Is Dairy Good for you? The Truth might surprise you!

How can consuming dairy products can effect your health?


As soon as man learned to grow its food from the land (agricultural era), dairy consumption had increased dramatically since then. Dairy proved to be healthy as well as nutritious.

However, with the advent of the scientific era, now we can know the exact nature of dairy and its health pros and cons. In this blog, we will look at both the health benefits and health hazards of dairy so you can make a better choice about consuming dairy products moving forwards.


Health Benefits of Dairy


A Lot of Nutrients:

Dairy has great nutritional value as it is packed with a lot of nutrients. Dairy contains carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins A, D, B1, B2, and B12, and many minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, choline, and magnesium. Milk contains several antioxidants like beta carotenes which neutralize harmful free radicals and help fight inflammations. Due to their rich nutrient profile, consumption of milk and other dairy products have a positive impact on human health.


Bone Health:

Milk and dairy products are packed with bone-friendly nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamin D. Almost 99 percent of the calcium in the body is stored in teeth and bones. Also, 50 percent of bone volume is made up of proteins and around one-third of bone mass is also purely proteins. Dairy is the rich source of both calcium and proteins and it also contains vitamin D which helps in calcium absorption from blood into the bones and thus making bones stronger.


Building Muscle Mass and Hydration:

Dairy is an excellent protein source. This protein-rich diet, therefore, aids in gaining muscle mass. As muscles are entirely made up of proteins so proteins found in dairy not only help you to repair muscles after a workout but it also helps you get new lean muscles. Especially milk protein is a complete protein as it contains all of the nine essential amino acids. Due to its effectiveness, milk proteins –whey and casein- are most commonly used in protein supplements which are frequently used by bodybuilders for gaining new muscle mass. Milk is also helpful in rehydration after workouts as it restores electrolyte balance in the body fluids.

Humans have been consuming dairy products for over 7’000 years, but is it as healthy as we believe?


Helps in Weight Loss:

Dairy contains a negligible amount of carbohydrates. For instance, 100 grams of milk contains only 5 grams of carbohydrates.

Fewer carbohydrates mean fewer calories to be burnt off by the body so dairy is the perfect diet to maintain healthy body weight. In a study of 18,000 middle-aged and elderly women, it was found that eating high-fat dairy products was linked with less weight gain and therefore a lower risk of obesity. In addition to fewer carbs, proteins present in dairy make one feel full for a longer time and therefore help lowers the chances of overeating.


Impact on Blood Pressure:

Dairy is packed with important minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. All of these minerals play an important role in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Especially, potassium keeps your blood pressure readings normal by regulating fluids and mineral balance in the body.


After looking at its pros, let us discuss how dairy can prove harmful to our health.

There are a wide range of dairy substitutes on the market today, do we even need dairy any more?


Health Downsides of Dairy


Saturated Fats:

Fats present in dairy are saturated fats. Though saturated fats are dietary fats but they are considered bad. Saturated fats increase LDL levels (bad cholesterol) in the blood which in turn raises the risk of heart diseases and stroke.

Also, high consumption of saturated fats leads to obesity and obesity is a risk factor of both heart diseases and diabetes. Every type of fats contains more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins. For example per gram of fats yield 9 calories whereas per gram of carbohydrates and proteins yield 4 calories each. Therefore the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that daily calorie intake from saturated fats should not exceed 5-6 percent.


Impact on Skin and Cancer:

Dairy stimulates insulin production and the release of a protein known as IGF-1. Elevated levels of both of these chemicals are associated with increased acne and they also raise the risk of certain cancers. Several studies have linked dairy consumption with increased risk of prostate cancer but however, more research is needed to clarify the relationship between dairy consumption and prostate cancer.


Lactose Intolerance:

Lactose intolerance is another health downside of dairy. Milk contains a sugar known as lactose. For digesting lactose, the body produces an enzyme called lactase. People who are lactose intolerant can’t produce enzyme lactase and therefore they are unable to digest lactose completely.

After infancy, 65 percent of the people can’t digest lactose properly. Though the condition is harmless its symptoms are uncomfortable and may include bloating, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach cramps. Most of the lactose-intolerant people give up dairy foods.

Dairy products often leave people feeling bloated and uncomfortable


Milk Allergy:

It is completely different from lactose intolerance. While in lactose intolerance body can’t digest milk carbohydrate-lactose- but in milk allergy, the body shows hypersensitivity to milk proteins. Though milk from sheep, goats, buffalo, and other mammals can also cause a reaction but cow’s milk is the usual cause of milk allergy. Symptoms of milk allergy include wheezing, vomiting, asthma, diarrhea, and digestive problems. Milk allergy can also cause anaphylaxis — a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction.


Too Many Minerals:

Overconsumption of nutrients and minerals can also prove harmful sometimes. Though chances of overconsumption from a single diet are rare but however if a person has medical complications then overconsumption becomes a concern.

For instance, with kidney problems, consuming too much phosphorus or potassium can be harmful. Similarly, hypercalcemia (excessive calcium in the body) can lead to constipation, kidney stones, and even kidney failure.

For infants’ kidneys, it is really difficult to handle too many proteins and minerals of cow’s milk and therefore consumption of cow’s milk is not recommended before the age of 12 months.

Milk from intensively farmed cattle is often full of antibiotics and hormones


Hormones and Antibiotics:

Milk especially cow’s milk also contains residues of hormones and antibiotics like dioxins. These residual hormones adversely affect our reproductive, immune, and nervous systems.

Also, there is some scientific evidence that calcium and protein present in cow’s milk have acidifying effects but however, more research is needed.


Certainly, none of us will like to put our heart health at risk by consuming a lot of saturated fats of dairy. But there are also some significant environmental impacts from consuming dairy products.

Environmental Impacts of consuming dairy products

Not only is dairy risking your health, it is often said that producing meat and dairy products release more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than any other type of food production. Recent studies have shown that avoiding meat and dairy is the single most effective way to reduce your Carbon Footprint.

Not to mention, farming livestock requires enormous amounts of land to be successful. It has often been said that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75%! That’s enough land to cover the USA, EU, China and Australia combined!

And we would still be able to effectively feed ourselves and the world without destroying natural habitats of wild animals which are slowly being driven to extinction.

The dairy industry contributes significantly to global warming

So how are you feeling about dairy products now? Do the pros outweigh the cons in your opinion? If not. read on to learn of some excellent alternatives to dairy products.

Herbal Living UK is making it their mission to provide access a range of plant based protein options at amazing prices. We’re not hear to judge you based on your dietary choices. But switching to a plant based protein powder is better for you, your results, and the environment. As well as all this with a Herbal Living UK membership. It will now be better for your wallet too!


Dairy Alternatives


After knowing the negative impacts of dairy on human health, the option of going dairy-free is worthy of consideration. Fortunately, there are healthy dairy alternatives available to us.

Going dairy-free will not only help us to avoid the uncomfortable symptoms of digestive uneasiness, acne, high risks of heart diseases, and cancers but it will also address the ethical considerations of the dairy industry.

For example, a cow can live up to twenty years naturally but normally cow is slaughtered at the age of five years. Why the dairy farm owners are slaughtering cows at such a young age? Because aging cows can’t yield as much milk as younger cows can.

Over the past few years, there has been a huge range of dairy alternatives appear on the shelves!


Similarly, dairies impregnate cows annually for maximizing milk production. After giving birth, calves are separated from their mothers at the age of two days! Is it ethical? Is it not cruelty to calves?

What happens to these innocent calves? Generally, male calves supply the veal industry and you can’t stop it because dairies are driving the veal industry.

The dairy industry has a lot to answer for


So, if you are considering going dairy-free then we will compare the nutritional value of dairy with some other nutritious foods and will suggest suitable alternatives for every dairy food in the following section.


Is Dairy the only Protein-rich Food?


Fortunately, dairy is not the only source of protein. On the contrary, there is a wide range of high protein vegan foods.

Chickpeas, lentils, beans, green peas, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, mushrooms, peanuts, almonds, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are excellent plant-based protein sources.

These plant-based foods not only provide you the required protein but also help in protecting your health as they contain additional vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, and other antioxidant compounds. Also, plant-based protein is much superior to animal-based protein.

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Vegan Protein is Superior to Animal-based Protein


Proteins are made up of tiny molecules known as amino acids. Scientists have recognized that twenty of them are the building blocks of almost every naturally occurring protein.

Out of these twenty amino acids, the human body can make only eleven amino acids but not the remaining nine ones. These nine amino acids are called essential amino acids which must be derived from the diet.

If a protein contains all of the essential amino acids then it is known as a complete protein and on the other hand, if a protein lacks in any of the essential amino acids then it is called incomplete protein.

Vegan protein, the joke of a generation


Many of the vegan proteins are in-complete proteins as they often don’t contain all of the nine essential amino acids, although there are some exceptions to this rule.

Protein sources like Hemp, and soybean protein are packed full of all the amino acids the body needs to build muscle and remain healthy.

Unfortunately, the myth that the best protein sources are animal based still exists even today in 2020!

This is why for many years the most common question faced by people who choose a plant based diet is “Where do you get your protein from?” But did you know that calorie for calorie plant based protein sources tend to have more protein than their meat based alternatives? It’s true, you can check out the research for yourself!

Generally, it is good to include a wide variety of protein sources in combination with vegan proteins to ensure that you receive a balance of all essential amino acids. But this is often much easier than most people will expect!

Why not switch to a vegan protein source?


Vegan Proteins, better for you, and the planet!

Vegan proteins often not require artificial sweeteners and preservatives for their extraction and storage so they are free from these hazardous processing chemicals.

Vegan proteins can be obtained from the plants organically and naturally, for example, hemp seeds and chia seeds are collected and then can be used as a protein source.

Contrary to cleaner vegan proteins, animal-based proteins like whey proteins require extensive chemicals for their extraction and further storage.

In Conclusion, Dairy might not be as healthy as you think


Based on the above discussion, it can be concluded that though dairy is a rich source of protein and it also contains other important nutrients.

But it is more hazardous to human health than beneficial because of its obvious health downsides like it negatively impacts heart and skin health and elevates risks of certain cancers in addition to the prevalent milk allergies and lactose intolerance in a sizeable human population.

Therefore opting for dairy alternatives is a better option and consuming a plant-based diet is the best one. Here is a list of healthy dairy alternative foods that will also increase your immunity naturally besides nourishing you.

Plant based alternatives for Cows Milk;

  • Soy-milk,
  • Almond-milk,
  • Rice-milk,
  • Coconut-milk,
  • Hemp milk,
  • Flaxseed milk,
  • Cashew milk,
  • and Oat milk.


Plant based alternatives for Yogurt:

  • Peach soy yogurt,
  • Mango soy yogurt,
  • Coconut milk yogurt,
  • Soy milk yogurt,
  • Hemp yogurt,
  • and almond milk yogurt.


Plant Based alternatives to Butter:

  • Cultured vegan butter,
  • Nut butter,
  • Vegetable oil blends,
  • and coconut butter.
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References


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273451#warnings


https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dairy-health-food-or-health-risk-2019012515849


https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/6-reasons-to-get-your-diary#2


https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/milk-benefits


https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/is-dairy-bad-or-good#evolution

https://www.dairy.com.au/health/dairy-health-benefits


https://thedairyalliance.com/dairy-nutrition/health-benefits-of-dairy/


https://www.healthyeating.org/nutrition-topics/general/food-groups/dairy


https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/nutrition-information/health-concerns-about-dairy#:~:text=Milk%20and%20other%20dairy%20products,%2C%20ovarian%2C%20and%20prostate%20cancers.

https://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2019/06/14/the-pros-and-cons-of-dairy/

https://www.healthline.com/health/is-milk-bad-for-you#takeaway

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/is-dairy-good-or-bad-for-you

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323411#butter-alternatives

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dairy-substitutes#section9

https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/blog/7-plant-based-dairy-substitutes-for-baking-and-beyond/

https://www.vegan.com/dairy-free/

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Dairy-and-dairy-alternatives

https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/080112p38.shtml

https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/complete-vegetarian-protein-foods.php

https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/an-evolutionary-perspective-on-amino-acids-14568445/#:~:text=Summary,Amino%20acids%20have%20several%20functions.

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How to eat healthier now you’re getting older?

Are you Getting Old?


Many of us are not comfortable with the idea of getting old. But old age is a bitter reality which we can’t escape so it is a better idea to accept it. When we accept it then it can be a normal process for us; rather we can have healthy aging. The definition of aging or getting old is not consistent but almost every definition of old age revolves around the number of years spent. Old age or senescence refers to the final stage of the human life span or the later years of one’s life.


Germany was the first nation to set a retirement age of 65 years. Since then, generally, most nations of the world have adopted the same retirement age limit, and the age of 65 was widely considered as old age but now there are significant variations in retirement age throughout the world. But still, 60 or 65 years of age or older is considered as old in almost every country of the world.

Age is but a number, it would just be nice if your body believed that too!


Age can have varied definitions. The first one is chronological age. Chronological age is referred to a person’s age in years. As people age, they may be more prone to develop health problems. Next is the biological age. Biological age refers to the changes occurring in the body as people age. With age, people may experience functional loss but however, this functional loss is not intense enough to impair the routine activities. Finally, the last one is psychological age which has nothing to do with physical health rather it is related to the psyche of individuals. For example, an older adult may be psychologically young if he is optimistic about the future and actively participates in many social activities.


What Happens to Our Bodies as We Get Older?


While the psychological age has nothing to do with general health but the other two-chronological and biological age- definitely affect the bodily functions. Generally, as people age, their bodily functions start to decline and this process starts at a quite young age, usually after 30 years- bodily functions peak somewhere before 30 years. The same is true for biological age; after middle age, destructive changes occur in the human body with each passing day. Though these undesirable changes manifest themselves in some individuals earlier than others because of changes in lifestyle, habit, and genetic makeup however they definitely reduce the body’s ability to cope with the challenges as it was once able to do at a young age.
With age, changes occur at the cellular, tissue, and organ level which manifests them in the functional change. Here is what happens to our bodies as we get older.

Looking after your health becomes vital as we age


Protecting Ageing Cells and Organs:

With age, normal cell functioning is affected and eventually it dies. The process of cell death is known as apoptosis. Apoptosis is a normal biological process that is controlled by genes. With age, output, and dividing capacity of the cells are reduced so old cells must die for making room for new ones. In some instances, cell death also occurs due to physical injury or damage by harmful chemicals like free radicals.

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The health of the cells within an organ determine its functional performance as a group of similar cells forms a tissue and various tissue group together to form an organ. In some organs like reproductive organs, kidneys, and liver; cells are lost due to apoptosis and they are not replaced by new cells.

Therefore functions of these organs decline overtime. While in other organs like brain, the lost cells are compensated by new ones and by forming connections with reserve nerve cells, and therefore with age, functions of these organs are least affected although they also face some decline.
Strengthen the Musculoskeletal System:

With age muscle strength is reduced and bones become fragile leading to more fractures. Also, older people tend to become a bit shorter. After 30 years, we begin to lose muscle mass as the level of growth hormone and sex-related hormones-testosterone in males and estrogen in females- is lowered.

Normally, fast-contracting muscles are lost more quickly than slow-contracting muscles. On average, 10-15 percent of muscle mass is lost over the entire lifespan.


Similarly, bones become less dense with age due to low calcium levels, and a reduced amount of vitamin D. Spine bones, ends of the arm and hip are the most affected bones. Cushion discs in-between the vertebrae of the spine lose fluid due to age-long wear and tear which results in height loss. Also, tendons and ligaments become weak and they tear up more frequently and heal slowly.


Replenish the Nervous System:

In old age, nervous system function is somewhat reduced due to several reasons like reduced blood flow to the brain, loss of neurotransmitter receptors, low production of neurotransmitters, and neuron loss.

Though neuron loss is compensated by forming connections with reserve nerve cells however the signal conducting capacity is slowed down. Also with time, spinal nerves are lost and consequently, older people do tasks slowly as compared to young ones.


Clean out the Circulatory System:

As people age, fatty materials are deposited inside the blood vessels and also walls of the arteries become stiffer which often leads to hypertension (high blood pressure). Similarly, heart muscles adapt to pumping blood through stiffer arteries and consequently, its muscles also get stiffer. An old heart will function well at rest but it can’t tolerate the strenuous physical activity as it was once able to handle a couple of decades ago. Also, with age, the amount of active bone marrow-site of blood cell production- is decreased so the body can’t make as many blood cells as it was producing in its young age but however, these reduced blood cells can still meet the requirements of the body.

Your heart has worked tirelessly for many years, make sure you look after it like it looks after you!


Protect Digestive Health:

Generally speaking, the digestive system is least affected by age but however the digestive process is also slowed down and older people face constipation problems frequently. The liver also becomes small due to continuous cell loss and therefore detoxifying capacity-removing harmful substance from the body- of the liver is decreased.

Kidneys also lose cells continuously and they can’t purify the blood completely at an older age. Similarly, muscles of the urinary bladder also lose their contracting strength and as a result, older people face more urinating issues with time.


Strengthen the Immune System:

Finally immune response in elderly people is not as robust as it is in young people. With the low production of B and T cells due to reduced active bone marrow and low activity of mature lymphocytes, the identifying and fighting capacity of the immune system is lowered.

Therefore it is no wonder that cancer and some infections like pneumonia and influenza are more common in elderly people as compared to young individuals.

Taking a plant based supplement can give your body the extra support it needs!


With almost 30 percent of the population falling into the old age bracket; health complications associated with old age have become a public health concern in England.

Normally health problems associated with old age are osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, low mental faculties, heart complications and high blood pressure, digestive complications, urinary incontinence, diabetes, loss of near vision, difficulty in hearing high-pitched voices, reduced taste sensitivity, lowered capacity of the body to regulate temperature and dry skin.


How to Reduce the negative Impacts of Old age?


However as stated earlier old age is inevitable and with most of its undesirable consequences, we still can adapt to it as we can lessen its unwanted repercussions by adopting better strategies. Some of these strategies are remaining mentally active, regular exercising, and eating the right food. Though the first two strategies are surely helpful in minimising the harmful impact of old age but however eating healthier food will go a long way in minimising most of the old age-associated health problems. A healthy old age diet must contain the following foods.


Eat more Vegetables and Fruits:

Switch to a healthier plant-based diet as you age. Dark green and leafy vegetables will give you a wide variety of vital nutrients like folate, carotenoids, vitamins, dietary fiber, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and much more.

The antioxidant chemicals of these vegetables will neutralize the harmful free radicals which are produced as by-products of energy metabolism. Spinach, lettuce, members of cabbage family like kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and cauliflower are especially beneficial for old age.


Similarly, fruits abound in vitamins and minerals especially citrus fruits like oranges, citron, clementine, grapefruit, and the like are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C increases natural immunity. All other fruits are also helpful in naturally increasing immunity besides other vital functions. So go vegan and include vegetables and fruits in your daily diet.

Eating a balanced diet is even more essential as we age

Eat more Protein-rich Foods:

Protein is a very important nutrient. Proteins are almost part of every organ-system and therefore they are required for the healthy maintenance of these vital body organs. But the point is to remember is that you must get protein without any fats.

Therefore you must include plant-based protein sources. Lentils, beans, green peas, chia seeds, and hemp seeds are some of the high protein vegan foods, you may consider. But don’t rely on one protein source and instead, keep varying your protein sources.

Consume More Fibre and Less Fat for a healthier digestive system:

Dietary fibers improve digestion and help remove waste from the body. Include fiber-rich foods in your diet like avocado, beans, broccoli, whole-grain, apples, and dried fruits in your daily diet.
Similarly, with age, heart complications arise and therefore cut your fat intake and make sure that you are eating healthy fats. Nuts, chia seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados are excellent sources of healthy fats. Also, reducing sugar and salt intake can help control diabetes and hypertension.

Fibre is an essential part of any diet!

Increase the Whole Grains as you age:

Whole grains are not only good source carbohydrates but they also contain several B-vitamins and dietary fibers. You can add oatmeal, whole wheat, and quinoa in your daily diet plan.

Take extra Calcium and Vitamin D to strengthen your bones:

Bone fragility is an obvious sign of old age. Therefore taking extra calcium and vitamin D will help control excessive bone damage. Calcium-rich foods like Bok choy, figs, oranges, broccoli, kale, and vitamin D rich foods like almond and mushrooms are therefore a must in the diet plan for elderly people.

As we age our bones become more prone to breaks, build their strength with added calcium in your diet

Stay Hydrated to protect your health as you age:

Finally keep yourself hydrated as water is a vital nutrient. Water carries out various vital functions in the body like; it lubricates the joints, it forms mucus and saliva, helps in oxygen transportations, regulates body temperature, facilitates healthy digestion, maintains blood pressure, flushes waste out of the body, helps in weight loss and provides a favorable environment for chemical processes to occur in the body.


Eating the right food in the old age is the key to attaining health and wellness in the later years of your life and the above information will help you live the active life till your last day.


References

https://www.indexmundi.com/united_kingdom/demographics_profile.html
https://www.britannica.com/science/old-age
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/aging/art-20046070#:~:text=With%20age%2C%20your%20skin%20thins,skin%20tags%20are%20more%20common.
http://blog.johnsonmemorial.org/9-physical-changes-that-come-with-aging
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/004012.htm
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/normal-aging-changes-and-symptoms#1
https://www.bayshore.ca/2018/09/20/the-physical-changes-of-aging/
https://www.intechopen.com/books/gerontology/ageing-process-and-physiological-changes
https://nursing.uc.edu/content/dam/nursing/docs/CFAWD/Aging%20Series/Part%202%20Aging%20Physical%20Changes.pdf
https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/older-people%E2%80%99s-health-issues/the-aging-body/changes-in-the-body-with-aging#v8967819
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3582124/#:~:text=The%20effects%20of%20aging%20on,as%20robustly%20as%20the%20young.
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/over-50-nutrition-17/anti-aging-diet
https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/nutrition-for-seniors#1
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/eating-well-as-you-age.htm
https://www.aging.com/elderly-nutrition-101-10-foods-to-keep-you-healthy/
https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-eating-for-seniors#healthy-diet
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/Nutrition-needs-when-youre-over-65
https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/anti-aging-foods#Flood-your-body-with-powerful-nutrients
https://www.verywellhealth.com/top-anti-aging-foods-4020278
https://bestlifeonline.com/best-anti-aging-foods/

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How to support your body’s natural immunity

Herbal Living UK presents: How to support your bodies natural immunity?

What is Immunity?

Immunity is referred to as ‘the state of being protected from the pathogens-disease causing microbes’. Our body’s immune system is responsible for destroying the pathogens that happen to enter our bodies. White blood cells present in our blood plasma is a critical component of our immune system. White blood cells consist of further specialized cells like T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, natural killer cells, basophils, neutrophils, and eosinophils, and monocytes. All of these cells help in fighting disease-causing pathogens. 

As soon as a pathogen enters our body, our immune system initiates a defensive response. First of all, the pathogen is recognized by wandering T helper cells. After successful identification, the T helper cells are stimulated and help protect the host by; undergoing rapid multiplication, releasing cytokines that turn dormant macrophages into aggressive pathogen killers, forming anticytotoxic T cells that kill the pathogen hosting cells along with the pathogens, and directing the suitable B cells to the infection site for killing the microbe. The immune response ends with the destruction of pathogens and we are secured from the likely disease-thanks to our immune system. Immunity has two types; innate immunity and adaptive immunity.

Natural ways to boost your immunity
We all know vitamin C is great for immunity, but there’s so many different ways to increase your natural immunity!

What is Innate Immunity?

Innate immunity is the first line of immunity. It is the quick response of our immune system usually occurring within minutes. Innate immunity is general in its response and almost all animals and plants have innate immunity.

What is Adaptive Immunity?

On the contrary, adaptive immunity is specific to pathogens and it is only present in vertebrates only including humans. It has also a memory if pathogens of one disease are killed then upon their second entry; they are more rapidly killed-not allowing them to cause the disease. This is the reason why a person who has recovered from an infectious disease is unlikely to suffer from it again-thanks to adaptive immunity.

Immunity, whether it is innate or adaptive, helps you to stay healthy. Luckily, you can naturally support your immunity and strengthen your immune response. The following are some of the natural ways to support your immunity naturally. 

How can stress effect your immune system?

For a long time, stress is known to harm the human immune system. During stress, a stress hormone (corticosteroid) is released which reduces the number of lymphocytes (T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes). In consequence, the pathogen recognition ability of the immune system is affected and the immune response is weakened.

So by staying positive and engaging in constructive activities, you can support your immunity naturally.

Stress reduces your natural immunity
Stress can be the number one way to reduce your natural immunity

How does exercise help with your immunity?

Our era of technological innovations has provided us great comfort and we are now accustomed to our sedentary lifestyles. But sedentary lifestyles are weakening our immunity. So, for enhancing your immunity, you have to make a slight lifestyle change by daily exercising.

Regular exercise can strengthen your immunity in a variety of ways. First of all, exercise improves your blood circulation. With improved blood circulation the helper T cells are in a better position to find out pathogens and foreign microbes. Secondly, when you exercise regularly, the levels of your stress hormones are lowered and the soothing feeling is conducive for the health of your immune system.

Finally, regular exercise keeps the obesity epidemic at bay. Obesity impairs the immune response in a variety of ways like it decrease cytokine production, alter monocyte and lymphocyte function, and lowers down macrophage and dendritic cell function. A study has shown that regular and moderate exercise lowers the risks of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) while lack of exercise leads to high risks of URTI. 

What are the benefits of a balanced diet for immunity?

Eating a balanced and healthy diet is another way of naturally boosting your immunity. A balanced diet contains the entire essential nutrient in the right proportions to keep your body perform at optimal levels. A balanced diet contains carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, and of course water.

  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the major source of bodily energy which sustains the vital bodily processes like metabolism. Without carbohydrates, the metabolism in your white blood cells would not occur and therefore without carbohydrates, your immune system would not exist.
  • Proteins: Proteins are a secondary source of bodily energy. In the absence of carbohydrates; proteins are used for deriving energy. Besides, proteins are a critical component of various cells and tissues, for example, antibodies-a component of the immune system- is made up of proteins.
  • Fats: Fats also serve as an energy source in the absence of carbohydrates and proteins. Fats are also part of body cells and tissues. Besides, fats also serve as a solvent for fat-soluble vitamins-the the natural immune boosters.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins are the natural immune boosters. They help your immune system by neutralizing the harmful effects of free radicals (almost all vitamins), by facilitating wound healing (vitamin C) and by erecting barriers (vitamin A) against infectious pathogens.
  • Minerals: Minerals in the balanced diet also affect your immunity positively. For example, zinc control inflammation, and selenium slows down the overactive immune responses.
  • Dietary Fibers: Although dietary fibers are not directly related to the immune system it impacts our immunity indirectly. Dietary fibers improve digestion and make the vital nutrients like minerals and vitamins available to our body. It also helps us to get rid of metabolic waste.
  • Water: Finally, water as a part of a balanced and healthy diet helps keep our immune system in an active state. Water helps in the production of the lymphatic fluid-a component of our immune system. It also flushes toxins and free radicals out of the body. Water also helps in digestion and thus helps to make essential nutrients available to the body.
Using a healthy diet to keep your immune system strong
Eating a balanced diet is essential for your immunity

What uses do Herbal Supplements have in supporting your immunity?

There are times in life when we all fall off the wagon on our healthy eating, or perhaps there are times when we feel the need to increase our immunity and natural responses to external pathogens. Should this be the case in your life a herbal supplement has been suggested to help the body in maintaining it’s internal balance.

Of course supplements are not a replacement for a healthy diet and exercise, they simply provide support and an extra source of vitamins and minerals, which can never be a bad thing. By taking a daily herbal supplement that works with your body as well as eating a healthy diet you can really give your body a head start when it comes to fighting off viruses and bacteria!

Of course, there is also the possibility that you will require supplements for your exercise regime. It is very common for athletes of all levels to use natural supplements in their training recovery regimes, as they add extra vitamins, minerals carbohydrates and proteins in a much more convenient method of consumption.

It is more than possible to find ranges of herbal sports supplements that provide other health advantages. By switching from a dairy based protein powder to a plant based one, you open your body up to a range of other health benefits that are not found through whey protein. The most obvious one would be the lack of bloating from the majority of plant based protein powders.

This bloating often leaves people feeling sluggish and of course there is the well know side effect of whey protein that can clear a room!

There are a range of herbal supplements on the market, it can be hard to know which is best, there is also a wide range of supplements containing different natural remedies that provide similar benefits. Because of this range of selection available. It can be hard to know which is the best one to choose from, we would love to take this opportunity to share with you some information on the products we stock here at Herbal Living.

All our products are from British Based Companies, and all of our products are certified organic. This means that you can be certain that during the growth, harvesting and preparation stages, there are no nasty chemicals involved. Ensuring that you are completely satisfied with your purchase requires the best quality products to be used.

Herbal Living UK - Specialist supplements stockist

By Choosing Herbal Living you join a part of a community, all of our customers receive weekly updates on the latest advice, news and guidance on all things health related! You’ll have a great source of information just a few key strokes away! We look forward to having you on board!

Conclusion

The immune system is essential for our survival. In the world of increasingly powerful microbes, we need a robust immune system. By following the discussed natural ways, we can make ourselves a bit safer.       

Check Our Store for Discounted Herbal Supplements

Sources

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/immunity

https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/learn-immuno-oncology/the-immune-system/components-of-the-immune-system

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465119/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm

https://www.mysportscience.com/single-post/2016/09/25/Strategies-to-reduce-illness-risk-in-athletes-Part-1-Behavioural-lifestyle-and-medical-strategies

https://takecareof.com/articles/what-vitamins-supplements-help-immune-system

https://www.nap.edu/read/6450/chapter/23

https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/5-immune-system-benefits-of-drinking-water.html

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What are the top 10 foods to help your body combat COVID-19?

How to protect yourself from COVID-19 through your diet

In December 2019, the current coronavirus pandemic out broke in the Wuhan city of China. Since then it is wreaking havoc all over the world. According to the latest estimates, (as of 14 May 2020) of the World Health Organization, globally confirmed coronavirus cases stood at 4.35 million with near 300,000 deaths. The United States and Europe are the worst victims of the virus.

The virus coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the coronavirus disease in which the respiratory system especially lungs are affected. The coronavirus disease is infectious and it spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. The droplets exhaled by the infected person are too heavy to remain suspended in the air and therefore they quickly fell on the surfaces and earth so the room and other nearby surfaces also become contaminated.

COVID-19 has brought the world to it’s knees

So far no vaccine or other treatment is available to cure the disease. This is why, after it originated in Wuhan, it has engulfed the whole world and the situation has become a global emergency. Governments all over the globe are almost following the same strategies to deal with the global pandemic. The major preventive measures adopted by governments include social distancing, frequent washing of hands, and other sterilization measures.

Although coronavirus is not a comparatively lethal non-availability of vaccines and other treatments, it is a feared disease. Most of the infected people will experience mild to moderate disease symptoms and will recover without any treatment however children, old people, and people with weak immunity are at the risk.

For anyone who wants to survive the pandemic, he must follow the preventive strategies, and also, he must boost his/her immunity. Luckily nature has endowed us with various means of boosting our immunity and diet is one of them.

We can boost our immunity by eating the right type of food. If your diet contains the following food items, your immune system will be strengthened to fight off coronavirus more effectively.

In this post we run through some of the most effective diet choices to boost your immunity
  1. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural immune booster. Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune response by increasing the production of white blood cells. It has also strong antioxidant properties. It fights off bacterial infections and facilitates wound healing. Besides increasing the immunity, it also helps in the healthy functioning of several human organ systems like nervous, immune, skeletal, and respiratory systems by facilitating the production of collagen-a fibrous protein.

Vitamin C is also beneficial for eye health, helps alleviate common cold symptoms, and protects from cancer. Vitamin C also contributes to heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels, manages diabetes, treats anemia, and reduces seasickness.

The following is a list of vitamin C rich food sources.

  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Pomelo
  • Citron
  • Kumquat
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Capsicums
  • Cauliflower
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme
  1. Bell Pepper: Bell pepper is another healthy food and it helps in supporting your immune response. Bell pepper is also rich in vitamin C and it contains some other antioxidant chemical which helps fight off allergic reactions and bacterial infections. Bell pepper also contains high amounts of vitamin D-another immune booster vitamin.

  2. Broccoli: Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family and it is one of the healthiest foods with amazing health benefits. Besides abundant vitamin C, it also contains vitamin K, potassium, dietary fiber, and folate. Broccoli improves your immune response and also helps in wound healing, neutralizes free radicals, and facilitates collagen production in the body.

  3. Garlic: Garlic is a bulb-shaped aromatic veggie used by humans for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Garlic contains antibacterial compounds and its antibiotic properties are clinically proven. Garlic contains important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B1, B6, C, manganese, calcium, selenium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, and iron.

    Garlic helps treat a variety of human illnesses like common cold, hypertension, and it improves heart health by lowering down the bad cholesterol levels. Garlic has also anti-cancer properties and it is one of the natural immune boosters.

  4. Ginger: Like Garlic, Ginger is also used for its wonderful medicinal properties by humans since ancient times. This irregular herbaceous rhizome is rich in some essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin B3, B6, C, manganese, zinc, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. Ginger has strong antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral properties and it contains strong antioxidative compounds.

    Ginger supports your immune system in a variety of ways; it strengthens the immune response by its antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, by killing viruses of common cold, by destroying parasites and their eggs, by raising spleen and thymus indices, by increasing the rate of phagocytosis, and by improving the performance of several organ systems like circulatory, and digestive systems.
  5. Spinach: Spinach is another healthy food that positively impacts the immune system. Spinach is rich in folate, nitrates, and other antioxidant compounds. Folate facilitates the production of red blood cells and in consequence, the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood is increased. Nitrates present in spinach regularize blood pressure and antioxidant compounds help your body to get rid of hazardous free radicals. 
  6. Mushrooms: Mushroom is yet another healthy food that can help you fight off coronavirus. Mushroom facilitates calcium absorption and thus making your bones healthier. It is rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D is having several health benefits like it promotes healthy bones and teeth; improves the functioning of the immune, and nervous systems, lowers risks of cancers, and supports pulmonary and heart health. Vitamin D is also helpful in weight-loss, reduces depression, and minimizes your chances of developing flu.  Mushroom is also found effective in treating some types of cancers and respiratory diseases.
  7. Chickpeas: Chickpeas is also healthy food as it contains proteins, zinc, and other antioxidant chemicals. Proteins help repair body tissues and facilitate the production of antibodies-pathogen-fighting proteins. Zinc found in chickpeas regulates your immune responses and the antioxidant compounds help neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.
  8. Yogurt: Yogurt is a great source of probiotics-good gut bacteria. Probiotics not only maintain a good digestive system but they also support your immunity by fighting off the common cold and influenza-like infections.
  9.  Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E. Vitamin E exhibits antioxidative properties. Vitamin E improves heart health and immune functioning, lower certain cancers risks, and promote eye health.

    As it has antioxidant properties, vitamin E neutralizes free radicals and helps protect body cells. Vitamin E has also a positive impact on blood pressure and muscle functioning. The vitamin has also improved digestion of people suffering from cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease.

    It is suspected to have a positive impact on Alzheimer’s disease, menstrual cramps, glomerulosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels in the kidney), G6PD deficiency, intracranial hemorrhage, inflammation of the liver, Parkinson’s disease, premenstrual syndrome, sunburn, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Besides, eating healthy, hygienic handling of food is also necessary to reduce the risk of being infected from this deadly coronavirus. Also, eating homemade healthy food will help you protect from the pandemic.

Bottom Line 

Coronavirus pandemic has crippled almost every major sector of countries all over the world. To date, there is no vaccine or other treatment available for the virulent coronavirus disease. Certainly, there are preventive strategies as recommended by WHO, which we can follow for our safety. But besides these measures, we can make ourselves and our loved ones safer by eating healthy homemade food.     

Check Our Article How to Increasing your body’s Natural Immunity.

Sources

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/easy-affordable-and-healthy-eating-tips-during-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak

https://www.eufic.org/en/food-safety/article/food-and-coronavirus-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/03/stock-up-on-9-healthy-foods-to-boost-immune-system-during-coronavirus-doctor-dietitian.html

https://www.fsai.ie/faq/coronavirus.html

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/coronavirus-prevention-foods-in-india-what-to-eat-to-prevent-coronavirus-top-5-antiviral-food-items-which-are-easily-available

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

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The 3 most important vitamins for immunity

What even are Vitamins?

You must have heard about vitamins. Your doctor must have advised you to take them in sufficient quantity for maintaining good health. But what are vitamins? Vitamins are chemical compounds that are required by your body for carrying out vital bodily functions and for good health. So far, we know about thirteen vitamins. The human body can’t make vitamins on its own so you must get them from your diet.

Two main types of Vitamins

Vitamins are of two types; fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins get stored in your body fat so they remain available for future use and you are not required to take them frequently. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are examples of fat-soluble vitamins.

On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, and excess of these vitamins are flushed out from your body by your excretory system. So for staying healthy, you must replenish water-soluble vitamins from your diet constantly. Vitamin C and B vitamins family (B1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12), and pantothenic acid are examples of water-soluble vitamins.

Vitamins are not known as essential nutrients, you can’t get energy from these versatile chemicals but still they play critical roles inside the human body.

Help your body maintain balance

They are helpful in the synthesis and maintenance of body tissues and organs like muscles, bones, and skin. They are required for extracting energy from the food and most importantly, vitamins help you stay healthy as they strengthen your immune system.

Almost all vitamins are required for good health but vitamin A, C, and E positively affects your immune response to a great extent. We will now discuss the role of each of these vitamins in strengthening immunity in detail.

Vitamin A

Chemically, vitamin A is referred to a group of retinoids like retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters [1-3]. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and once into the body, it remains available for future use. In the human diet, vitamin A is available in two forms, preformed vitamin A (retinol and retinyl esters) and provitamin A carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is naturally present in animal-based sources like dairy products, meat, and fish while provitamin A carotenoids come from plant-based sources, and once into the body, it is converted into vitamin A. 

Sources of vitamin A include fish, meat, dairy products, and vegetables especially colorful vegetables as they are rich in provitamin A beta-carotenes.

Vitamin A plays a very important role in maintaining human health. It helps in maintaining the healthy functioning of your respiratory and digestive systems by maintaining a healthy lining of respiratory and digestive tracts. The healthy lining acts as a barrier against microbial infections. Vitamin A also helps you to keep your skin healthy. A healthy skin not only keeps you healthy but it also gives you an attractive look. 

Sweet potato is incredibly high in vitamin A!

Vitamin A is a powerful Antioxidant

Vitamin A has also strong antioxidant properties. It neutralizes the harmful free radicals and thus help against cell damage, reduce cancer-risks, and fights off infections.

Retinols are used by the human eye cells-rods and cones- so vitamin A is also helpful in maintaining eye health and it reduces the chances of night blindness. Another significant role of vitamin A includes its positive impact on bone and teeth growth.

Deficiency of vitamin A results in night blindness or an inability to see in dim light. Vitamin A deficiency also increases the risk of dying from measles and diarrhea and in pregnant women, its deficiency causes anemia and obstructs the normal growth of the fetus. Other deficiency symptoms may include skin problems like acne.       

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid is the chemical name of vitamin C. It is a water-soluble vitamin and you need to replenish its supply regularly. Naturally, vitamin c is present in several fruits and vegetables. It is most abundantly present in citrus fruits as it is acid by nature. Besides citrus fruits, the following is a list of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables.

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Capsicums
  • Cauliflower
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme

An immunity powerhose!

Of all the vitamins, vitamin C has the most profound effect on the human immune system. It exhibits strong antioxidant properties and neutralizes the harmful free radicals-by-products of cell metabolism. Vitamin C fights off infections and helps reduce the harm of inflammation and tissue damage. It also helps the wound to heal up quickly. It helps treat scurvy. Vitamin C was discovered in 1932, and even before its discovery, nutrition suspected the preventive role of citrus fruits in developing scurvy.

Vitamin C is also suspected of having cancer-protective properties and it helps treat the symptoms of the common cold. The vitamin also impacts eye health positively.   

Vitamin C facilitates the production of collagen-a fibrous protein present in connective tissues like blood, cartilage. Therefore by facilitating the synthesis of collagen, it helps in the healthy functioning of several human organ systems like nervous, immune, skeletal, and respiratory systems. Vitamin c also helps in the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters-chemical messengers- and therefore contributes towards brain health.

Everyone knows citrus fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C

How can you increase Vitamin C levels?

Other benefits of vitamin C include its contribution to heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels, diabetes management, anemia treatment, and reducing seasickness.

Deficiency of vitamin C results in low production of collagen and in consequence connective tissues weaken and you feel symptoms like joint pains. Vitamin C deficiency also decreases the rate of wound healing and its deficiency also results in scurvy. Other deficiency symptoms may include skin problems like skin wrinkling. 

Vitamin E

Chemically, the vitamin E is tocopherol-based chemical compounds. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and it remains available inside the body’s fatty tissues for future use. Vitamin E occurs naturally in a wide range of foods but however, it is predominantly present in plant oils, seeds, and nuts. Besides these sources, the following are the natural sources of vitamin E.

  • Mamey Sapote
  • Abalone
  • Chillies
  • Goose meat
  • Avocado
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Mango
  • Kiwi fruit

Vitamin E exhibits strong antioxidant properties. Just like the other two vitamins discussed above, it also neutralizes the harmful free radicals and helps protect body cells and tissues from the damages of these hazardous chemicals. Vitamin E fights off the infection, reduces inflammation, and maintains your skin in sound health. Healthy skin is the first barrier against pathogens.

Vitamin E is also involved in other immune functions like regulation of gene expression and cell signaling. Although not proven scientifically but vitamin E is suspected for its positive impact on a wide range of human diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, menstrual cramps, glomerulosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels in the kidney), G6PD deficiency, intracranial hemorrhage, inflammation of the liver, Parkinson’s disease, premenstrual syndrome, sunburn, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The deficiency of vitamin E is rare. Deficiency of vitamin E results in symptoms like ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response. 

Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E!

Using plant based supplements to increase your immunity

Conclusion

Human health is a precious gift from the heavens. We all want to remain healthy all year long and for preserving our health, we need to make conscious efforts towards this end. While a balanced diet, regular exercise, and positive thinking are also mandatory for a good immune response. But the role of vitamins in strengthening our immune system is proven scientifically and we must add them in our daily diet. All of the vitamins are necessary for our immune system but it is heavily impacted by vitamins A, C, and E. So don’t miss on them. 

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://thriva.co/hub/vitamins/what-are-vitamins

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a#what-it-is

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219352#what_is_vitamin_C_and_why_do_we_need_it

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/#h5

https://www.healthline.com/health/all-about-vitamin-e

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-e/art-20364144

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What Is Gut Flora?

How often? do you show love to your gut?

Normally, we believe that microorganisms that live over or inside the human body are harmful in nature as many of the deadly human diseases like Cholera, Leprosy, Anthrax, Syphilis, and Plague, and so on are caused by these tiny creatures especially by bacteria. Although it is a fact that these invisible microorganisms including bacteria have taken a toll on human health it is not the complete truth. 

There is another side to the story and that is many cousins of these microorganisms and bacteria are actually beneficial for our health. Though many of us will not believe the positive aspect of bacteria it can’t be denied that thousands of bacteria live in our digestive tract or digestive cavity where they are benefitting us by facilitating digestion and carrying out other vital functions.

The microorganisms present in our digestive cavity are known as human gastrointestinal microbiota and gut flora/gut microbiota. These microorganisms predominantly include bacteria and members of the Archea Kingdom. In the gut, mostly gut flora is present in the stomach and intestinal area. Gut flora is also present in most of the other animals and even in insects where they perform certain important functions for the host.

In humans too, these gut flora impact human health positively by performing certain vital functions. The following is a brief list of the important functions of our gut flora.

Gut Flora is essential for a healthy immune system!

  • Keeping Pathogens at Bay: Gut flora fully occupies space of the digestive tract and consumes almost all of the available resources and nutrients. Therefore they defend against pathogens by denying them space and nutrients. Also, gut flora secretes chemicals which either kill any prospective parasite or inhibit their further growth in the gut area.
  • Strengthening the Immune System: Besides directly combating pathogens, gut flora also supports the immune response in the digestive tract. Different strains of gut bacteria induce the production of different cytokines. Cytokines are chemical compounds produced by our immune system for initiating an inflammatory response (a defensive mechanism) against infections. Gut flora also regulates the production of antibodies-defensive proteins. For example, gut flora increases the production of the IgA antibody. IgA antibody is very effective in killing harmful pathogens in the mucosal environment (like gut). Besides. IgA also maintains a healthy environment between the host and gut bacteria. IgA is also known for diversifying the bacterial community of the gut. Cytokines and IgA produced in the gut also affect immunity positively in other organs like lungs.

A healthy Gut Flora will speed up your metabolism!

The metabolites produced by gut bacteria can affect the production of some other immune cells. For example, certain strains of gut bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids during fermentation. These short-chain fatty acid molecules increase the production of innate immune cells like neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils. These innate immune cells help protect the body against infectious diseases by localizing infections.

  • Helps in Metabolism: Gut flora helps in the metabolism of certain nutrients like carbohydrates. Humans cannot digest certain starches, oligosaccharides, fiber, and sugars without the help of gut flora. Without gut flora, humans might lose some of these important nutrients. The gut bacteria turn these non-digestible foods into useful products like acetic acid, propionic acid, and butyric acid by the process of fermentation. Acetic acid is used by muscle, propionic acid facilitates liver production of ATP, and butyric acid provides energy to gut cells. 

Gut bacteria also facilitates digestion by producing certain digestive enzymes that humans cannot make on their own. A lab study has shown that without gut bacteria, mice consumed roughly thirty percent more calories than their counterparts with gut bacteria.

Besides facilitating digesting, certain species of gut flora also synthesize other useful products like vitamins (biotin, folate). Also, gut flora facilitates the absorption of dietary minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. 

  • Gut Flora and General Health: Gut flora has also several health benefits for example in case of imbalance between healthy and unhealthy gut bacteria (a condition called dysbiosis) may lead to weight gain and conversely, a healthy balance between the two contributes to weight loss. Similarly, gut bacteria also affect your gut health. Good gut bacteria help treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and certain strains of them like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli fill the gap between intestinal cells and thus preventing the leaky gut syndrome. Also, Lactobacilli improve heart health by lowering down blood cholesterol levels.

Healthy gut flora can even prevent diabetes!

Gut flora also lowers the risk of both type 1 and 2 diabetes as they control blood sugar. For example, in a study, it was found that prior to the onset of type 1, diversity of gut flora was dropped and the number of unhealthy bacterial species increased. 

In summary, show your gut some love!

Finally, gut flora may also support brain health. Certain bacterial species produce neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are also known as chemical messengers and these are chemical compounds that facilitate information exchange between nerve cells. Besides, gut flora may also affect brain health by help controlling the messages that are sent to the brain from the gut as the gut is predominantly inhabited by gut flora. Several studies have shown that people with various psychological disorders have different species of bacteria as compared to healthy people.

Some of the research studies have also shown that certain probiotics species can improve symptoms of depression but however more research is needed to fully explore the relationship between gut flora and brain health.

Sources

https://www.bmj.com/content/361/bmj.k2179
https://www.eufic.org/en/healthy-living/article/the-role-of-gut-microorganisms-in-human-health
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4528021/
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-microbiome-and-health#section7
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/gut-flora
https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2019/2682748/
https://www.nutriciaresearch.com/gut-and-microbiology/the-central-role-of-the-gut/
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What on earth is a Phytonutrient?

What is a pyhtonutrient?

In Greek ‘Phyto’ refers to plant and nutrient is any element or chemical compound required by humans for a healthy living. So phytonutrients or phytochemicals are plant-based nutrients. These phytonutrients help protect plants from hazardous microorganisms and fungi while in animals, they raise the body’s natural defense and also help in the proper functioning of various organ systems. 

So far more than 25,000 phytonutrients are discovered and these phytonutrients are found in almost every part of the plant like in fruits, vegetables, and even in seeds. In most cases, these phytonutrients are concentrated in colourful parts of the plants like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, etc. 

Not essential, but proven effective!

Although these important phytochemicals are not considered essential for humans as they are not nutrients in the strict sense of the term however they affect human health. Just like their protective role in plants, the phytonutrients also help us to remain healthy.

Most of the phytonutrients possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties so they help limit oxidative damages and localize inflammations. Certain phytonutrients carcinogens and repair DNA damage (due to toxins exposure). Still other phytonutrients are natural immune boosters and may reduce the risk of coronary diseases.

Based on their chemical structure, phytonutrients are divided into several classes. The following are the classes of phytonutrients.

  • Betalains
  • Chlorophyll
  • Indoles
  • Organosulfides
  • Phenols
  • Terpenes
  • Triterpenes

Each of the phytonutrient class is further divided into groups and every class may contain up to dozens of dozens of phytonutrient groups, which in turn contain hundreds of phytonutrients. The following are phytonutrient groups.

  • Carotenoids
  • Curcuminoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Glucosinolates
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
  • Lignans
  • Lipids
  • Stilbenes
  • Sulfides
  • Tocopherol

Among the several phytonutrient groups, the following are of more interest as they significantly impact our health.

  • Carotenoids: Carotenoids are colorful plant pigments and they are most abundantly found in colorful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. So far more than 600 carotenoids are discovered out of which alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene are the most common. Each of these carotenoids has its specific benefits like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin are precursors of vitamin A and once into the body, they are readily converted in vitamin A. Vitamin A boosts immunity and reduces the antioxidative damages.

You’ve possibly heard of these compounds, even if you didn’t know they were phytonutrients!

Similarly lutein and zeaxanthin are components of human retina and therefore they are associated with eye health and lycopene lowers down the risks of prostate cancer. For increasing the bioavailability of carotenoids, they must be consumed with fats. Bright colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangos, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, and oranges are rich in these amazing phytonutrients.

  • Ellagic acid: Ellagic acid also known as tannin exhibits strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogen properties. Tannin also lowers blood pressure and helps remove arterial plaque and thus contributing to heart health. Ellagic acid is also known to improve glucose metabolism by blocking the intestinal enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which triggers glucose absorption.

Berries like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, and grapes, pomegranates, and walnuts are rich in ellagic acid. 

  • Flavonoids: It is a very large group of phytonutrients and flavones, anthocyanins, flavonones, isoflavones, hesperidin, catechins and flavonols are its famous sub-groups. Flavonoids are linked with longevity and also they support heart health. Flavonols help reduce risks of asthma, some types of cancers, and cardiovascular diseases. Hesperidin present in citrus fruits has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This diverse phytonutrient group is present in a wide range of fruits and vegetables like apples, onions, coffee, grapefruit, tea, berries, chocolate, legumes, red wine, broccoli, cabbage, kale, leeks, tomatoes, ginger, lemons, parsley, carrots, and buckwheat.

  • Curcumin:  The yellowish curcumin is primarily found in turmeric. This phytonutrient is used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years. Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and also exhibits strong antioxidant properties. It has also anti-cancer effects and is found effective in limiting mouth, colon, stomach, and liver cancers. Curcumin also improves cardiovascular health as it helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). Curcumin also improves the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are also known as Lignans. These phytonutrients are called phytoestrogens because of their estrogen-like effects. Phytoestrogens are suspected of preventing endometrial cancer and osteoporosis. There is also inconclusive evidence about the effectiveness of lignans in preventing prostate cancer. Kale, broccoli, apricots, and strawberries are rich in phytoestrogens.
  • Resveratrol:  Grapes and red wine are rich in Resveratrol and this phytonutrient help reduces the risk of coronary diseases and certain types of cancers. Also, certain animal studies have suggested that Resveratrol may extend life. Resveratrol has also antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and it helps reduce oxidative damages.
  • Glucosinolates: Glucosinolates are found in vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts. These phytonutrients reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. 

Bottom Line

Phytonutrients may not be classed as proper nutrients but considering their significant health benefits, they must be included in daily diet. By daily consuming these amazing plant-based chemicals, you may definitely become healthier.

Sources

https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1
https://www.healthline.com/health/phytonutrients#benefits
https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Phytonutrients-%E2%80%93-Nature%E2%80%99s-Natural-Defense.aspx
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What are the essential vitamins your body needs?

What are Vitamins?

Vitamins are essential nutrients which play some of the vital functions in the human body. Some of them like B-complex play critical role in energy metabolism while some play other health supportive roles like antioxidative and immune strengthening role of vitamin C. Still some of them are required for proper organ growth like role of vitamin D in improving bone health. Often vitamins are grouped into two classes; fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.

Fat-soluble vitamins get stored in your body fat so they remain available for future use and you are not required to take them frequently. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are examples of fat-soluble vitamins.

On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, and excess of these vitamins are flushed out from your body by your excretory system. So for staying healthy, you must replenish water-soluble vitamins from your diet constantly. Vitamin C and B vitamins family (B1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12) are examples of water-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin A

Chemically, vitamin A is referred to a group of retinoids like retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters [1-3]. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin which means human body can store vitamin A for future use as well. Vitamin A comes in two forms, preformed vitamin A (retinol and retinyl esters) and provitamin A carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is naturally present in animal-based sources like dairy products, meat, and fish while provitamin A carotenoids come from plant-based sources. Provitamin carotenoids are converted into vitamin A in the human body.  

Vitamin A-rich foods include fish, meat, dairy products, and vegetables especially colorful vegetables as they are rich in provitamin A beta-carotenes.

Vitamin A plays critical role in maintaining human health. It helps in maintaining the healthy functioning of respiratory and digestive systems by maintaining a healthy lining of respiratory and digestive tracts. The healthy lining acts as a barrier against microbial infections. Vitamin A also keeps skin healthy. A healthy skin not only keeps you healthy but it also gives you an attractive look. 

Vitamin A has also strong antioxidant properties as it neutralizes the harmful free radicals and thus help against cell damage, reduce cancer-risks, and fights off infections.

Retinols are used by the human eye cells-rods and cones-so vitamin A is also helpful in maintaining eye health and it reduces the chances of night blindness. Another significant role of vitamin A also supports bone and teeth health.

Deficiency of vitamin A may lead to night blindness or an inability to see in dim light. Vitamin A deficiency also increases the risk of dying from measles and diarrhea and in pregnant women, its deficiency causes anemia and obstructs the normal growth of the fetus. Other deficiency symptoms may include skin problems like acne.       

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid is the chemical name of vitamin C. Unlike vitamin A, it is a water-soluble vitamin and therefore its supply is needs replenishment on daily basis. Naturally, vitamin c is present in several fruits and vegetables. It is most abundantly present in citrus fruits as it is acid by nature. Besides citrus fruits, the following is a list of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables.

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Capsicums
  • Cauliflower
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme

Of all the vitamins, vitamin C has the most profound effect on the human immune system. It exhibits strong antioxidant properties and neutralizes the harmful free radicals-by-products of cell metabolism. Vitamin C fights off infections and helps reduce inflammatory damage. It also helps the wound to heal up quickly and is also helpful in treating scurvy. 

Vitamin C is also suspected of having cancer-protective properties and it helps treat the symptoms of the common cold. Vitamin C facilitates the production of collagen-a fibrous protein present in connective tissues like blood, cartilage. Therefore by facilitating the synthesis of collagen, it helps in the healthy functioning of several human organ systems like nervous, immune, skeletal, and respiratory systems. Vitamin C also helps in the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters-chemical messengers- and therefore contributes towards brain health.

Other benefits of vitamin C include its contribution to heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels, diabetes management, anemia treatment, and reducing seasickness. 

Deficiency of vitamin C results in low production of collagen and in consequence connective tissues weaken and you feel symptoms like joint pains. Vitamin C deficiency also decreases the rate of wound healing and its deficiency also results in scurvy. Other deficiency symptoms may include skin problems like skin wrinkling. 

Vitamin E

Chemically, the vitamin E is tocopherol-based chemical compounds. Like vitamin A, vitamin E is also a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin E occurs naturally in several foods but however, it is predominantly present in plant oils, seeds, and nuts. Besides these sources, the following are the natural sources of vitamin E.

  • Mamey Sapote
  • Abalone
  • Chillies
  • Goose meat
  • Avocado
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Mango
  • Kiwi fruit

Vitamin E exhibits strong antioxidative properties. It also neutralizes the harmful free radicals and helps protect body cells and tissues from the oxidative damages. Vitamin E fights off the infection, reduces inflammation, and maintains healthy skin. 

Vitamin E is also involved in other immune functions like regulation of gene expression and cell signaling. Although not proven scientifically but vitamin E is suspected for its positive impact on a wide range of human diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, menstrual cramps, glomerulosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels in the kidney), G6PD deficiency, intracranial hemorrhage, inflammation of the liver, Parkinson’s disease, premenstrual syndrome, sunburn, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The deficiency of vitamin E is rare but deficiency of vitamin E may lead to ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response. 

An Overview of the B5 Vitamin

The B5 vitamin is also known as Pantothenic Acid. The B5 vitamin is the most prolific of all the vitamins and is found in every type of food. In fact, it is impossible for a person to consume less B5 vitamins than they need. That means that there is no little possibility that a person can have a B5 vitamin deficiency. For this reason, there is actually no recommended daily amount that health professionals can state as everyone obtains more than enough from their normal food consumption. However, even though there is no need to calculate a recommended daily allowance it does not mean that the B5 vitamin is not vital for a healthy body and mind. In fact, the B5 vitamin is essential for turning food into energy amongst other functions. The B5 vitamin is responsible for taking the fats and carbohydrates into energy.

Some B5 vitamins can be found in almost every food whether it is animal or vegetable. Obviously there are some sources of the B5 vitamin that are better than others but a balanced diet will provide more than enough. The foods with the highest B5 vitamin content are organ meats, salmon, eggs, beans, milk, and whole grains. It is worth noting that the B5 vitamin is lost when grains are milled into flour and tends not to beaded back in. Therefore, processed grain foods such as bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal, and baked goods are not good sources of the B5 vitamin.

The B5 vitamin is the most effective when it is combined with other B vitamins especially thiamin or B1, riboflavin or B2, niacin or B3, pyridoxine or B6, and biotin. Along with these other B vitamins, the B5 vitamin is an integral part in a number of processes. The most important of these is the production of energy from food that is consumed and this is known as the Kreb’s cycle. The B5 vitamin is also required for releasing energy from fats. 

Interestingly, the B5 vitamin is also considered to be helpful in reducing stress. This is chiefly due to the fact that during periods of stress, the body produces more of certain hormones such as adrenalin and these require the B5 vitamin. There are many theories as to the benefits of the B5 vitamin but there is no need for the majority of people to actively seek out foods that are high in B5 as they are likely to be consuming far more than is needed already. There are no adverse effects to consuming too much B5 vitamin.

A Guide to the B6 Vitamin

The B6 vitamin, also known as pyridoxine, is one of the most versatile of the B vitamins and yet the body only requires a relatively small amount.  The B6 vitamin works closely with all the other B vitamins, especially niacin, folic acid, and Cobalamin and contributes to numerous functions in the body. Amino acids are converted by the B6 vitamin into proteins and it is also required for transforming stored sugar within the body into essential energy. Basically, the B6 vitamin is essential for converting the proteins that are consumed into proteins that the body needs and also for converting the carbohydrates from the form that they are stored in the body to a form that can be used for extra energy.

The body requires a number of different proteins and it is the B6 vitamin that ensures that the correct forms are available. For example, the B6 vitamin will create haemoglobin for carrying oxygen in the blood cells, hormones for regulating blood pressure, neurotransmitters and various enzymes.

The recommended daily allowance for the B6 vitamin is only around 2.0mg but this seemingly insignificant amount is used extremely efficiently within the body to produce over sixty different enzymes. The best sources of the B6 vitamin are high-protein foods such as eggs, fish, poultry, and meat and it is also added to breakfast cereals and bread to ensure that everyone is able to consume their recommended daily allowance, even if they do not eat meat products. An additional amount of the b6 vitamin may be beneficial for the heart and immune system. B6 vitamin supplements are sometimes required by asthmatics and diabetics. However, it is important to be aware that large doses of the B6 vitamin can be toxic.

As the B6 vitamin is found in many common foods the majority of people receive sufficient amounts of the vitamin from their normal diet. There are some groups that may need to take a B6 vitamin supplement to ensure that they obtain the recommended daily allowance. For example, pregnant or breastfeeding women will need a slightly higher amount of the B6 vitamin to allow for the amount of the vitamin that is being absorbed by the baby although it is possible to obtain the extra B6 vitamin from an increased consumption of high-protein foods. Strict vegetarians or vegans, however, and children who do not eat animal products may need a B6 vitamin supplement as vegetables and fruits are poor sources of the B6 vitamin.

Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamins)

Vitamin B-12 is also known as cobalamin and unlike vitamin E, it is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin B-12 is required for normal neural functioning and it is also needed for red blood cell production. Vitamin B-12 is the largest and structurally most complex vitamin and its deficiency may lead to severe nerve damage, depression, confusion, weight loss, constipation, and numbness of hands and feet. You can overcome its deficiency by eating vitamin B-12 rich foods which are; poultry products, beef, lamb, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, and yogurt.

 The Role Of Vitamin B3 Niacin

Vitamin B3 niacin is an essential vitamin for your body, and it is just one of the eight water soluble types of B vitamins.  Nearly all of the B vitamin classes will help the body convert carbohydrates into sugar or glucose, which can then be burned to produce energy.  Also known as complex B vitamins, B3 niacin are essential in helping the body break down protein and fat.

Complex B vitamins also play an important role with maintaining muscle tone within the digestive tract, along with the health of the skin, nervous system, live, eyes, hair, and mouth.  Even though a lot of people associate creative with the aspect of muscles and muscle tone, vitamin B3 niacin is as equally important – if not more important.

B3 niacin is also important with getting harmful or toxic chemicals out of the body.  It can also help the body produce different sex and stress related hormones within the adrenal glands, among other parts of the body.  The vitamin is also useful for helping with sexual dysfunction as well.  This can be great news for those who have problems with pleasing their mate.

Also very effective with improving circulation, B3 niacin can also help to reduce cholesterol levels found in the blood.  Even though vitamin B3 niacin is great as a stand alone supplement, it should also consumed with foods that contain protein, due to the fact that the body is able to convert the amino acid known as tryptophan into niacin.

The higher doses of B3 niacin, which are available only through prescription, have been proven to prevent and also improve a variety of different symptoms and ailments.  Due to the high risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a doctor first, before they decide to start higher doses of B3 niacin.

There are also niacin skin care products that are being developed as well, which contain anti-aging products, helping to treat acne and also aid in the prevention of skin cancer.  A lot of dermatologists expect that these products will become really popular over the next several years.  Even though they are still in development stages, research has proven them to be very effective when compared to the other types of products.

The best sources for vitamin B3 niacin include beef, pork, turkey, beets, veal, fish, chicken, salmon, tuna, and peanuts.  You can also get supplements that contain B3 niacin as well, which can give your body the amounts it needs.  This is a very important vitamin, as it does a lot more for the body than most think.  By consuming foods that contain it or taking the proper supplements – you’ll get the amount of B vitamins that your body needs on a daily basis.

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How to stay healthy, as easy as ABC

How to stay healthy as easy as ABC

I think everyone wants to live a longer healthier life, in 2020 this is more important than ever with the ongoing health epidemic! Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a lot of planning and commitment. Whilst many people may be looking for a “get fit quick” scheme, the truth is that just isn’t an option! 

Over the years we’ve all heard many different mnemonics and acronyms that have been developed by nutritionists and scientists to help people when it comes making healthy lifestyle choices. I’m sure we all remember the nationwide campaign “Change for life” billboards all over the country hosted bright and colourful images supporting us to eat healthily. Eating healthier is of course a vital step in increasing your natural immunity!

One of these would be the ABC’s of staying healthy, this is one of our favourite mnemonics, mainly because it’s very easy to remember what’s involved! So here it is, yet another mnemonic intended to help you keep making healthy lifestyle choices! 

Abstinence
Herbal Living UK introduces – the ABC’s of staying health!

A Is For Abstinence

“A” stands for abstinence. And no, we don’t mean the abstinence that you’re thinking of! (although right now the official instruction is to do THAT with masks on, how sexy!) 

When we say “abstinence” in terms of health, we don’t mean that you should avoid getting between the sheets with your other half! No what we mean is that you should build on your ability to say “NO!” to unhealthy lifestyle choices 

Let’s say that you like to drink a little, you know full well that this isn’t good for your weight, your liver or your bank balance. You might be surprised to hear that you don’t HAVE to go out on the weekend, by saying “No!” you empower yourself, and your liver will thank you too! 

Abstinence is in effect a disciplinary concept. It’s not easy, and you will often find yourself wanting to nip out for a cheeky pint. By keeping your health and fitness goals in mind, you might find it a little easier to keep yourself out of the pub each weekend! 

Sometimes it can be a little confusing to understand what choices your making are unhealthy, what seems like a regular day occurrence for everyone can often be overlooked when it comes to damage to health. For example, most people (ourselves included) start the day with a coffee. This seems like a completely normal choice to start the day, however there are much better ways to give yourself a morning wake-up call.

Being Faithful to your healthy lifestyle can be hard
Being Faithful to your healthy lifestyle can be hard!

B Is For Be Faithful

“B” stands for “Being Faithful” . This is your ability to hold onto your focus, and sticking to your health and fitness goals. What this doesn’t mean is that you have to be 100% rigid all the time, we all need a small treat every now and then! But we’ve all had that experience where a small treat ends up with you 5 packets of biscuits deep surrounded by crumbs of shame, no? Oh, that must just be us! 

Exercise is essential for natural immunity

C Is For Calisthenics

Calisthenics is basically just a funny word for exercise, it is often a word that is used to describe bodyweight exercises. Exercise  is and always has been part of any healthy program. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be smashing out 30 – 60 minutes of high intensity, body sculpting brutality (although you can if you wish!)

These programs are designed to give results that many people just aren’t searching for. If you want to be a fine specimen of a human being these workouts are for you, if you just want to be healthy enough to run around the garden with the kids, they’re just not necessary. Calisthenics are simple activities which make you use your body in such a way to promote proper blood flow throughout your body, providing excellent oxygenation to all your cells which in turn promotes natural health and immunity. 

Calisthenics should be done everyday for at least 20 minutes, and they include what is known as aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise can be simply described as exercise where the cells all have an adequate supply of oxygen to complete the activity, whereas anaerobic exercises put stress on the cells causing oxidative stress. Not only does daily calisthenics improve the cardiovascular flow of the body, it also adds up to the amount of calories to be burned for the day to maintain the desired body weight and fitness level. 

increase your immunity
Immunity is on everyone’s mind right now

Exercise is a vital ingredient to increasing your natural immunity. During the COVID-19 epidemic of 2019 – 2020, all of the world’s governments were eager to allow their citizens to exercise for varying lengths of time, have you ever thought about why this is? By taking 1 hour a day to exercise in the correct way you increase blood flow and increase your health. Herbal Living wants to help everyone achieve a healthier lifestyle, for our own Calisthenics workout you can do from the comfort of your own home. Join our Mailing list to receive a FREE home workout guide! 

We hope you have found this blog article helpful, we have always found that the best way to achieve a healthy lifestyle is to use easy to remember mnemonics for health, that you can say to yourselves when you begin to waver on your journey. Any time you are considering breaking your new lifestyle choice you can simply repeat to yourself “Be Faithful” as you walk away from picking up that treat you know full well you haven’t earned!

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What are the health benefits of green tea?

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea

A brief background into green tea

Traditionally, green tea has been used for its medicinal effects in Asia and it’s and Sub-continents since before records began. After water, tea is the most consumed liquid in the world. Out of the total global tea consumption, around one-fifth is the green tea. Green tea is made from the leaves and buds of Camellia sinensis.


In fact, almost every type of tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis but it is the oxidation level of leaves that makes the difference. In black tea, the leaves are oxidized to a great extent while in green tea; unoxidized or partially oxidized leaves are used. As green tea contains partially oxidized Camellia leaves so the green tea has a higher ratio of antioxidant compounds like polyphenols. Flavonoids are the predominant polyphenols found in green tea.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
Green tea is an excellent refreshing drink!


Uses of Green Tea

Although, green tea is particularly popular for its medicinal properties it has also other uses like green tea bags that are applied onto skin for minimizing the harmful effects of sun’s ultraviolet radiation.


Extracts of green tea are used in mouthwash and gargling with green tea soothes toothache. After pulling out a tooth, green tea candy helps stop bleeding from gum, and green tea is also used to decrease puffiness under the eyes.

Green tea is also very famous for its weight loss properties and people from around the world incorporate it in their diets for losing some pounds of unwanted body fat. In addition to all these beneficial aspects, green tea is actually hailed for its health benefits and the following are some of the health benefits of green tea.


Health Benefits of Green Tea


Green tea helps fight cancers: Antioxidants like polyphenols present in green tea are found useful in limiting tumor growths in several laboratory experiments. Therefore it is no wonder that ratios of cancer in countries with high green tea consumption are lower as compared to countries where green tea consumption is low. Green tea is found effective in skin, breast, lung, skin, esophagus, colorectal, and prostate cancers.


Green tea lowers blood cholesterol level: There is evidence that green tea lowers down blood cholesterol level, it lowers down both total and bad cholesterol of the blood.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
Anything this brightly green has to be good for you, right?


Green tea promotes heart health:

Green tea lowers down blood cholesterol level especially the LDL or bad cholesterol. Therefore, green tea promotes heart health and lowers the risk of cardiovascular complications.


Green tea helps lower risks of type 2 diabetes: Diabetes is one of the most prevailing health issues in the world today. Green tea has proved its effectiveness in lowering the risks of diabetes development. Not-sweetened green tea is a natural remedy for keeping blood sugar level in check.
Green tea helps treat skin inflammation: Green tea helps to relieve the symptoms of skin inflammation. It has shown positive results in the treatment of various skin inflammatory diseases like dandruff, red flaky skin, and psoriasis.


Green tea improves memory:

Various research studies indicate that green tea helps improve memory and therefore it is helpful in certain neuropsychiatric disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Side effects of Green Tea


Unlike its health upsides, little information is available on the potential negative side effects of green tea. However, the following are some of the risks which are associated with green tea. If you are caffeine sensitive then you may experience irritability, anxiety, or upset stomach.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
I bet that smells wonderful…


Like aspirin, green tea has also shown some blood-thinning properties so be cautious if you are on a blood related medical therapy.


Finally, excessive use of green tea extracts or green tea-based mouth wash can lead to stomach problems like constipation, indigestion, etc.


Brief Overview of Available Studies into the health benefits of green tea


So far, a lot of studies have been conducting on exploring the nature, medical upsides, and downsides of green tea. The following is a brief overview of these studies.


In 2006, a study, ‘Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan’ published in Journal of the American Medical Association explored the effects of green tea on coronary complications.


In 2007, a study, ‘Green tea polyphenol induces caspase 14 in epidermal keratinocytes via MAPK pathways and reduces psoriasiform lesions in the flaky skin mouse model’ published online on PubMed proved the positive impact of green tea on reducing skin inflammations.


In 2011, an analysis of research studies, ‘Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials’ published online on PubMed showed that how green tea lowers down the blood cholesterol level.


In 2013, a study, ‘The Impact of Green Tea and Coffee Consumption on the Reduced Risk of Stroke Incidence in Japanese Population’, published online on AHA Journals surfaced the positive impact of green tea on stroke.
In 2014, a study, ‘Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing’ published in the journal ‘Psychopharmacology’ suggested that green tea impacted memory positively.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
You can’t go wrong with a cup of green tea!


Bottom Line

As you can see, there has been extensive research into the effects of green tea, and the results all seem to be extremely positive at this time, more and more health benefits are being discovered all the time, switching from black tea to green tea could be an excellent idea after all.

In conclusion, we can safely infer that our ancestors were right in choosing green tea as a medicine. Modern research has only proved the assumptions of our ancestors. It is a high time to include green tea in our diet.

Check our Latest article Top 10 Herbs and Spices for Increasing Natural Immunity


Sources


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538


https://www.rxlist.com/green_tea/supplements.htm


https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a43325/green-tea-benefits/


https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-of-green-tea-that-you-didnt-know-about.html


https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea#1


https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-green-tea

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A brief introduction to nootropics

What Are Nootropics?


Before 1972, we were not familiar with the term ‘nootropic’. In 1972, Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian psychologist and chemist, invented the term by combining two Greek words, and in the English Language, the nootropic literally means ‘mind-tuner’.


It will be now easy for you to understand that what nootropics really are? These are drugs and supplements to enhance brain performance like memory, creativity, and other mental processes. Nootropics are also often referred to as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers.


According to Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian psychologist and chemist, who is also considered as ‘father of nootropics’, a substance may be categorized as a nootropic if it exhibits the following properties.

  • Memory and learning enhancer
  • Improve cognition functions
  • Protect brain cells
  • Facilitate information exchange between neurons
  • Possess brain bioactivity

Nootropics work with no psychological side effects


From the above detailed and descriptive definition of nootropics, we can conclude that any substance can be identified as a nootropic if it contributes to brain health without any side effects.

Nootropics Side Effects
Nootropics are the umbrella term for substances that contribute to brain health


Like creatine and caffeine-also classed as nootropics- these smart drugs positively impact your brain functions. They are no medications in a strict sense of the term because they can’t treat any disease but these smart drugs get you smarter by enhancing your mental faculties.

Where most performance enhancing substances, such as cocaine or amphetamines, have very extreme negative psychological side effects, and as such should be avoided at all costs, Nootropics seem to show zero psychological when used correctly.

Are Nootropics Just High Dose Caffeine?


A nootropic usually gets you high and therefore many of us believe that nootropics are nothing but high dose caffeine. But this assumption is wrong as nootropics are more than caffeine. Although, almost every nootropic contains caffeine as an ingredient nootropics also contain many of the other brain-friendly chemicals.


Besides caffeine, a nootropic may contain Alpha-lipoic acid, GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), DMAE, Choline, vitamin B-3, B-6, B-12, Tyrosine, L-theanine, Vinpocetine, and Taurine among other brain-friendly substances. Therefore nootropics are not just high doses of caffeine; these are brain supplements that contain caffeine as an ingredient.

Are Nootropics Just High Dose Caffeine
Nootropics are so much more than high doses of caffeine


As nootropics are not just high doses of caffeine so they help improve a wide range of brain functions besides getting you high for a while. Below are some of the powerful impacts of nootropics on various mental functions.


Attention: These smart drugs help you to focus and concentrate and thus associated with enhanced productivity.


Memory: Almost all aspects of the memory are enhanced by nootropics like information storage, retention, and recall.


Learning: Nootropics help you focus and enhance your memory so these cognition enhancers boost learning and academic performance.


Mood: Nootropics have a soothing effect on your brain so you feel relaxed.

Relaxed mind helps you to think freely and contemplate deeply, thus help you to come up with creative ideas. These smart drugs have also proven effective in building confidence, inducing sociability, and raising motivation and happiness.


Physical work-out: Stress-resistant and mood-enhancing properties of these smart drugs have added them to the buying carts of sportsmen. Now, these are also used in sports nutrition because of their mood and motivational properties.


Are Nootropics Safe?

Are Nootropics Safe
You might be wondering, with all these benefits, are their any bad side effects?


Nootropics are nutritional supplements that mainly benefit brain health; they do so by improving brain pathways. First of all, nootropics help increase the availability of energy for the brain. The brain is the most energy-hungry organ of our body-consuming nearly 20% of the whole bodily energy.


Another positive effect of the cognition enhancers on the brain processes is that they help increase blood flow to the brain. As the brain is the most energy-demanding body organ so it needs more blood for nutrient and oxygen supply and continuous removal of metabolic wastes from the brain.

Then, these smart supplements improve the functions of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals produced in the brain and they play a critical role in transmitting messages through neurons.

Nootropics increase the brains natural abilities


The brain works on the mechanism of electrical transmission. In the brain, messages are processed through ionic current. Therefore certain waves are produced in the brain. Nootropics enhance some of these brainwaves to help improve cognitive functions.


Our brain is an energy-intensive organ; it means that a lot of metabolic processes are occurring in our brain at any time. Huge metabolic activities result in the creation of metabolic waste. Hazardous free radicals are also produced as metabolic waste which may damage brain cells if not removed or oxidized quickly. Anti-oxidative properties of nootropics help oxidize these potent free radicals quickly and in consequence, your brain performance is boosted.


Finally, our brain cells-neurons- are the most specialized cells of the human body. The more a cell specializes for a certain task lesser are its regenerative and repairing properties. So neurons have the least of the repairing and regenerative capabilities. Nootropics have shown neurogenesis properties and these help in neuron repair and maintenance and thus enhances the brain’s plasticity.

Supplements Turbo Brain Mental Performance Brain Supplement
Turbo brain is one of the highest quality nootropics available on the open market!

In conclusion should you be utilising nootropics?


The very definition of nootropics by its founding father, Corneliu Giurgea, indicates that nootropics are without any side effects that are they are safe. Nootropics are safe because they are not medicines rather they are nutritional supplements. But however, nootropics may sometimes contain suspected ingredients like artificial colors and preservatives which may have potential health risks. Because of these doubtful ingredients, nootropics may have side effects like a fast heart rate, high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, and probably addiction.


So it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking nootropics.
Sources


https://www.mindlabpro.com/blogs/nootropics/what-are-nootropics


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326379#prescription


https://thrivous.com/blogs/views/what-are-nootropics


https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a27815313/what-are-nootropics/


https://www.caffeineinformer.com/nootropics


https://www.mindlabpro.com/blogs/nootropics/are-nootropics-safe

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Top 10 herbs and spices you have at home to increase your immunity!

top 10 herbs and spices for Increasing Natural Immunity

The contents of this blog article are purely for educational purposes, the views and opinions contained within this article, whilst heavily sourced and researched. Are not to be seen as a substitute for following proper medical guidance. For official information regarding the COVID-19 epidemic please consult your doctor, local authority or the WHO website

There are a range of herbs and spices that are available on the market place, so many of us use them in our cooking on a daily basis, but do you ever stop and think about how they are helping your health?

If we look at the recent world wide epidemic, we can see that countries where a high level of herbs and spices are used in the diet, did seem to perform better than those who live on a junk food heavy diet.


We’re not saying that diet is a main contributor in the recent epidemic, we’re no where near qualified enough to make these sorts of claims, but it has long since been said that a healthy diet can support an healthy immune system.


That being said, we all think about fruits and vegetables when it comes to healthy eating, but there are a range of delicious ways to make your meal even healthier, and tastier, by simply adding these herbs and spices in this list to your own cooking you can work with your bodies natural immune system to remain healthy!

Here is the list of top ten useful herbs and spices for human health.

No. 1 – Garlic


Obviously Garlic was going to be on this list, let’s get it out of the way early, some of our later entries are so surprising you’ll be amazed at what you can do to boost your health at home!

Everyone knows about this powerhouse of immunity, but did you know that Garlic is one of the prehistoric natural medicinal vegetables? This means it hasn’t changed much since the dinosaurs roamed the earth!

Each clove of this aromatic bulb-shaped veggie is doing wonders since ancient times when it comes to treating some of the stubborn human illnesses like hypertension and cancer.

garlic immunity booster
Garlic is a powerhouse of immunity! That’s why it’s first on our list

Garlic has some of the important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B1, B6, C, manganese, calcium, selenium, copper, etc and bioactive phytochemical compounds.


Due to its rich nutrients and phytochemical compounds, garlic is beneficial in a wide range of human health complications. Garlic is recommended for following health ailments.

Garlic can be used for a range of illnesses, including:

  • Allergies and infections
  • Cold and flu
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries)
  • For lowering blood cholesterol level
  • For lowering blood sugar level
  • Hypertension
  • Heart Issues
  • Cancers
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Skincare
  • Controlling hair loss

No. 2 – Cinnamon


Cinnamon is a native spice of South America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. It is one of the delicious spices which are known to humans for thousands of years. The cinnamon is also well-known for its health benefits and medicinal uses. The bark of the spice contains oils known as cinnamaldehyde. Due to cinnamaldehyde the cinnamon has got a peculiar smell. Cinnamaldehyde has antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Polyphenol compounds present in cinnamon displays antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

cinnamon immunity booster
Did you expect to see Cinnamon on this list? It’s excellent for your immune system!


Because of its rich bioactive compounds, the spice is effective in a range of health problems like it reduce blood sugar level by enhancing insulin sensitivity, it helps in fighting fungal infections, it improves brain health especially it helps relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer. The spice is also helpful in fighting bacterial and viral infections.

Number 3 – Ginger


Ginger is not only a spice that you use to spice up your recipes but this rhizome tuber has been used as folk medicine since ancient times. Ginger contains important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B3, B6, C, manganese, zinc, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron in addition to anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Ginger immunity booster
Predominant in Indian cuisine, ginger is a powerful antioxidant!


Therefore, ginger has been proven as an effective natural remedy for a good range of health problems like stomach issues and arthritis, etc. In the following complications, ginger is recommended by health experts.

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Common cold and flu
  • Inflammation
  • Joints and muscles pain
  • Menstrual cramps

Number 4 – Sage


Sage, a herb, has many health and medicinal benefits. Its leaves are used in medicine manufacturing. Sage is native to the Mediterranean and its other prominent family members include rosemary, thyme, and lavender. Sage is famous for its strong antioxidant properties but however, the herb also displays anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogen properties.

sage
We’ve got to be honest, we had to double check this was actually sage! Who knew it was purple!


Besides containing bioactive beneficial compounds, sage has also a rich nutrient profile. Sage contains healthy fats, carbohydrates, proteins, iron, calcium, manganese, and vitamin B6 and K. Sage is proved helpful in promoting oral health, relieves menopausal symptoms, lowers blood sugar and bad cholesterol levels, protects against cancer, improves memory and promotes brain health.

Number 5 – Peppermint


Peppermint is not a naturally occurring plant; instead, it was created artificially by crossing two different species of mint family-spearmint and water mint. Peppermint belongs to the mint family and it is an aromatic herb. Peppermint is popular for its cooling and aromatic sensation which it leaves in the mouth after chewing it in fresh form.

Peppermint
Peppermint tea is a super refreshing tea, with a whole host of health benefits

Besides aroma and pleasant cool sensation, the herb is also rich in nutrients. It contains dietary fiber, essential nutrients like iron, manganese, folate, and vitamins like vitamin A.

Peppermint is very good for improving digestion especially it relieves the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Some of the other health benefits of peppermint are brain health improvement, relieving cold symptoms, killing bad breath, and soothing bodily pains.

Number 6 – Chamomile


Chamomile is a flowering plant native to Western Asia and Europe but now it is cultivated elsewhere in the world. The plant comes in two varieties, German chamomile and Roman chamomile, the former variety is widely used for its health and medical benefits. Its medical benefits were known since prehistoric times and Hippocrates, the father of medicine, also used it for a variety of ailments.

Chamomile
Chamomile makes a delicious relaxing tea but it helps fight off a whole range of illnesses!


The herb contains useful chemical compounds like bisabolol, matricin, and flavonoids in addition to other bioactive substances. Chamomile is used as an ingredient in herbal teas and its health benefits include treating insomnia and anxiety, relieving indigestion symptoms, healing wounds, and improving eczema, and diabetes.

Number 7 – Hemp


We have an awful lot of content on how excellent hemp is, both for the human body and the planet. Unfortunately negative connotations are associated with the consumption of hemp; these connotations may be due to its recreational side effects. But with our prevalent approach to this weed, we may likely miss on some of its crucial nutritional benefits.

Hemp
The herb that just keeps on giving, hemp oil is good for the joints, and the brain!


Hemp seeds have very significant nutritional and dietary benefits. For instance, hemp seeds contain up to 33% of proteins and up to 35% of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. Hemps seeds are also rich in dietary fibers which means a healthy tummy for you. With such important and essential nutrients, it is time to re-think about hemp as it deserves a re-thinking.

Number 8 – Chilli Pepper


Chilli pepper or red pepper was originated more than 7000 years ago in Mexico. Since then, it has been used both as a food and a natural medicinal herb. Chilli pepper contains some important vitamins like vitamin A and C and bioactive compounds like tannins, alkaloids, and flavonoids. Chilli peppers also contain characteristic chemical compound capsaicin.

Chilli Pepper
Chilis are good for both immunity and the eye site, they’re packed full of vitamin E!


The capsaicin is known as a pain soothing chemical because it helps reduce pains related to skin. Besides its uses as a food herb, chili pepper is also popular for its medical uses. For instance, chili pepper is found effective in improving cardiovascular health, improving diabetes, and relieving menopausal symptoms. Besides, it also boosts the immune system and is helpful in skin care.

Number 9 – Bok choy


Bok choy or Chinese cabbage is a member of the cabbage family and it is a very nutritive leafy vegetable. Bok choy is rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers while it is low in carb and almost without any fat. Besides, rich nutrient profile, it has also some strong anti-oxidative and anti-carcinogen (cancer-fighting) compounds.

Bok Choy
A firm favourite in the Herbal living kitchen from our time in Asia, Bok Choi is devine!


Therefore bok choy has a range of health benefits. Anti-oxidant compounds of bok choy fight inflammation and reduce cell damage. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular complications and fights cancer cells. Bok choy is also useful in relieving pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Bok choy is also reported for improving the immunity system, lowering blood pressure, and managing type 2 diabetes.

Number 10 – Rosemary


Rosemary is an herb native to the Mediterranean but it can now be cultivated elsewhere. Rosemary herb is used for multiple purposes. It is used as a spice in food; its leaves are utilized in medicines while oil from its seeds is popular for various health benefits.

It contains some of the important nutrients like iron and calcium and vitamins like vitamin B-6. Besides nutrients and vitamins, rosemary also contains some of the potent anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial compounds.

Rose Mary
We all know rosemary from Sunday lunch, but did you know it’s helping you in more ways than making lamb taste amazing?


Because of its ingredients, rosemary is a useful medicinal herb. It helps lower your blood sugar level, promotes digestion, improves heart and brain health, and protects your vision and eye health. Besides, it also improves your mood and memory.

Conclusion

So that’s it, our complete run down of our top ten herbs and spices to maintaining a healthy body! So many of these are classic favourites and you didn’t need much more of an excuse to add more garlic to your lives already anyway haha!

But We’d highly recommend stir frying Bok Choi in ginger, garlic and chilli pepper next time you’re feeling run down, it’s a real health boost to get you back on track!

Can’t fit all these herbs and spices into your diet? Check out our range of herbal supplements to give you body a little helping hand!

Herbal Living Immunity Supporting Products sale
Sale on all immunity supporting products, Click the image to view our returns policy!


Sources


https://www.naturespath.com/en-us/blog/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-hemp-seeds/


https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/capsicum.html


https://www.verywellfit.com/carb-information-for-bok-choy-2241765


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266370


https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/rosemary-tea#6.-Other-potential-benefits-and-uses


https://www.bustle.com/p/the-health-benefits-of-cinnamon-according-to-a-nutritionist-19497090


https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-chamomile-89436


https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sage#section9


https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mint-benefits#section2

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How to stay healthy during self isolation

How to stay healthy during self isolation

All information within this post if for educational purposes only and should not be seen as a substitute for proper medical advice, for more information on protecting yourself during the COVID-19 Epidemic please consult the official World Health Organisation guidelines, Here.

Humans are a social creature, isolation isn’t natural to us


We, humans, are social beings and we can’t deny this fact. We and our health thrive in collaborative social networks. Distancing from people can have serious repercussions for our health. In a review study, ‘Health Effects of Social Isolation and Loneliness’ published in Journal of Aging Life Care; the author has noted that the impact of isolation and loneliness on health and mortality are of the same magnitude as such risk factors as high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.


Just like its impact on general health and mortality, isolation whether self or forced-like in the current pandemic, both interrupt the normal functioning of our immune system and therefore negatively affect our immunity.
Staying inside’s Effects on Immunity


Generally speaking, staying inside or self-isolation weakens our immunity. There are several factors involved which cumulatively interrupt the smooth functioning of our immunity. Some of the prominent factors which weaken our immune systems when we stay inside our homes are;

A brief rundown of the effects of isolation

Psychological stress is a very common symptom of isolation


Psychological Stress takes it’s toll on the immune system:

The psychological stress has been scientifically proven for its bad impact on the human immune system.

Although this effect varies from population to population and it also differs for different age-groups within the same population-stress has a prominent impact on the immunity of elderly and children as compared to younger segments of the population however it definitely impacts immune functions.

During stress, a hormone known as corticosteroid (stress hormone) is released which lowers the number of lymphocytes-critical parts of the human immune system- and thus the ability of the immune system to fight off infections and pathogens is reduced.

In irritable bowel syndrome, persistent stress has magnified gastrointestinal symptoms.

Chronic stress may also develop autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Celiac disease. So you may now be able to see that to what extent psychological stress in social isolation can devastate your immune system.

Anyone can gain a few pounds when their official instruction is to stay on the settee

Lack of Exercise is never a good thing:

In confining yourself to home, there are chances that you may not pay heed to daily exercise. Physical activity can have a profound impact on our immune responses. For instance, moderate work out is found productive in lowering the risks of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) while lack of exercise leads to high risks of URTI.

A moderate exercise also lowers down the levels of stress hormones and the rise of body temperature obstruct the bacterial growth inside our body. Besides, exercise makes the circulation of our white blood cells fast inside the body and thus they detect pathogens and infections earlier. Also, regular exercise keeps your waistline in check and this factor is also conducive for your immune health.

Obesity comes from lack of exercise:

Obesity is also well-known for its jeopardizing effects on immunity. Obesity can reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Obesity impairs the immune response in a variety of ways like it decrease cytokine production, alter monocyte and lymphocyte function, and lowers down macrophage and dendritic cell function.

When we self isolate, we switch to a more sedentary lifestyle. The sedentary lifestyle induces obesity and hence our immune systems are impaired and we are more prone to infections and diseases. Self-isolation is an alarming situation for our immunity. But the good news is that we still can boost our immunity while staying at home.


Ways of Boosting Your Immunity at Home during self isolation

Keeping contact with your friends and family is essential for your mental health

For boosting immune functions at home, first of all, you have to get rid of stress. Try to connect your friends and loved ones and engage yourself in positive and creative activities.

Take proper rest and do regular exercise. Besides making these desirable lifestyle changes, you might need to pay attention to your diet because a healthy and balanced diet can also boost your immune function.


Healthy Diets:

By very nature, a balanced diet is a healthy diet. A balanced diet ensures that you take all the essential nutrients in the required quantities so that your body performs at optimal levels.

By having a balanced diet, your immune system will also be in a healthy state. If at home, you struggle with your expanding waistline, you can try out a ketogenic diet that is infamous for its weight loss properties.

using plant based diet
Eating a balanced diet is the greatest way to stay healthy

A ketogenic diet or popularly known as ‘Keto’, is a high fat, low carbs, and moderate protein diet. Ideally, the keto diet comprises 60-70 percent fat, 15-25 percent proteins, and 5-10 percent carbs, though the carbs are restricted to 5 percent in most cases.

The ketogenic diet is effective in weight loss in the short term and many have benefitted from this diet so far. Besides exercise, going keto can boost your immune responses by reducing your body fat-obesity.

Along with a healthy diet, you must include healthy drinks like herbal teas and juices to boost your immunity while at home. These healthy herbal teas and juices contain antioxidants and other natural immune booster chemical compounds that help your immunity to deal with a wide range of health complications. Some of the healthy drinks are;

  • Chamomile herbal tea
  • Cinnamon herbal tea
  • Lemongrass herbal tea
  • Dandelion herbal tea
  • Green tea
  • Fermented elderberry soda
  • Ashwagandha Banana Smoothie
  • Spiced pomegranate punch
  • Spicy Cherry Switchel
  • Honeysuckle Orangeade

Exercise is essential for immunity

The government have always made a point of saying that the British population is allowed to go outside for exercise only. Have you ever wondered why that is?

By exercising we awaken our bodies immune response, causing it to become stronger, the same is true for making love, most physical activities will increase our immunity. However, it may have reached the point where you do not feel comfortable going outside to exercise.

Exercise is essential for immunity
Yoga is an excellent example of exercise you can do at home

Should this be the case, there is a long list of exercises that you could do within the safety of your own home, the range of possibilities is endless, from yoga right up to martial arts, you’d be amazed what exercise you can do at home!

Using supplements to assist your immunity

Of course, with a busy lifestyle, empty shelves and enforced lock downs, it can be hard to get a completely balanced diet. For the most part of course it is better that you receive all your vitamins and minerals from a balanced and varied diet, but should that not be possible, or you feel a little assistance couldn’t hurt. Supplements can add vitamins and minerals to your body in larger amounts, ensuring you get all the vitamins you may miss through your diet.

Natural Herbal Supplements
Check out our line of immunity boosting supplements available for order now!

Choosing the right supplements

There can be so many different brands to choose from, how can you know who is the best? Well, there are a few tell tail factors to look for.

Organic is best, this way you know that you are not absorbing any other chemicals that were not advertised on the label but were involved in the growing process. If your product is organic, don’t worry the store will make sure you know within a few seconds 😉 there’s a reason for this.

But which supplements help my situation?

Well that depends, if you want all round health, there are a range of supplements on the market that provide a complete balance of all vitamins and minerals the human body needs, we stock an excellent organic brand that is completely vegan, for the health boost it gives you the price is amazing value!

But if you’re looking to assist a particular part of your body, a little more research may be needed. For example, oily fish or hemp oil is full of omega 3’s and 6’s, these are excellent for brain function and joints. Alternatively if you can find a good quality turmeric product, this will also have great effects on your joints whilst boosting your immunity!

Check out our latest range of immunity boosting supplements

Natural Herbal Supplements
Click the Image to be taken to the product page!

Check out our post on the top 10 herbs and spices you can use to boost your immunity


Conclusion

Humans are born with social instincts. Going against these basic instincts and isolating yourself in the home can have detrimental effects on body processes and systems. The immune system is no exception to the rule and therefore social isolation weakens our immune system. But still, it is possible to boost our immunity while staying at home. By positive thinking, healthy living, and healthy eating the effects of isolation on immunity can definitely be minimised.


Sources

https://www.aginglifecarejournal.org/health-effects-of-social-isolation-and-loneliness/


https://www.simplypsychology.org/stress-immune.html


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4465119/


https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm


https://www.mysportscience.com/single-post/2016/09/25/Strategies-to-reduce-illness-risk-in-athletes-Part-1-Behavioural-lifestyle-and-medical-strategies


https://www.obesityaction.org/community/article-library/obesity-and-the-immune-system/


https://www.developgoodhabits.com/herbal-tea/


https://www.pinterest.com/rosaleeforet/herbal-drinks/

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