Natural Immune Boosters

Natural-immune-boostersBy Ali Wetherbee

No one enjoys being sick! A stuffy nose, inflamed sinuses, and all-over aches and pains stop you in your tracks and leave you feeling miserable. But what if there were ways to boost your immune system — naturally! — to improve your body’s resistance to viruses and bacteria? Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to natural immune boosters. Each of these whole-food supplements is an amazing natural immune booster for preventing mild and acute illnesses as well as more severe and chronic illnesses. A compromised immune system can leave you susceptible to every passing germ, but with a healthy diet and a natural immune booster (or several), you can be back on the track to good health!

Receive 10% off these and other immune boosting supplements with coupon code: ImmuneBoost

Natural Immune Booster #1: Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin naturally present in many fruits and vegetables, and is perhaps the most popular and widely-researched natural immune booster. According to Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, who has studied vitamin C extensively, “Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health.” He recommends consuming much more than the RDA — at least 500mg of vitamin C a day —  in supplement form, in addition to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Since any excess vitamin C is water-soluble and excreted from the body rather than stored, overdose is not a concern, but at very high doses (2000mg or more) it can irritate the stomach or loosen bowels. Whole food vitamin C contains all the co-factors needed to obtain optimal benefits from this vitamin. Studies suggest that vitamin C can strengthen an immune system weakened by stress, reduce the duration of illness, prevent complications (such as pneumonia) from the common cold, combat inflammation, and prevent more serious illnesses stemming from a compromised immune system, such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. For those that are anemic, taking vitamin C along with your iron supplement can boost your body’s absorption of iron. Vitamin C is also able to increase the production and function of white blood cells, particularly neutrophils, those cells which are responsible for fighting off invading bacteria and viruses, as well as boost interferons, which trigger the body’s antiviral response — all key components of a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is a particularly important natural immune booster in preventing colds and other illnesses in children and in those who are under hard physical stress, such as marathon runners, soldiers in harsh climates, and skiers.

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Natural Immune Booster #2: Baobab Fruit

Limitless_BaobabGet all the benefits of vitamin C powder, plus antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and more, all in one fruit! This amazing supplement from Limitless Good helps naturally boost the immune system. Baobab powder, made from the fruit of the baobab tree from Malawi, Africa, has limitless potential to improve your health! Not only is baobab powder an excellent source of vitamin C, with 6 times the vitamin C of oranges, but it also contains 6 times the antioxidants of blueberries and 6 times the potassium of bananas, leaving you less susceptible to colds and flus. This natural immune booster is also rich in calcium, magnesium, and iron. Baobab’s high ORAC value (a measure of antioxidant content) means this fruit is a powerhouse when it comes to fighting inflammation and scavenging free radicals, reducing the risk of illnesses related to aging or chronic inflammation. Plus, with every spoonful of Limitless Good Baobab powder, you’ll be getting a good serving of digestive enzymes and prebiotics, which boost the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and strengthen the immune system. Mix baobab powder into your juice, smoothie, yogurt, or even plain water — it adds a delicious citrusy flavor with an immune-boosting punch!

Natural Immune Booster #3: Perfect Revive Acai

PSReviveLabelNewFOLPeople who are run-down, tired, stressed, and burnt-out are more likely to fall ill. Stressed people’s immune cells become less sensitive to cortisol,” says Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., a Carnegie Mellon University professor of psychology. “They’re unable to regulate the inflammatory response, and therefore, when they’re exposed to a virus, they’re more likely to develop a cold.” The research conducted by Cohen and colleagues found that when exposed to a cold virus, those who were under stress were twice as likely to develop cold symptoms than their non-stressed counterparts. But stress can be hard to avoid, particularly if you work in a demanding field (or have kids!) Perfect Revive Acai can help your body better adapt to stress with two key adaptogenic herbs: cordyceps and rhodiola rosea. Adaptogens help regulate factors like blood pressure, hormone levels, adrenal response, and other physical responses to stress, minimizing the impact all that tension has on your body and keeping the immunes system healthy. But the immune-boosting benefits of Perfect Revive don’t end there! This natural immune booster is also packed with antioxidant-rich acai and grape seed extract, lowering your risk of not only minor illnesses but also many chronic diseases. Acai berries come from the Amazonian “Tree of Life,”  and the powder made from these little berries has an ORAC value 50 times higher than that of most other foods. Leave a behind stress and illness, and welcome the improved mood, energy, endurance, and health you can experience from Perfect Revive Acai!

Natural Immune Booster #4: Mercola Immune Support

Mercola_Immune_SupportHere’s another great natural immune booster for warding off illness during times of stress: Dr. Mercola’s Immune Support. Vitamin D, which has been recognized to play a key role in modulating the immune response and preventing influenza, is paired with immune-boosting vitamin C, plus a combination of 8 healing herbs, to create this antioxidant-packed Immune Support formula. The antioxidants within help to combat the free radicals that can prevent your immune system from functioning optimally. With oregano oil, olive leaf extract, propolis, dimethylglycine, European elder flower, yarrow root, peppermint leaf, and boneset leaf, Mercola Immune Support is additive-free and natural, with organic ingredients. This formula is vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. As soon as you start feeling a bit run-down or sluggish, start a 10-day course of this natural immune booster supplement to get your health back on track.

Natural Immune Booster #5: SunWarrior Immune Shield

SunWarrior_Immune_ShieldWhat if you could literally shield yourself from invading viruses and bacteria? SunWarrior Immune Shield, with fulvic acid, silver ions, and trace minerals, can do just that. Silver has been used for centuries as an antibiotic, and silver ions are teeny tiny particles with germicidal, fungicidal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties. Ionic silver is safer than colloidal silver and effective in boosting immune system function and speeding healing. Fulvic acid helps transport vitamins and minerals and bring silver ions directly to the cells, where they can go to work at healing the body. Fulvic acid makes vitamins and minerals more available to your body, improves hydration, detoxifies, aids in cellular repair, and fights free radicals. Along with these two natural immune boosters, Immune Shield also contains macro minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, and trace minerals like iron, zinc, copper, iodine, and selenium. These 71 minerals nourish the cells and are essential for many bodily processes, plus enhance the sense of well-being you’ll feel from SunWarrior Immune Shield.

Receive 10% off these and other immune boosting supplements with coupon code: ImmuneBoost

Bust Holiday Stress

By Ali Wetherbee

The holidays can be fun and magical and ever-so-memorable — but this busy time of year can also really stress your mind and body. From holiday shopping to fighting traffic, from being cooped up indoors with germs to being cooped up with the in-laws, there are countless hits to our time, our finances, our health, our peace and sanity. We don’t eat as well and don’t have time to exercise. All of this leaves us especially vulnerable to all those colds and flus going around. So before you wind up in bed with a box of tissues and a hot water bottle, try these ideas. 

In Your Medicine Cabinet:

Instead of toxic, chemical-laden medicines, stock your medicine cabinet with organic vitamins and herbs and homeopathic formulas. Take these daily, but especially when you are under unusual stress or already sick.

Start with Vitamin C

Whole Food Vitamin C belongs in every family’s medicine cabinet. Take it daily to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and begin taking it more frequently or in higher doses as soon as you feel something coming on. Vitamin C, when taken daily, can shorten the duration of the common cold. Taking one or two extra doses when symptoms first appear can thwart a cold before it really gets started! It also prevents and reverses free radical damage caused by oxidative stress, UV rays, and environmental toxins. Vitamin C is necessary for serotonin production, so this is a must-have for anyone suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder.

Try:

Adapt Better to Stress

Take adaptogens during intense periods of stress. Adaptogenic herbs help you adapt to physical and mental stress and keep the body in balance. They may be particularly useful if you are experiencing anxiety, fatigue, or depression as a result of stress or tension. Stress increases cortisol levels, which may lead to chronic inflammatory conditions, weight gain, fatigue, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, and illness. Adaptogens such as rhodiola and cordyceps lower high cortisol levels, minimizing the harmful effects of stress on the body.

Try:

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Stress can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles, making it hard to fall asleep and sleep through the night. This leaves you even more prone to feeling stressed, and you wind up stuck in a vicious cycle. These all-natural formulas can ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep, whether you are up late wrapping gifts or at your company Christmas party past bedtime. Healthy sleep is critical to a healthy immune system, and those who get poor-quality or insufficient sleep are more likely to succomb to colds, flu, and viruses.

Try:

Support Your Immune System

Take an immune support formula to keep your immune system in tip top shape. These are an excellent way to boost your body’s resistance to illness during this stressful time of year. Inadequate sleep, poor diet, stress, lack of exercise, increased exposure to germs, aging, and chronic health conditions can all leave you much more susceptible to illness, but these supplements strengthen the immune system, naturally.

Try:

Treat Your Cold Naturally

If illness hits despite your best efforts, you will be glad to have a medicine cabinet stocked with healing herbs, vitamins, and supplements! Keep these items on hand for when you start to feel stuffy or achy. Calm Balm is an all-natural alternative to petroleum-based chest rubs, and is great for colds, aches, and pains. Manuka Honey Nuggets help soothe sore throats with organic antibacterial ingredients.

Try:

‘Tis the Season to Stay Healthy!

Keeping healthy and fighting stress is not just a physical process. Every choice we make and each action we take can leave us more stressed or more relaxed, sicker or healthier. Try these tips to stay on track toward a healthier holiday season:

Learn to Say No

You do not need to attend every party or gathering you are invited to! Pick your favorites and skip the rest. The same goes for gift swaps among friends or at the office. Feel free to opt out of those that bring you more stress than pleasure.

Designate one day a week as a “day off” and avoid errands, shopping, planning, ordering, and organizing for the entire day. Instead, read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, or do something else relaxing. If an entire day seems unrealistic, aim for at least one stress-free evening a week. 

Focus on the Important Things in Life

Spend time with your family. Your kids or grandkids won’t remember every present under the tree or how perfectly the gifts were wrapped, but they will remember the days spent baking cookies, playing games, building snowmen, and cuddling by the fire. Take time out each day to do something that builds memories.

Be grateful. At the end of the day, instead of thinking about all the things you didn’t get done, spend some time thinking about all the things you are thankful for. Keep a Gratitude Jar with scraps of paper for family members to write down each happy moment or blessing, and read through the papers every night at dinner. Bake cookies for someone who has helped you out sometime this year. Bring gifts or food to those who are less fortunate.

Get Plenty of Fresh Air and Exercise

Go for a jog before work or take an evening walk with the family to see neighborhood light displays. Enjoy winter sports such as sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Build a snow fort with the kids or have an improptu dance party. It’s fine to do your workout indoors if the cold is too harsh for you, but also bundle up in a blanket and sit on your front stoop for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and breathe in the fresh air.

Nourish Your Soul

Engage in soul-friendly practices. While you’re sitting at a red light or stuck in traffic, take some deep breaths and relax your shoulders. When someone cuts you in line at the store or pushes you aside to grab the very last can of cranberry sauce, take some time to think loving, forgiving thoughts about this rude person. Be present and live in the moment instead of spending the entire holiday season tallying your mental lists. Practice yoga, mindfulness, or meditation. All of these things will reduce your stress load and leave you stronger, healthier, and happier.

Vegan Coconut Cream Parfait

Protein_powder_recipes

By Ali Wetherbee

This Coconut Cream Parfait, adapted from a recipe by Celebrity Vegan Chef Jason Wrobel, is a fresh, delicious, easy breakfast, light lunch, or dessert. The coconut provides healthy fats and nutrients, while the protein powder adds lots of raw, plant-based protein and essential amino acids. With no added sugar, no grains, and no animal products, this is great for vegetarians, vegans, those following Paleo, dairy-free, or gluten-free diets, and anyone who is lactose intolerant. Plus, it looks beautiful, and would be a perfect  dessert to bring to your next party or potluck!

Vegan Coconut Cream Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups coconut meat
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla
  • 5 drops liquid Stevia
  • 2 Tbsp Sunwarrior Warrior BlendSun Warrior Classic, or Perfect Plant Protein protein powder
  • 3-4 seasonal fruits, peeled and chopped: mango, strawberries, blueberries, blood oranges, blackberries, passion fruit, or any other favorites

Method:

  1. If you are using a whole coconut, make holes at the eyes using a screwdriver and hammer, and invert over a bowl to drain and save all the liquid. Then tap all the way around with the hammer to create a hairline crack down the middle. Split open and break into smaller pieces. Wedge a knife between the meat and the shell and twist slightly to pop the shell off each piece.
  2. Mix the first five ingredients in a blender on low speed.
  3. Continue blending until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency.
  4. Add the Sunwarrior Warrior Blend protein powder and blend until well combined. This is your coconut cream base.
  5. Spoon a layer of the coconut cream base in the bottom of individual jars or a parfait dish.
  6. Add a layer of fruit, and continue alternating layers of cream & fruit.
  7. Garnish with fresh berries or a sprig of mint.
  8. Eat immediately — this dish does not store well.

 

Detox 101: Top Five Ways To Detoxify Your Body For the New Year

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by Colleen Russell

January is the most popular month of the year for Cleanses and Detox Diets.  It’s no wonder why:  the beginning of a new year has the wonderful feeling of starting fresh, beginning anew, and making changes for the better.  Doesn’t it feel amazing to just let go?

As with anything that reaches the realm of the popular, though, all this talk about Detox can get pretty confusing.  You may be wondering, what exactly should I be detoxifying?  What do I need to cleanse?  What do I have to gain or to lose?  Since we love a good detox, we thought it was important to remove the veil of mystery from this particular topic, and to share some of our favorite natural tools to detoxify the body and clear the mind.

What Is Detox?

Detoxification is a natural process whereby your organs and immune system process and eliminate toxins from your body.  It is the digestive system eliminating waste, the lymphatic system filtering bacteria from lymph fluid, and the kidneys filtering toxins from the blood.  Detox is a part of every living cell in the body.  So, if it is such a natural process, why do we need to help it along?

 Because our bodies were not designed to live like this.

We work too hard, we eat too much, too little, or just the wrong things.  Our world is polluted, from the air we breathe to the water we drink and the soil we use to grow our crops.  This world is just too toxic for the human body to to detoxify on its own.

What Can We Do To Detoxify Our Bodies?

So many things!  Detox is not necessarily about weight loss, energy boost, cleaning the colon, or preventing cancer.  (although those are some pretty enticing benefits.)  Detox is about the same feeling you are given after the ball drops on New Year’s Eve:  a clean slate, a fresh start, and the opportunity to begin anew.

Top 5 Ways To Detox:

  1. Drink more pure water.  If you do nothing else, this one step can move mountains in terms of boosting your physical health and removing toxins from your body.  The National Institute of Health estimates that 48% of the adult population of the United States is chronically dehydrated.  Water plumps up the body’s tissues, creating an internal space that allows blood platelets to separate and for trapped toxins to wash away.  Filtered water, which is free of bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants, is best.
  2. Infuse your drinks with chlorophyll!  Adding a 3 gram scoop a day of Chlorella powder to your morning smoothie or juice will infuse your body with 90 mg of bioavailable Chlorophyll.  This all-natural plant-derived greens powder is proven to bind to metals, assisting with heavy-metal detox.  Our favorite is Perfect Chlorella.
  3. Try a fulvic/humic acid mineral cleanse.  Fulvic and humic acid are proven to remove toxic metals from the blood, speeding up biochemical reactions, unblocking lymphatic passageways, and preventing cognitive impairment.  Products such as GHC’s Zeotrex and Sunwarrior’s Liquid Light are easy to add to your daily routine without making sweeping dietary changes.
  4. Colloidal Silver is a simple, relatively inexpensive, and perfectly safe method for detox.  It is non-toxic, but an effective method of destroying toxic organisms, bacteria, viruses, and even free radicals.  Catie’s Biotic Nano Silver  is Peaceful Planet’s recommendation for a safe, effective Colloidal Silver Detox.
  5. Ormus Greens are a pretty incredible natural resource that come from volcanic sea beds and grown in soil that is literally loaded with platinum, gold, silver, and ormus trace minerals.  These trace minerals  along with the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen, all of which are present in Ormus Greens, are vital for human life.

Stay tuned for more information on detox, specific detox diets tailored to your needs, and more information on how to stay healthy and toxin-free.  If you’re ready to get started on a detox plan now, try the 3 Day Detox Jumpstart from Dr. Oz and Dr. Junger, of the Clean Detox Plan.

Dr. Oz 2 Week Diet: The New Year’s Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Method Part 1

Dr. Oz 2 Week Diet:  Enjoy Your Two Week Rapid Weight Loss!

Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet

by Colleen Russell

Last week, Dr. Oz announced his new 2 week diet plan; the Dr. Oz Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet.  We love a diet plan that comes with positive testimonials, and this one already has hundreds of success stories.  In addition to the January 6, 2014 audience, a group whose two-week weight loss totals averaged 9 pounds, Dr. Oz said that his entire staff was using the 2 week diet with great success.  Weight loss is not the only benefit of this diet plan, though.  Following the strict regimen of daily breakfast smoothies, healthy eating, and detox drinks can reportedly drastic decrease in decrease problems related to diabetes, food sensitivities, and even chronic pain.

According to Dr. Oz, “if you stick to this for two weeks, it can change everything.”

 Can You Commit Two Weeks to Weight Loss?

After a holiday season ripe with overeating, you may be feeling sluggish, bloated, and gassy.  Now that we have started a fresh new year, are you ready to commit just two weeks to rapid weight loss?  Dr. Oz spent an entire year researching the “top diets with the latest science.” in order to bring us the Dr. Oz Two Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet.  Drawing inspiration from best-selling books Ultra Simple Diet, Wheat Belly, and The Grain Brain Oz came up with a 3-part plan for detoxing and cleansing the body.  I’m not going to tell you that it will be easy, but I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.

Dr. Oz says “I want everyone at home to jump on board.”

How Does the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet Work?

  1. The first step of the Dr. Oz 2 week diet plan is to eliminate foods that are making you “sick and fat.”   This is, by all accounts, the hardest part.   Dr. Oz brought audience members on stage to recount their experiences, and the consensus was that the first two days are tough, but the cravings begin to dissipate on the third day.

    1. No Wheat

    2. No sweeteners

    3. No sugars (including alcohol!)

    4. No coffee or caffeine. (green tea ok)

    5. No dairy (except for greek yogurt)

  2. Eat an unlimited amount of low-glycemic index vegetables from the list below.  Drink an unlimited amount of Detox Broth from the recipe below.  (Or use greens powder for an easy-to-make equivalent!)

  3. Take a daily regimen of probiotics and and multivitamins to help propel weight loss.

How Can I Lose Weight Rapidly with a 2 Week Diet?

According to Dr. Oz, we are all guilty of eating foods that are making us sick and fat.  To make matters worse, these foods are so addictive that we crave them!   It turns out that it’s not our “lack of will-power” that is making us continue to eat the wrong things.  Removing items from our diet that are causing negative health effects detoxifies the gut and gives us the control to make the right choices.

  • Eliminating wheat, a food source that causes inflammation, helps to ease cravings.

  • Eliminating artificial sweeteners and sugars, components that stimulate the brain to want more, helps to make us feel satisfied without sugars.

  • Eliminating coffee, a beverage often consumed with sugar and cream, removes empty calories and fat.  It also stops the snack trigger and hormonal shift noticed by many coffee drinkers.

  • Eliminating dairy removes a common food allergen which is often the culprit of inflammation.

These changes help your body do the right thing, changing your habits, and removing your cravings.  The result is rapid weight loss in only 2 weeks!

Why should I try the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet?

You should try the Dr. Oz 2 Week Diet if you want to lose weight fast!  It is an affordable diet and proven successful plan for changing dietary habits, eating well, and losing those extra holiday pounds!  A lot of people are looking for a way to make good on a New Years’ Resolution to lose weight in 2014, and the benefits that can be reaped from the Dr. Oz 2 Week Diet are pretty enticing.

So, how difficult will it be to implement the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet?  The good news is that, by all accounts, it’s smooth sailing after the first two days, when cravings subside and the plan is in motion.  And if you are starting out your 2 weeks all stocked up on the essentials, you are committed and ready to be successful.  So, block two weeks off on your calendar, order your supplements, and head to the grocery store for your low-glycemic-index vegetables.

What will I need for the Dr. Oz 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet?

Recommended All Natural Supplements:

*In Lieu of Dr. Oz Detox Broth, this nutrient equivalent is easy to scoop, shake, and serve!

Tune in for Part 2 of the Dr. Oz Weight Loss Diet for the Dr. Oz Breakfast Smoothie Recipe, Detox Broth Recipe, and details on the foods you can eat during your 2 Week Rapid Weight Loss Diet!