestive system.

Immune system

Bifidobacterium lactis

Lactobacillus reuteri

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus casei

Bifidobacterium lactis

Digestive system

Sacchromyces boulardii

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Lactobacillus casei

Bifidobacterium infantis

Lactobacillus plantarum


The Healing Properties of Coconuts: 5 Ways You Can Benefit

Filed Under: Beauty,Health Foods,Immunity,Nutrition,Supplements at 1:38 pm | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor

The coconut’s status as one of those elusive “good fats” has skyrocketed in recent years, with the tropical stone fruit being repurposed as a dairy substitute (think coconut milk and butter), beauty product (hair masks, skin lotion) and household cleaner among countless other uses. Coconut oil even has an SPF of 8! Check out some additional ways that the coconut can be added to your health, beauty and healing regimens.

Heart Health
According to many studies, lauric acid—a protective type of fatty acid—has been linked with improved cholesterol levels and heart health. Because coconuts contain minerals important for circulation and controlling blood flow, coconut milk is also useful for lowering blood pressure and keeping blood vessels flexible, elastic and free from plaque buildup.

The Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) in coconuts can help rid your gut of harmful microorganisms. Coconut oil, which can be used in baking and as an alternative to butter and oil for sautéing, is considered an anti-inflammatory food. Those anti-inflammatory benefits help heal injury to the digestive tract in patients who suffer from diseases like Crohn’s. Finally, coconut fats fight candida yeast that lives within the digestive tract.

It’s no wonder that coconut products make the perfect natural additions to add to your beauty regimen. Naturally antibacterial and antifungal, coconut oil is an excellent body moisturizer and it penetrates hair better than other “typical” hair conditioners. However, be careful not to overdo it when applying it to your skin. Coconut oil is comedogenic, meaning it may clog pores.

Monolaurin and Monocaprin are the naturally occurring fatty acids in coconuts than can boost the immune system. For an example of what they can do, consider that Monolaurin is found in breast milk as a way for mothers to boost the immune strength of babies.

Compared to the long-chain fatty acids found in most of your diet, the medium-chain fatty acids found in coconut oil are metabolized a bit differently, heading from your digestive tract straight to the liver. There they are converted to energy which helps nourish and rejuvenate the body.



Zinc and the Immune System

Filed Under: General Wellness & Wellbeing,Immunity,Vitamins and Minerals at 12:01 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Winter is the time of the year we talk about our immune system. Everyone wants to have stronger immunity during the cold months in order to prevent sickness, particularly the common cold and flu. One important element is often overlooked as an immunity enhancer, but it shouldn’t as, this mineral plays an essential role on our immune system. We are talking about zinc.

Zinc is important to the body in many different ways but it’s known to keep the immune system strong as well as fight infection, heal wounds, and support normal growth. While zinc deficiency occurs frequently in developing countries, in the U.S. it’s quite rare since most diets provide more than the recommended dietary allowance.

Zinc supplements have become a popular treatment for the common cold and studies have found that zinc lozenges may reduce the duration of cold by as much as 50%. A variety of zinc lozenges are available and people can take them whenever needed without any major side effects. Zinc helps and heal wounds.

The immune system normally works well against disease-causing microorganisms but eventually, particularly during the winter months, it may fail or is unable to stop germs that make you sick. Certain vitamins as well as herbal preparations may help enhance your immune response and zinc is definitely one of these “helpers” that can boost your natural reaction.

It’s important to remember that other factors play an important role on our immunity such as age, diet, exercise, psychological stress, among other things. Overall, healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.

How much zinc should one take? The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) includes the zinc you get from both the food you eat and any supplements you take. Women should take 8 mg/day, increasing to 11mg/day when pregnant and 12mg/day when breastfeeding. Men should take 11mg/day.


A Triad to Health: Stress, Digestion, and the Immune System

Filed Under: Immunity,Nutrition,Webinars at 11:50 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Learn how the body’s immune system is related to stress and digestive health, and how the three systems are all interrelated. You will discover how they can be supported with lifestyle choices.

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The Benefits Of Probiotic Supplements

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Immunity,Supplements at 3:53 pm | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Probiotics are the living bacteria in our bodies (the good kind!) that help keep the bad bacteria in check. In this episode, Dr. Wolf explains how probiotics contribute to digestive health, and the other ways they function in the body.

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Shop LuckyVitamin for a large selection of quality probiotic supplements.


3 Top Strains of Probiotics

Filed Under: Immunity,Supplements at 2:00 pm | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Probiotics are not all the same. These amazing products contain different strains that can provide different health benefits. In order to help you undertanding this a little better, we have prepared a quick list of 3 top strains of probiotics.

1. Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Perhaps the most important strain of the lactobacillus species, L. acidophilus is known to keep the balance of good vs. bad bacteria and enhance the immune system. A common ingredient in fermented dairy products such as yogurt, this bacterium colonizes most densely in the small intestine, where it helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall, ensure proper nutrient absorption, and support healthy overall digestive function. L. acidophilus is also known to boost immunity, help relief of cramping, gas, diarrhea as well as curbing the growth of Candida in women.

2. Lactobacillus Plantarum

Lactobacillus plantarum is considered by many as one of the most beneficial bacterias in your body. Known for its ability to produce hydrogen peroxide, which the body uses as a defense against bacteria consumed in food, L. plantarum survives in the stomach for a long time and performs many functions that help regulate immunity and control inflammation in the gut. L. plantarum can quickly digest protein, helping to prevent food allergies, and is known for its ability to absorb and maintain important nutrients such as brain-friendly omega- 3 fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants.

3. Bifidobacterium Longum

Known to support overall digestion, detoxification and immune health, bifidobacterium longum is one of the most common strains of bifidobacteria found in the GI tract. It is known to break down carbohydrates and to scavenge and neutralize everyday toxins found in the gut, and has been associated with improving lactose tolerance and preventing diarrhea, food allergies, and the proliferation of pathogens.


The Benefits of a Probiotic

probioticsProbiotics balance the spectrum of live organisms that naturally colonize the human GI tract. Probiotic bacteria is essential for healthy digestion, ensures the intestinal lining stays up to par and aids in the detoxification process.

Immune Support – Did you know that 80 percent of your immune system is located within your digestive system? Simply put: a healthy gut equals a healthy you! Without a good probiotic, your body cannot absorb fiber, sugars or starches. The good bacteria in your GI tract converts carbs into energy and nutrients for your body.

Childhood Allergies – A recent study found that women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a 30 percent reduction in the instance of childhood eczema (an early sign of allergies) in their infants.

Weight Control – Stanford University researchers found that obese people had different gut bacteria than those whose weights fell in the “normal” range. Weight factors including metabolism, hormones and inflammation are all influenced by gut health andprobiotics can help restore this system back to balance.

Women’s Health – Probiotics play an important role in maintaining balance and preventing bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections in women. Also, L. acidophilius can not only help prevent infection but can help manage active ones.

Urinary Health – If you suffer from frequent UTI then you need a probiotic, stat! The good bacteria may help fight off bad bacteria that can invade your urinary tract.

Infant Health – Colicky babies can benefit from a probiotic. According to Italian researchers, infants given probiotics during the first three months of life appear to have fewer bouts of colic. And it can also help with constipation and acid reflux in babies.



Immune Health Coconut Smoothie Recipe

Filed Under: Immunity,Recipes at 9:01 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Black elderberry syrup and maitake drops are just a few of the ingredients that pack this smoothie with the vitamins and minerals needed to give your immune system that extra support during allergy season.

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Mix all ingredients together and blend until smooth!


7 Stress Management Tips To Keep Sickness At Bay

Filed Under: Immunity at 8:00 am | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
immunitystressWith winter comes cold and flu season. Although many people associate illness with schools, workplaces and crowd-filled restaurants, many illnesses are actually caused by chronic stress which suppresses the immune system and affects the body’s ability to ward off foreign invaders known as antigens.

Your immune system is made up of billions of cells that travel throughout the body, with the most common being  the two types of white blood cells – lymphocytes and phagocytes.  The stress hormone corticosteroid can lower the number of lymphocytes and make you vulnerable to many forms of winter illnesses. Even worse, unhealthy coping strategies that we associate with the winter holidays, such as overeating and drinking alcohol, can lower your resistance even further.

Here are some tips to help curb your stress and keep calm this cold and flu season:

1. Smile

It’s free and contagious (in the good kind of way). While smiling comes naturally when you’re happy, studies suggest that smiling when you’re stressed can activate areas of the brain associated with reward and triggers release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Plus, you know what they say: “laughter is the best medicine!”

2. Exercise

Get moving! Research has shown that the release of endorphins during exercise can help you reduce stress, and can even help with depression, anxiety, ADHD & other mental health diseases.

3. Music

Listening to music reduces anxiety and stress by quieting the mind and relaxing muscles. Researchers at Stanford University have discovered that music can even change brain function to the same extent as medication.

4. Mindfulness

Meditation is one of the most popular ways to achieve mindfulness. Numerous studies have shown that the benefits of meditation rival those of some antidepressants.

5. Get Outside

The concept of forest therapy – sometimes called forest bathing – has gained traction in recent years, as a natural tonic against the myriad of distractions and accelerated pace of modern life. Research has shown that spending as little as three hours (without distraction) in a natural setting such as a forest helps lower blood pressure, pulse rate and the stress hormone salivary cortisol.

6. Yoga

Styles including yin and restorative yoga are especially great for letting go of stress and everyday worries. For instant relief, try putting your legs up the wall, shutting your eyes and focusing on breathing for 10 minutes.

7. Just Breathe

Pranayama, or the yogic art of breathing, can calm you down by stimulating the parasympathetic reaction.


5 Surprising Sources of Vitamin C

Filed Under: Health Foods,Immunity,Nutrition,Vitamins and Minerals at 7:00 am | By: Helen Anne Travis

You get it. Vitamin C is good for you. Diets rich in vitamin C have been associated with everything from improved wound healing to reduced risk of cancer. Then there are the immune-boosting properties we’ve heard about for ages (1).

But if you don’t like oranges or your stomach can’t tolerate citrus, then you’re out of luck. Right?

Not so fast.

When it comes to vitamin C, citrus is only half of the equation, says Becky Kerkenbush, a clinical dietitian at the Watertown Regional Medical Center in Watertown, Wisconsin.

There are plenty of other natural sources of vitamin C out there to help you reach the recommended allowance of 75 milligrams for adult women (2). “You don’t have to rely just on citrus,” Kerkenbush says.

Move over OJ. Here are five of Kerkenbush’s favorite natural sources of vitamin C, plus tips on how to shop for and cook each one.


60 mg of vitamin C in ½ cup steamed broccoli

Packing in almost as much vitamin C as an orange, broccoli also provides vitamin K, folate, fiber, vitamin A and B vitamins, Kerkenbush says.

While perusing the produce section, Kerkenbush recommends looking for broccoli that has a firm stem and a crown that’s tight and springy, not limp. It should keep for a week in your crisper drawer, she says.

Serve it raw or roasted. You can also enjoy it in a stir-fry, steamed or boiled.

Just don’t overcook it, Kerkenbush warns. It reduces the health benefits. “If you boil it to the point where the water turns green, that’s the nutrients leaking out,” she says.


1 cup chopped green pepper provides 120 mg of vitamin C

Peppers provide your daily dose of vitamin C (and then some!), as well as vitamin A and fiber.

Look for peppers that are firm and free of blemishes or bruises, Kerkenbush says. Store unwashed peppers in a plastic bag for four to five days in your veggie drawer. Add liberally to salads or sautés, or stuff them with cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, garlic powder, cumin powder, chili powder and salsa. Bake and top with lime juice, avocado, nonfat Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream) or cilantro.


55 mg of vitamin C in 1 cup cooked cauliflower

Like broccoli, you want to look for cauliflower that’s firm to the touch, Kerkenbush says. Also keep an eye out for yellow or green spots—these are a sign the plant is immature, which means it won’t taste as good, she says.

You can roast it, steam it or microwave it, Kerkenbush suggests. Or, if you’d like, you can use mashed cauliflower as a replacement for traditional pizza crust. This ups the pie’s vitamin C and fiber count while lowering its calorie count, she says. Cauliflower is also a good source of folate and vitamin B6.


1 large baked potato with skin provides 29 mg of vitamin C

Potatoes are another vegetable that can be mashed, roasted, steamed or zapped in the microwave. While potatoes provide a lot of vitamin C, thiamin, folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and fiber, you want to go easy on the toppings to avoid overloading your spud with extra fat and calories.

Nonfat Greek yogurt is a great replacement for sour cream, Kerkenbush says. She also likes to use salsa instead of margarine or butter. “Picking a smaller potato will help you from overdoing the toppings,” she adds.

Look for potatoes that are firm to the touch, Kerkenbush recommends. Store in a cool, dry and dark location to maximize their shelf life. (Hot tip: Don’t store potatoes near onions. Kerkenbush says both ingredients emit a natural gas that will cause the other to spoil faster.)


1 medium kiwi fruit contains about 70 mg vitamin C

These teeny fruits pack almost all your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. They also contain vitamin K, folate and fiber.

“You can eat it right out of its shell or slice it up and put it on salads,” Kerkenbush says. “Just don’t eat the skin.”

When kiwi shopping, look for fruits that are brown and fuzzy with no dark spots, mold or wrinkles. “If it’s too wrinkly, it will be overripe and not taste as sweet,” Kerkenbush says.



Recipe: Spaghetti Squash & Shrooms

Filed Under: Immunity,Nutrition,Recipes at 8:00 am | By: Jessica Justh, Senior Editor
mushroomsRustic and warming are two combos you gotta love for winter recipes. This month at LuckyVitamin we are honoring the mighty mushroom. They have been used for centuries to fight off the flu and keep colds at bay. Head straight for your kitchen and get ready to enjoy this comforting, hearty dish and make room for the shroom!

This vegetarian, immunity boosting meal is perfect if you’re gluten-free or just trying to avoid carbs. Spaghetti squash is a great low-cal replacement for pasta and, as a bonus, is high in fiber that helps keep you feeling fuller, longer. The free-radical fighting, mineral-rich mushrooms provide a great source of selenium. Garlic is a natural immune booster with antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. Finally, parsley contains high amounts of vitamin C and B12 to help strengthen the immune system.



1 medium sized spaghetti squash

1 cup of sliced white button mushrooms

1 cups of sliced baby portabella mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp thyme

¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste



  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the squash length-wise and spoon out the seeds.
  3. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. While the squash is baking, heat oil in a skillet. Add garlic and thyme and cook for one minute. Add mushrooms and cook until soft (8 minutes).
  5. Once squash is done and cooled, use a fork to remove the squash in strands.
  6. Add squash to skillet and combine with mushroom mixture.
  7. Top with parmesan cheese and parsley.


Elderberry And The Immune System

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Health Aids,Immunity,Supplements at 10:29 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Dr. Wolf explains Elderberry’s effects on the body and our health in this episode of LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND. He also gives tips on what to look for when shopping for different Elderberry Supplements.

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About The Series:

Watch LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND series featuring Dr. Jeremy Wolf for healthy information, benefits and facts about popular nutritional supplements and wellness topics. These quick guides are great educational resources to learn about a variety of wellness-oriented topics from a trained Naturopathic Physician. View other videos from LuckyVitamin on our YouTube channel.


Zinc and the Immune System

Filed Under: Ask The ND,Immunity,Supplements at 10:00 am | By: Leah Hazuda, Contributing Editor
Zinc helps maintain a healthy immune system, and can reduce the symptoms of the common cold. Find out what else Zinc does for your body in this episode of Ask The ND.

Shop Zinc at

About The Series:

Watch LuckyVitamin’s Ask The ND series featuring Dr. Jeremy Wolf for healthy information, benefits and facts about popular nutritional supplements and wellness topics. These quick guides are great educational resources to learn about a variety of wellness-oriented topics from a trained Naturopathic Physician. View other videos from LuckyVitamin on our YouTube channel.


5 Health Benefits of Eating Seeds

Filed Under: Health Foods,Immunity,Nutrition at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
SeedsIf you are not eating seeds, you don’t know what you’re missing. Chia, hemp, flax and many others seeds contain one thing in common: they are healthy foods that can be easily added to a healthy diet. Antioxidants, fatty acids, fiber, vitamins and much more can be found in these wonderful health foods. So, let’s look at 5 health benefits of eating seeds.

1. Antioxidants

Chia seeds are famous for its high amount of antioxidants which provides an endless list of benefits such as anti-aging, improve cellular health and hormone balance. Flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants (lignans), known to fight the production of free radicals, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute not only to aging process but also to several diseases including cancer.

2. Fiber

Chia, flax, hemp are all “high in fiber, low in carbs”. So, if you are looking for that specific combination, make sure to add these seeds to you diet. Almost all the carbs in chia seeds are fiber as its true carb-content is only one gram per ounce. Chia seeds can absorb up to 10-12 times their weight in water, expanding in your stomach, increasing fullness, and helping you eat fewer calories. Flax seeds are also extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.

3. Lower cholesterol

Studies have found that adding flax seeds into your diet can naturally reduce cholesterol levels. The soluble fiber content of flax seeds trap fat and cholesterol in the digestive system. It also traps bile (made from cholesterol) which is then excreted, forcing the body to use up excess cholesterol in the blood to make more and, as a result, lowering cholesterol levels.

4. Healthy Skin and Hair

Promoting healthier skin and hair is another great benefit from eating seeds. Flax seed oil contains essential ALA fats as well as b-vitamins which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema.

5. Immune Support

Hemp seed oil contain sterols, which can improve immune function and help control cholesterol levels. Also found in sunflower and pumpkin seeds, sterols may also naturally help increase your intake of dietary fiber.



New Brand Spotlight: Summer Life Naturals

Filed Under: Immunity,Supplements at 7:00 am | By: Mauricio Matusiak, Senior Editor
Summer Life NaturalsLucky Vitamin is proud to introduce another premium brand of natural supplements to our customers: Summer Life Naturals.

Summer Life Naturals offers plant-based dietary supplements that are gentle enough for sensitive individuals. Summer Life Naturals is paving a new path in the natural supplement industry not only for sensitive individuals but also for other body types. The company’s intention is to bring more balance into the world by formulating plant-based non-GMO supplements and natural products that resonate with our bodies without the typical harsh side effects.

The company started with the intention to share the restorative qualities of consciously created herbal formulas. These unique formulations are thoughtfully blended with a select amount of the purest botanicals found on the planet. Summer Life Naturals believes in the purity of the formula to provide gentle yet optimal absorption of the plant nutrients and living energy. All products are manufactured in a NSF certified and GMP compliant facility, current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the Food and Drug Administration. All Summer Life Naturals supplements are non-GMO, made with organic and wild-crafted ingredients, and contain no magnesium stearate, no harsh herbs and these incredible plant-based formulas are available in vegetarian capsules.

Summer Life Naturals Immune Impact offers a variety of health benefits such as help promote upper respiratory, nasal and immune health. A great product for extreme weather changes, Immune Impact is fast-acting, non-drowsy and is available in a BPA-free and recyclable bottle.

You can save even more when you shop Summer Life Naturals products at Lucky Just enter promo code JUNE15NEW15 for an additional 15% off on all items of this new brand.