Summer’s arrival means more time spent outside. If you are headed outdoors, you have to take steps to protect yourself from the sun. Though responsible for allowing life on Earth to thrive, the rays of the sun are also a cause for concern. Consistent exposure to sunlight without wearing sunscreen or a similar layer of protection can lead to skin damage and other more serious illnesses (1).
Now, the frustrating part of this is that you also need to expose your body to sunlight in order to get a healthy dose of vitamin D. Produced by the human body after it is exposed to sunlight, vitamin D ensures heart health, creates strong bones and helps the nervous system to function at its best (2). If you’ve spent more time indoors than out in recent months, then your body might not be producing the right amount of vitamin D. To remedy this, pay attention to the signs your body sends when it requires more of this essential vitamin.
1. Feeling Sleepy
Do you feel tired, like, a lot? Plenty of people do. When you work long hours, have an active social life and binge Netflix all night, feeling a bit tired can seem normal. Of course, you also could be feeling exhausted because you aren’t getting the right amount of vitamin D. One of the easiest signs to spot when your body needs a boost of this vitamin is fatigue (3).
Research suggests that working indoors for long periods of time can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Nurses, for example, were reported to suffer from a lack of vitamin D. Due to the nature of working as a nurse, many of the people in this profession assume feelings of fatigue stemmed from the long hours and physical demands (4). In truth, a lack of vitamin D was to blame. If you’re a nurse, be sure to take supplements to ensure your body is getting ample vitamin D to keep up with all the amazing work you do.
2. Chronic Pain
Living with pain is definitely not enjoyable. Unfortunately, millions of people all over the world deal with persistent pain on a daily basis. Though there are numerous reasons why a person could be suffering from this sort of lasting discomfort, some studies suggest the pain could be linked to a lack of vitamin D (5). Since this vitamin is responsible for helping the body absorb calcium, having less of it in your system can weaken your bones and teeth. This makes it easier for bones to break when you fall or bump into a piece of furniture.
Low levels of vitamin D might also lead to chronic back pain. According to one study, people with vitamin D deficiencies tended to experience lower-back pain more often than people who got ample amounts of vitamin D (6). If you feel like you’ve been living with mysterious pain and want to know why, visit with your physician to determine whether more vitamin D is the solution. In the meantime, play it safe and start your day with a big glass of orange juice. Fortified drinks like OJ and milk contain a healthy dose of vitamin D.
3. Losing Hair
Do you ever feel so stressed out that you just want to pull your hair out? Maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you probably know the feeling. While you might not be yanking out your own hair, losing follicles could actually be a sign that you need more vitamin D in your diet (7). Various reports have revealed that a vast majority of women suffer from nutrient deficiencies without realizing it (8). Usually, it takes a more extreme sign like hair loss to alert one to the fact that something is wrong.
Don’t panic, you most likely won’t lose significant chunks of your hair because of a lack of vitamin D. Still, you definitely don’t want to allow this to persist. Protecting your hair is important to ensuring its longevity. Salmon can do wonders when it comes to restoring your vitamin D levels, though you need to make the fish a weekly meal to see lasting benefits (9). This fish also contains omega-3 fatty acids, perfect for encouraging hair growth and giving your locks a chance to shine.
4. Experiencing Depression
Feeling depressed can also be a warning sign you need a bit more vitamin D. There’s a good reason being exposed to sunlight makes people feel happy and alive. Not getting enough of this vitamin can encourage symptoms of anxiety and depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2016 (10). If you are prone to depression and feel like your symptoms have gotten worse recently, you might find some relief by adding more vitamin D to your diet.
Oatmeal can be a perfect way to boost how much vitamin D you get each day. Though somewhat bland at first, you can customize this morning dish in a number of ways to make it more appealing. Top your oats with some chia seeds, fresh berries or slices of banana, and treat yourself to something delicious while helping your body. Be kind to yourself when you feel low and be sure to speak to a professional should your depression become more severe.
5. Sweating Buckets
Some people sweat more than others. It might be gross, but bodies aren’t always the most pleasant things. If you suddenly begin to sweat more than normal without engaging in additional physical activity, then your body could be telling you something important. In most cases, it is the forehead that will see increased sweat production. Adding more egg yolks into your diet can help to balance your vitamin D so you don’t have to constantly wipe down your brow (11).
Though a majority of people would prefer spending their days outside in the sunlight, most lifestyles won’t allow for it. When you notice any of these symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, be sure to take action by improving your diet or taking the appropriate supplements. Should symptoms persist, be sure to visit with your doctor as soon as possible.
Welcome to the latest nature-given health drink: birch water. The latest “hot item” in health food stores, birch water is still a stranger to a many consumers. Let’s do a quick overview on this amazing natural drink.
What is “Birch Water”?
Popular in the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well as the Scandinavian countries, birch water is a mildly sweet beverage can be considered an electrolyte as this thin syrup-like beverage offers lots of benefits to your health. Birch water nutrients include vitamin C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and iron. Its smooth, silky sap that tastes similar to maple syrup, though much lighter, has been drunk as a health tonic for hundreds for years for medicinal purposes as well as a nutritional supplement, thanks to its detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties.
How is it made?
Just like making maple syrup, the trees are tapped in the spring after all the frost is gone. A simple process is performed to extract the tree’s liquid. A hole is drilled with an upward angle approximately three feet from the base of the tree. The sap will begin to flow out almost immediately and is normally collected in a container or large bottle, creating fresh birch water.
What are the Health Benefits?
Birch water is loaded with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and amino acids and is known to provide a variety of health benefits. Research suggests that this nutritious beverage can help regulate cholesterol levels, promote clearer and brighter skin, support liver health, reduce joint pain, support weight-loss, and reduce cavities.
If you are always feeling tired, you may need more vitamin B12. Lack of energy and fatigue are common signs of B12 deficiency as this important vitamin is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, leading to energy production.
2. Hair Loss
Hair loss is often caused by a combination of factors and lack of vitamin B is definitely one of the reasons people start losing hair. Biotin, vitamin B6 and B12 are considered essential vitamins to maintain healthy hair and prevent hair-loss. B-Complex supplements are an excellent choice to prevent or reduce hair-loss as they contain high amounts of biotin (vitamin B7) which is known to strength your hair follicles. Plus, lack of vitamin B may cause your hair to thin, get dry, become brittle and break.
People often think constipation is directly related to some food they ate but it may be the result of other issues such as stress or low intake of vitamin B12. Vitamin B is known to help maintain a healthy digestive system and it can also protect against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels.
4. Poor Memory
A deficiency in vitamin B12 can caused illnesses like poor memory, depression, and headaches. Vitamin B helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, which in turn may help reducing depression, and stress.
5. Skin problems
Vitamin B is essential for healthy skin and nails as it helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin. Research has proved that vitamin B can benefit our skin, both when ingested and when applied topically, preventing common issues such as skin irritation, redness, and dermatitis, signs of a skin lacking vitamin B3.
Getting the right vitamins and minerals can make a big difference in the way you feel each day. When you are lacking in a specific area, it can take its toll in peculiar ways. Studies from the past decade or so have suggested that a vast majority of people are living with health conditions brought on by a lack of magnesium. These same studies point to the fact that diets these days consist of less magnesium than the human body needs.
Focusing on improving your daily dose of magnesium can be a good move for your health. To determine whether or not you could benefit from extra magnesium, look over a few of these signs of a deficiency. Once you have an idea of what you’re dealing with, you can start making steps towards improving your situation.
1.) Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps can happen for a variety of reasons. Still, consistent cramping is considered one of the strongest signs of a magnesium deficiency. When you are experiencing muscle cramps in your legs on a regular basis, there is an easy way to see what is to blame. Eating a food rich in potassium is usually a surefire way to cure a cramp. When potassium does not have an impact on the cramp, it means magnesium is most likely to blame.
To get the best results from this test, try eating something rich in magnesium when you have a cramp. A good choice here would be a handful of almonds or pumpkin seeds. If this solves the problem, then your body is most likely telling you that you’re not getting enough magnesium in your diet.
2.) Stressed and Awake
Being able to keep the pace of the demands of the modern world can be exhausting. Maintaining an active social life while juggling familial and professional responsibilities can cause a person to take on a lot of stress. People also tend to drink more caffeinated beverages when they are trying to take on a lot in a small period. Unfortunately, consuming caffeine can cause your body to use up all of its magnesium. This, in turn, can worsen the stress you are experiencing and create a violent cycle.
The more stressed you feel, the more difficult it will become to sleep. Ironically, magnesium is also required to provide your brain with the stimulation its neurotransmitters requires to help the mind find a state of rest before sleep. Relieving this stress and finding a way to sleep again might be possible simply by boosting your magnesium. Consider supplements or increase how much spinach and tofu you consume to make a difference in your magnesium levels.
3.) Tired and Depressed
While a magnesium deficiency in your body can make itself known by causing you to lose sleep and feel stressed, it can also have a dramatically different impact. For some, a lack of magnesium can create tired or sluggish feelings. This lack of energy can lead to feelings of depression and prevent a person from working up the motivation to carry out simple daily tasks. If you are feeling more tired and depressed than you are used to, magnesium might be a good choice.
Kidney beans, brown rice, and broccoli can all be excellent sources of magnesium to add to your diet. By making a dish loaded with magnesium-rich ingredients once a day, you are going to start noticing a difference in your overall energy levels. Magnesium aids your body in the creation of ATP, which helps to energize your cells and keep your body functioning to the best of its abilities.
Article written by Joe Palinsky.
Joe Palinsky is a full-time writer and theater professional in Philadelphia. He predominantly works with ensemble-based Found Theater Company, where his writing has been featured in numerous productions. Though primarily a ghostwriter, his work has been published in the now-defunct Spirit News and as a guest on Found Theater’s blog.
A multivitamin is one of the best supplements anyone can take on a regular basis. These products contain all the essential vitamins plus important minerals to maintain good health. Plus, some multis add a few extra ingredients such as omegas and herbs that can maximize results, offering an even more complete product. If you are still unsure, let’s talk about 5 signs you should start taking a multivitamin.
1. Deficiency Symptoms
If you take a blood test and the results show that you are deficient in a certain nutrient, a multivitamin is the best way to restore optimal levels. Some vitamins and minerals are extremely important for good health. For example, vitamin D and vitamin B deficiency can significantly affect your body as well as the lack of some minerals such as iron and calcium.
2. Feeling Tired
If you are always feeling tired or have had a lot of stress for a long time, a multivitamin can help you tremendously. Multivitamins contain every B vitamin which can promote a boost in energy levels as well as a decrease in anxiety and stress, which burns these nutrients quickly.
3. Often Sick
If you are often sick, seem to catch a cold every single month, or spend most of the winter battling the flu and cold, an uptake in vitamins should help you. Multivitamins help boost immunity as they contain vitamin C, a strong antioxidant known to enhance the immune system, as well as vitamin E, which can help reduce allergy symptoms.
4. Poor Diet
If you are unable to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, a multivitamin can minimize the damage. Of course eating a good diet is ideal but for those who don’t eat many fruits and vegetables, these supplements can at least provide the minimum required amount of vitamins and minerals to cover off nutrients you are not getting from food and keep you in better shape.
5. Chronic Illness
If you have been diagnosed with an illness of any kind, a multivitamin will likely to be recommended by your health caretaker. Inadequate levels of some vitamins can lead to chronic illness and when you are battling disease, your body needs the most nutrients possible to get you back to full health.
Garden of Life’s commitment to health goes beyond offering some of the most effective nutritional products in the world. They are interested in building relationships with people to help them transform their lives to attain extraordinary health. By combining the best of nature and science, the Garden of Life brand offers a path to healthy living with premium products that are supported by education and innovation.
Convenient and tasty, it’s no wonder meal replacement supplements are popular right now. They’re a great choice for people on weight-loss diets, and also help folks on a fitness program as well as those running on a tight schedule. With so many options flooding the shelves, it can be hard to choose the best for your needs.
The majority of top-quality meal replacements contain most if not all of these ingredients but some products may adjust the quantities to target a specific nutritional need. If you are interested in trying out a meal replacement and perhaps joining this eating trend, let’s look at 5 key ingredients to look for in a meal replacement.
Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and muscle repair but it also plays an important role on fat burning and metabolic rate. Every single meal replacement product contains protein but some of them may come from vegan sources.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
The importance of vitamins and minerals requires no explanation but its addition to meal replacement supplements ensures that you are not missing nutrition required to keep your body healthy. Low sugar carbs are a main source of vitamins and minerals.
3. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are extremely important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they can improve joints, control inflammation, support brain health and maintain eyes and skin in great condition. Good sources of healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, almond butter, almonds, and walnuts.
4. Low Sugar Carbohydrates
Low sugar carbohydrates provide sustained energy for your body as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Low sugar carbohydrates are broken down slowly to minimize peaks and troughs in blood glucose levels and are often a valuable source of fiber too.
Considered a plus in many meal replacement supplements, probiotics keep you healthy by topping up the bacteria in your gut. Adding probiotics to your meals can help minimize digestive upsets, weight gain and issues digesting food properly. Look for foods high in probiotics such as natural yogurt, Greek yogurt, raw cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and acidophilus.
Lucky Vitamin is happy to present a revolutionary brand of vitamin products to our customers: VBurst.
VBurst aims to bridge the gap between quality and flavor. These unique vitamin shots are specially formulated nutritional blends, delivered in liquid form, to provide superior delivery and absorption of essential nutrients. Powered by 16 vitamins and minerals, and fortified with antioxidants and amino acids, VBurst shots offer complete and convenient nutrition with an uncompromising taste, so you can get the nutrients you want, conveniently bottled them into three delicious flavors for life on the go.
Recognizing that many vitamins on the market have poor rates of absorption, VBurst has created liquid shots packed with vitamins, minerals and three types of antioxidants to fuel your lifestyle. The idea for VBurst was born to offer a better vitamin product as most of the vitamins and nutrients in pills and capsules do not fully dissolve in our stomachs and many of those nutrients pass through the body unabsorbed.
Upgrade your vitamins and experience the benefits of liquid supplements. Easier consumption and better absorption with a smooth, refreshing taste. Each vitamin shot comes in a 2 oz. bottle with no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. In addition to 16 different vitamins and minerals, an antioxidant blend is fortified with green tea extract, grape seed extract, and panax ginseng, three powerful antioxidants that fight to keep your body happy and healthy.
Lucky Vitamin already has an incredible selections of vitamins and supplements but that doesn’t mean we should stop adding top-quality brands. The latest addition offers high-quality vitamins and supplements that are 100% Non-GMO and free of gluten, dairy, preservatives, and artificial flavors: Sundown Naturals.
Sundown Naturals strives to make maintaining a healthy and balanced diet convenient and accessible. The company has been making high quality vitamins and supplements for over 40 years. What began as a small mail-order business in a Florida home, has grown into a company capable of delivering a wide variety of health-related products all over the world.
Sundown Naturals’ philosophy is simple: life is about balance. Finding the right balance of exercise, rest, work, play and nutrition isn’t always easy and Sundown Naturals products are the perfect complement to your healthy diet and active lifestyle. While no one can make healthy choices 100% of the time, you can rest assured that Sundown Naturals can support you through every step of your journey.
Knowing that consumers are looking to avoid GMOs (genetically modified organisms), Sundown Naturals is proud to say that all vitamins and supplements are 100% Non-GMO, sourcing ingredients and use materials inherently free from GMOs. Sundown Naturals ensures high standards of quality with manufacturing facilities staffed by top researchers, dedicated nutritionists, and skilled associates. In addition to a rigorous in–process quality control, the production facilities are independently audited by UL-Registrar LLC, a leading provider of quality assurance audits throughout the production process to help ensure product quality and safety.
Sunny days have arrived marking the beginning of vitamin D season. As people start spending more time outdoors, vitamin D production increases and people can enjoy all the health benefits this important vitamin has to offer.
Vitamin D promotes healthy bones, largely by increasing the absorption of calcium, and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can also prevent type 1 diabetes, improve heart health, reduce muscle and bone pain, and even help prevent serious issues such as cancer.
The sun and supplements are the most common sources for vitamin D as food does not contain much of it, except for fortified products such as milk, dairy products and breakfast cereals. The sun is the most natural way to obtain vitamin D and it’s impossible to overdose D intake from sunlight as the body regulates production, stopping when reaching healthy levels. However, the sun can be dangerous if you are overexposed to its rays, but in limited quantities, it’s a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
You may be in the sun for 5 to 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at least twice a week without sunscreen, making sure to expose your skin to the sun. Some factors should be considered as they may significantly reduce D production. Cloud coverage, pollution, and your location (distance from the equator) can all affect how much vitamin D your skin can produce under sunlight.
If you are unable to get sun on a daily basis, vitamin D supplements are the way to go. Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol is highly recommended over than ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) as recent research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that vitamin D2 is less potent than vitamin D3.
Perhaps the best way to obtain vitamin D is alternating sun exposure, whenever possible and without risking sun burns, with vitamin D supplements, the best option for rainy days, people with busy schedules or sensitive skin.
New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that people with metabolic syndrome, a condition that’s often related to obesity, need significantly more vitamin E.
This syndrome is defined by diagnosis of several conditions, including abdominal obesity, elevated lipids, high blood pressure, pro-inflammatory state, a pro-thrombotic state and insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance.
An estimated 92 percent of men and 96 percent of women in the United States fail to get an adequate daily intake of vitamin E in their diet and is no surprise that more than 30 percent of the American public are obese, and more than 25 percent of the adults in the United States meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, putting them at significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.
Some good dietary sources of vitamin E include almonds, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, spinach, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, nuts and whole grains. However, vitamin E is one of the more difficult micronutrients to obtain by dietary means and supplements are still the best way to get higher quantities.
A powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant important for cell protection, vitamin E affects gene expression, immune function, aids in repair of wounds and the damage of atherosclerosis. Additionally, E is important for vision and neurologic function and can rejuvenate your health as well as beauty as it’s known to improve hair and skin. Vitamin E boosts the production of collagen that adds elasticity to your skin, and is helpful to minimize wrinkles, age spots and other signs of aging. Vitamin E has the power to reverse the damage done by harmful solar radiation and the free radicals in our environment.
Many people are often intrigued by some words or terms when shopping for vitamins and supplements. For example, some people get confused when choosing vitamin C products by the word “Ester-C” whcih appear on labels of a some supplements. What is Ester-C? The answer is quite simple.
Ester-C is a unique form of buffered Vitamin C with metabolites which may offer some additional benefits when comparing to regular vitamin C. These metabolites are compounds derived from nutrients that are normally created in the body. One of the main functions of these metabolites is to activate the vitamin C molecules, making it easier for the body to transport them from cell to cell, leading to several health benefits.
Consequently, the main benefit of taking Ester-C is its quick absorption and the 24-hour retention in the immune system. So, if you struggle with absorbing minerals and vitamin, Ester-C may be the recommended product for you.
Additionally, many people do not tolerate vitamin C due to the acidity. Ester-C, however, is a combination of non-acidic vitamin C in conjunction with metabolites to increase the levels of retention of vitamin C by the blood cells and tissues. As a result, people struggling taking regular vitamin C can tolerate a pH neutral product such as Ester-C.
When searching for Ester-C products, you may notice that some products contain a blend of bioflavonoid, acerola, rose hips, and rutin, creating a superior and more complete product.
While shopping for supplements or simply browsing your local grocery store, you may come across the words “folate” or “folic acid.” What are folate and folic acid, and do you know the difference between the two? Folate is the general term that refers to both natural folates found in food and folic acid—the synthetic, man-made form—used in supplements and fortified foods. Also known as Vitamin B-9, folate is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs to the B-Vitamin complex. Our bodies do not make folate so we must get it from the foods we eat or the supplements we take. So what is the best way to get folate? Should we be taking folate or folic acid or both? Read on to find out all the answers to these questions and more!
Benefits of folate
Supports mental health
Metabolizes amino acids.
Helps form red and white blood cells and platelets
Aids neurotransmitter production
Reduces the risk of neural tube defects during pregnancy
Assists in methylation—a process responsible for a number of functions in the body.
Where to find folate in food
Beans: lentils, lima beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas
Green Leafy Veggies: asparagus, broccoli, okra, brussel sprouts and spinach
Juices: orange and tomato juice.
Fortified Foods: spaghetti, cereals, white rice, and bread.
How much folate should you take?
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate from the food you eat and the supplements you take in micrograms/day are as follows:
19 years and older
What’s in your folate supplements?
Folic Acid: A man-made form of folate not found naturally in foods. Though the body absorbs it well, it does not get used to its full potential. For maximum potency, folic acid needs to be absorbed and then transported through our blood via proteins to a receptor that allows it to enter our cells. Once inside the cell, folic acid needs to be converted to its active form to reap all the benefits mentioned above. Too much folic acid that isn’t utilized has the potential to block the natural form from getting into the cells.
Folinic Acid: A natural form of folate that is readily converted by the body into its active form. Plays a role in DNA-based productions.
Methylfolate: This has a variety of names including L-5-Methylfolate, L-Methylfolate, Methylfolate, 5-MTHF and others. Like folinic acid, this a natural form of folate that can be readily used by the body. Methylfolate supports methylation—a process responsible for turning your genes on and off, building neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine), building immune cells, energy production, preventing hormone imbalances, managing your stress response and a host of other functions.
Folate and pregnancy
Folate deficiencies during pregnancy have been associated with abnormalities in both the mother and baby, so adequate folate intake is necessary for healthy growth and development, especially of the neural tube where the brain and spinal cord form. Folate helps decrease the risk of neural tube defects in the fetus and may help prevent anemia and peripheral neuropathy in the expecting mom. Because the neural tube develops very early on in pregnancy, it’s important to make sure you start taking folate supplements before you even start trying to conceive. On top of neural tube defects, folate during pregnancy appears to also be beneficial in the prevention of congenital heart disease and oral clefts such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
Important tips about folate
A deficiency in folate may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.
The symptoms of folate deficiency are very subtle. You may see signs of Anemia, which can occur due to folate deficiency. Anemia may present as pale skin, shortness of breath, persistent fatigue, weakness and lethargy.
Folate works in conjunction with B12. So if you believe you are deficient in either, taking them together may bring better results.
Extensive cooking may destroy 50-95% of the folate in food.
New research has shown that some individuals may have antibodies that can either bind or block the folate receptor, which prevents folate from entering the cell.
Certain health conditions such as alcoholism or inflammatory bowel diseases can cause a folate deficiency.
*Disclaimer* There is a lot to understand about the different forms of folate and how they work in the body. Make sure to speak with your health care provider before starting a folate or any other supplements, as side effects and interactions may occur!
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.
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.
With new superfoods and alternative health products popping up in the media every day, it’s hard to know what the cleanest, most effective product innovations really are. Dr. Jeremy Wolf N.D., Lead Wellness Advisor at LuckyVitamin.com, breaks down the trends and how to be a savvy wellness shopper this winter.
SUPERFOODS IN SKIN CARE
Superfoods aren’t just taking over the local grocery stores, they are also taking over your skin care products. More and more superfoods such as chia, moringa, camu camu, spirulina, maca, quinoa, and kale can now be found throughout the personal care and beauty aisle. Superfoods are foods which have a high content of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Camu Camu is a berry that contains a substantial amount of minerals as well as a range of amino acids, organic acids and fatty acids. It is also an antioxidant power house and an extremely rich source of vitamin C. Camu Camu can be found incorporated into Alba’s new individually wrapped Fast Fix Anti-Wrinkle Mask. Another super food making its way into skin care products is chia seeds. Chia seeds have recently been reported as one of the richest botanical sources of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3. One study found that topical chia seed oil may be effective for neuritis (severe itching of the skin associated with a variety of conditions) and moisturizing skin. Chia seed oil can be found in products by Nubian Hertiage and CocoKind.
Let’s face it, trends in the natural beauty and personal care industry aren’t just for women. With more & more men growing beards, companies all over are outfitting all natural beard oil, washes, and balms for men. Beard oil works to soften and condition facial hair while moisturizing the skin to prevent dryness, itching and irritation. Badger’s, certified organic man care beard oil is one of my personal favorites. Beard wash is generally a combination of herbs, extracts and other ingredients intended to clean, moisturize and condition the hair and skin of the face. Lastly, beard balms offer a little hold for grooming but also condition the beard to help stop dryness, split ends, tangles and frizz. Use of these products can help any man turn their 5 o’clock shadow into the manliest of beards.
Zinc is a nutritionally vital mineral that is found in foods such as sunflower seeds, red meat, eggs, oysters and beans. It functions as anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and is required by over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. One of the major benefits of zinc, quite possible one of the reason it is trending right now, is because adequate zinc intake is essential in maintaining the integrity of the immune system. If you are deficient in zinc you may be more susceptible to a variety of infections agents. Researchers have also found that zinc when taken within 24 hours of onset of symptoms for example, a scratchy throat, may reduce the duration of the common cold by as many as 3 days. Taking mega doses of zinc for long periods of time is not suggested as too much zinc may actually weaken the immune system. Check out some of our top rated brands for Zinc as well as LuckyVitamin’s own Zinc formula.
White flour is unfortunately a big part of most individual’s daily food consumption even though it provides little nutritional value. With more and more individuals following specific diets free of allergens or other restrictions, limiting white flour can make baking, cooking and eating out very difficult. It’s no wonder more companies are providing alternative flour options like rice flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour, almond flour, sorghum flour, amaranth flour and many more. LuckyVitamin has a large selection of alternative flour options from top brands such as Bob’s Red Mill, Nutiva, NOW Foods, Arrowhead Mills and more.
With gas, bloating and heart burn becoming common complaints among many individuals, more and more people are turning to remedies to help improve their digestive health. Probiotics, prebiotics, fiber and digestive enzymes are at the forefront of the digestive support industry. With gut health affecting more than just digestion, for example its role in our immune system function, it’s no wonder that this field is booming with new and innovative products. These products aren’t just found in tiny capsules these days, they can be found in bars, chews, gummy bears, wafers, powder packets and many more delivery methods. LuckyVitamin carries a wide variety of professional grade and top rated digestive support products to help support you gastrointestinal system health needs.
Activated charcoal has long been used by hospitals around the world as a safe and effective treatment for poisoning and drug overdoses. This ingredient is making its way to the beauty realm, from face masks to shampoos, tooth powders and deodorants. These products use activated charcoal, which means the coal has been heated to increase its adsorptive power, increasing the rate at which molecules bind to a surface. Activated charcoal is great at trapping chemicals, absorbing dirt and oil, absorbing 1,000 times its own weight in moisture. Some great beauty products using activated charcoal include Piperwai Natural Deodorant, Dr. Sponge Konjac Facial Sponge, Indigo Wild, Level Naturals, and Collective Wellbeing.
Wellness bloggers and celebrity chefs have been talking about this trend for some time now, and its popularity continues to grow. Bone broth, or stock, is made by boiling the bones from the animal of your choice (commonly turkey, chicken or beef) with vegetables and spices. Part of the reason it’s becoming so popular is because bone broth is easy to make, relatively inexpensive and packed with vitamins, minerals and proteins. Some of the benefits may include promoting strong bones and reducing joint pain and inflammation. It may also help inhibit infection and seal your gut to promote healthy digestion. While it’s best to try and make your own bone broth, Pacific Natural Foods, Kettle and Fire and Osteobroth are great sources of convenient pre-made broths.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
There is nothing new about drinking apple cider vinegar, yet there is a lot of fresh buzz surrounding this popular health trend. In fact vinegar itself has a long history of use as it dates back to around 3000 BC. Vinegar can be made from almost any fermentable carbohydrate source. This includes apples, pears, grapes, potatoes, beets and more. Apple cider vinegar is traditionally sourced from crushing fresh apples and extracting the liquid. The liquid is then added to barrels where yeasts ferment the natural food sugars to alcohol. Next, acetic acid bacteria converts the alcohol to acetic acid. Acetic acid is responsible for the tart flavor, pungent odor and many of the proposed health benefits of vinegar. Popular uses for apple cider vinegar include blood sugar balancing, improving blood cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, weight loss, detoxification, digestive stimulant, household cleaners and as an anti-fungal. Check out our new LuckyVitamin’s brand raw organic apple cider vinegar with the mother now available online, as well as many of our other great apple cider vinegar products.
Fiber masks, bamboo sheet masks, collagen masks, eye masks, peptide masks and mud masks, are becoming increasingly popular in the personal care and beauty world. These facial masks are easy to apply and are a great conduit for delivering nutrients and other beneficial ingredients to the skin. Even trendier is the use of these in single serving pouches so the products won’t dry out and are more affordable. When shopping for any type of facial mask, look for products that are 100% organic and non-GMO as well as paraben, sulfate and phthalate free. Many masks also cater to vegans and are cruelty free. A great product to try is the Andalou Naturals Clarifying Instant Pure Pore Hydro Serum Facial Mask with Coconut Water to help hydrate and detoxify the skin, soothe inflammation and minimize pores for a clearer, healthy complexion.
Beets have attracted a lot of attention as a “functional food” meaning they not only provide basic nutrients, but may help promote optimal health and reduce the risk of disease. While this vegetable’s popularity has only recently gained back momentum, its use dates back to ancient Roman times. So why has it become so popular again? Beets are a source of nitrates and provide a natural means of increasing nitric oxide availability. Beetroot is a rich source of phytochemical compounds that include ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. Beets also contain a group of bioactive pigments known as betalains that are thought to have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beet products can be found in the forms of Beet Juice, Beet Chips, Energy Bars, Sports Shots, Protein Powders, Veggie Packs, and Beet Crystals. LuckyVitamin carries a large selection of these products from top rated brands.