States may be scrambling for vaccines now, but the United States could see additional Covid-19 vaccines by the end of March, if not sooner.
Millions of vaccine doses could be added to the pipeline in the coming months, perhaps easing the squeeze that Americans have felt as vaccines slowly start rolling out.
Janssen, the vaccine arm of Johnson & Johnson, plans to have results from its late-stage clinical trials ready for the US Food and Drug Administration to consider within weeks.
“Johnson & Johnson is right around the corner … right around the corner means that they’re probably a couple of weeks away from getting the data looked at, to have the FDA evaluate whether or not we’re in a situation where we could move ahead and start thinking about getting it out into the public,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday.
Dozens of vaccines are being tested in labs around the world. At least 11 are in late stage clinical trials, according to Bio, a global trade association representing biotech companies.
In the US, there are three frontrunners.
Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is the most likely to nest seek emergency use authorization from the FDA.
Many experts say J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine has several advantages. While J&J is running a separate trial to test its vaccine using two doses, as Moderna’s and Pfizer’s do, the current trial uses just one dose.
“This advantage goes up in neon,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an internist and infectious disease specialist with Vanderbilt University’s Department of Health Policy. “This would be the first one to be given in a single dose.”
A single does would mean more people could be vaccinated, as none would need to be set aside to give someone a second shot. That would be a huge advantage at a time when vaccines are hard to come by.
J&J’s other advantage is that it can be stored at regular refrigerator temperatures, unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which needs special deep freezers.
“If they’re successful, these vaccines would especially be popular in the developing world, because they would be easy to store and administer,” said Dr. Rafi Ahmed, the director of the Vaccine Center at Emory University.
Schaffner said adding a vaccine like this would “really accelerate” vaccination efforts in the US too.
“In other words, we could bring the vaccine to the people,” Schaffner said, “rather than bringing the people to the vaccine.”
Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine was made through a collaboration of J&J’s Belgium-based vaccine division, Janssen Pharmaceutical and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. It is what is known as a non-replicating viral vector vaccine, using a common cold virus called adenovirus 26.
Scientists made this vaccine by takinga small amount of genetic material that codes for a piece of the novel coronavirus and integrated it with a weakened version of adenovirus 26. J&J scientists altered this adenovirus so it can enter cells, but it doesn’t replicate and make people sick. AstraZeneca uses a similar platform, but its adenovirus comes from a chimpanzee.
The adenovirus carries the genetic material from the coronavirus into human cells, tricking them into making pieces of the coronavirus spike protein – the part it uses to attach to cells.The immune system then reacts against these pieces of the coronavirus.
“So you’re not being infected with the virus that can give you Covid-19 when you get this vaccine. It just has some of the harmless Covid virus proteins on its surface,” explained Schaffner. “So essentially it’s a sheep in wolf’s clothing, and when your immune system sees it, it responds to it and creates protection against it and in the future, against the real virus that causes Covid-19.”
Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said the Moderna, Pfizer and J&J Covid-19 vaccines all take a similar approach, but there is a small difference with the J&J approach.
“In the case of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine you’re just giving the gene in a lipid nanoparticle or a fat droplet,” Offit said. “In the case of J&J you’re giving the gene in a virus that can’t reproduce itself.”
The technology used in the Covid-19 vaccine has worked with Janssen’s Ebola vaccine.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being used in a few countries. It was authorized in the UK in December, and in Brazil in January, but the FDA will likely want to use US data for any emergency use authorization in the US, Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser to the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, said last Tuesday.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is also a vector vaccine. Like the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it employs an adenovirus to carry the genetic instructions for making spike protein from the coronavirus into cells to generate antibodies. AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed with Oxford University, uses a virus that infects chimpanzees but doesn’t make people sick.
As with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, this Covid-19 vaccine would require two shots.
The trials so far have had some confusing results, but show it could provide up to about 70% protection. The FDA paused US trials last year after questions about adverse reactions in volunteers, but it cleared up the questions and resumed.
The AstraZeneca vaccine could potentially go up for authorizationaround the end of March.
The Novavax Phase 3 trial started in the US in December. The trial is enrolling up to 30,000 volunteers at 115 sites in the US and Mexico.
The Novavax candidate is a protein-based vaccine created out of the genetic sequence for the novel coronavirus.
The company uses virus-like nanoparticles as a base and scientists cover the base with the genetically engineered pieces of the coronavirus spike protein.
This vaccine is given in two doses, 21 days apart.
This kind of vaccine has been successfully used with other diseases like the shot for HPV and Sanofi’s flu vaccine.
The human body cannot be totally immune to illnesses and diseases. Even if you spend most of your time indoors, staying away from the harmful outdoor environment, you can still attract some germs and bacteria into your body. Chances are that one day you will be full of energy but the next morning you cannot step out of bed due to pains in your body.
However, there are some supplements and organic compounds that can help you to prevent disease conditions with ease. One of the widely recommended solutions for boosting the performance of the immune system is cannabidiol. This natural product has been used by professionals for the past several years to avail of several health benefits. There are unlimited scientific studies supporting the efficacy of CBD oil. Here we are going to discuss the details about how this compound can help you boost your overall health and well-being.
The Immune System
The immune system is recognized as one of the most essential parts of the human body. It offers defense against several diseases, infections, and health issues. There are a number of factors that leave a positive and negative impact on the performance of the immune system. For instance, not eating well, not getting enough sleep, and not doing the required level of physical activity can drop the efficiency of the immune system.
If you want to ensure the adequate functioning of the immune system, it is first important to eat a healthy diet. You need to get enough minerals, vitamins, and fiber to improve overall health. The great news is that you can find several supplements to balance the overall activity level of your body and immune health as well. One of the leading solutions is CBD. This natural product is recommended as the best treatment for dealing with various health concerns.
Overview of CBD Oil
CBD oil is an organic substance that is extracted from cannabis Sativa or hemp plant. CBD is widely recognized as a non-psychoactive compound that is known for offering several therapeutic benefits. CBD oil is originated from the same plant which provides marijuana; still, both these compounds have variable effects on the human body. Studies reveal that CBD oil contains only 0.3% THC component; therefore, it doesn’t alter the normal behavior of the user. However, marijuana contains 80% of THC which introduces psychoactive properties while making your body out of balance.
COB is available in the form of several products. The list includes oil, gummies, tincture, capsules, and vape. Some of the potential benefits of using CBD are:
It provides support against addiction.
Reliable treatment against cancer.
Reduces the frequency and intensity of seizures.
Provides enhanced sleep quality.
Improves skin condition.
Reduces depression and anxiety symptoms.
CBD is a naturally occurring substance that works by simply interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. This is basically a network of neurotransmitters that is responsible for leading several psychological functions including sleep, pain management, and appetite.
The great news is that CBD product is safe to use for seniors, youngsters, children, and pets as well. Some parents also prefer to introduce CBD as a normal diet for their child to treat epilepsy and seizures. Elderly patients can avail several benefits from CBD oil such as getting a considerable boost for cognitive functions and cardiovascular health.
CBD oil and the immune system:
CBD oil is capable enough to boost the overall functionality of the immune system. Note that the endocannabinoid system in the human body is responsible for ensuring normal functionality. It also regulates the numbers of cannabinoids that are naturally present inside the human body. For instance, anandamide is an important cannabinoid that controls stress response and appetite.
There are two main receptors named CB1 and CB2 in the human body. CB1 receptors play important role in handling the central nervous system and brain activities whereas CB2 receptors boost the functionality of the immune system. When CBD enters the human body, it starts interaction with CB1 and CB2 to create a perfect balance in the routine functions of the body. This organic substance obtained from CBD Flowers interacts with the CB2 receptors with a goal to combat inflammation. This process naturally improves the overall health and functionality of the immune system.
Other than this, CBD can also prevent several autoimmune issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus. Few recent research studies reveal that CBD supplementation can also decrease inflammation issues. However, consumption of CBD oil must be controlled as per physician recommendation. Overdosage can also cause some side effects; it is better to take a subscription from experts. Moreover, this organic substance may complicate body functionality by interacting with your existing medication routines. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor before consuming CBD oils.
Offering kids “choices within limits” is linked with better well-being.
The study found the benefits of “autonomy-supportive parenting” can be immediate.
To use the parenting style, focus on teaching, empathy, and making kids feel loved.
Letting kids choose which cereal to eat, where to do homework, or how to best dress for the weather can lead to positive well-being for both them and their parents, a study published Tuesday in the journal Child Development suggests.
The study included 562 parents of six- to nine-year-olds in Germany, who filled out a questionnaire every day for three weeks in spring 2020 when coronavirus-related restrictions and closures were in place.
The researchers found that giving kids so-called “choice within limits” – as opposed to making demands or letting them do whatever they want – contributed to parents feeling like their needs were being met, which at the same time prompted them to continue parenting that way.
Burnt-out parents can adopt the approach during the coronavirus pandemic, the authors contend, and reap the benefits immediately. Over time, kids become more independent, confident, empathetic, resilient, and intrinsically motivated, research suggests.
“Giving them choices [means] kids are coping better, it means that they’re more behaviorally regulated, they’re less emotional,” Roseann Capanna-Hodge, a school psychologist in Connecticut who was not involved in the research, told Insider. “And so then that’s just going to reduce the stress at home, and parents are going to be happier.”
To practice autonomy-supportive parenting, focus on teaching and showing unconditional love
“Choice within limits” is one aspect of autonomy-supportive parenting, a style in which parents involve their kids in the decision-making process, while providing safe and age-appropriate boundaries.
The alternatives are more controlling styles (“eat your Wheaties because I said so”) or, on the other end of the spectrum, more permissive styles, like letting kids leave the house in shorts during a snowstorm.
Practicing autonomy-supportive parenting requires more time and patience up front, but it’s worth it for the whole family in the short and long-term, Capanna-Hodge said.
“You can talk to your child in a discipline-oriented corrective method, and you’re going to repeat yourself and you’re going to be frustrated and they’re going to be frustrated,” she said. “Or, you can shift your language and you can really focus on teaching.”
For example, instead of telling them they can’t wear shorts in the snow, have a conversation about the pros and cons of the choice, why it may not be safe, and what an alternative could be. Instead of demanding your kid to pick up their toys, explain why leaving them all over the floor could hurt someone.
“You’re making an investment through loving communication in that time to get them to start thinking on their own,” Capanna-Hodge said.
Demonstrate empathy and provide unconditional love
Autonomy-supportive parenting also promotes kids’ emotional development and resilience by demonstrating empathy while resisting the urge to coddle them when they’re down.
For example, if a child’s feeling are hurt by a peer, don’t just give them a hug and say, “That person wasn’t nice to you.” Instead, Capanna-Hodge suggests saying, “Wow, that must’ve been really hard. How did did you handle that?”
Another key aspect of autonomy-supportive parenting is making kids feel unconditionally loved by talking to them calmly and without judgment, even when they mess up, psychologist Tali Shenfield writes in a Fine Parent. That way, kids develop confidence in their choices rather than fearing they’ll lose parental acceptance by making the wrong one.
For example, you could brainstorm with your kids about what will help them get to school on time rather than calling them irresponsible or a bad student.
“It’s those kinds of tweaks,” Capanna-Hodge said. “So it’s not as hard as parents think, and they absolutely can do this.”
New Delhi [India], January 22 (ANI/NewsVoir): American Pistachios Growers (APG), a non-profit trade association representing over 800 grower members in the U.S. organized a Virtual Knowledge Session to talk about the immunity building properties in pistachios and also announce Luke Coutinho as its Lifestyle Ambassador in India. The session was addressed by Luke Coutinho, globally renowned Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative Medicine and Mike Roussell, PhD, Nutrition Consultant and Advisor to Men’s Health Magazine, United States. The Session was presided over by Mr. Ron Verdonk, Minister Counselor for Agriculture, U.S. Embassy, India, and moderated by Mr. Sumit Saran, India Representative of the APG. “I am especially happy that Luke Coutinho, who is an icon and known especially for his commitment to nutrition, fitness and holistic lifestyle, is recommending American pistachios. The Indian food sector is poised for exponential growth and we are constantly exploring opportunities to serve Indian consumers with high-quality, healthy, wholesome and safe products from the U.S. Pistachios are a natural fit in the market,” said Ron Verdonk, Minister Counselor for Agriculture, at the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi, inaugurating the session. “We strongly believe in the quality and value of US agricultural products which comply in quality with the demands of the Indian marketplace. Both India and the United States recognize the need to encourage healthier lifestyles through exercise and diet in order to combat malnutrition and other public health challenges. We hope to make 2021 a great year for American grown pistachios in India as we find new ways to complement our food and beverage cultures,” Ron Verdonk added. “I am very happy to be associated with American Pistachio Growers. Indians have always used pistachios as a garnish on desserts, biryanis etc. It is time we become more aware about this amazing nut and make American-grown pistachios a part of our daily diet. Why? Because pistachios are a complete protein and people will be shocked to know that a handful of these nuts have the same amount of protein as an egg. This is great news for vegetarians and those looking for plant-based protein sources. Pistachios also have one of the lowest calorific value of all commonly consumed nuts and you can have as many as 49 pistachios in a single serving. These make it a perfect for Indians,” said Luke Coutinho, commenting on his role as a Lifestyle Ambassador of American grown pistachios. “According to the International Food Information Council’s Year-end Survey, one in three people report their eating habits have become healthier over the past year. Also, over 22 per cent respondents report that their choices affect their mental and physical health. Therefore, adding nutritious foods like pistachios to the diet can help give your body more vital vitamins and minerals to help your immune system function at its best,” said Dr Mike Roussell, reiterating the inherent health benefits of pistachios. “A healthy immune system aids in the healing process and shortens recovery time. I am recommending pistachios to my clients as a convenient snack that’s great to have after a workout or whenever you need a nutritious pick-me-up to hold you over until your next meal. But this year I’m also recommending pistachios for the wealth of vital nutrients they contain, which can help your immune system to operate at its best,” Dr Mike Roussell added. “India is a growth market for American grown pistachios. India itself does not produce any pistachios. However, as awareness about pistachios and its health benefits increase, we are seeing continuous growth in demand. We are delighted and honored to have Luke Coutinho as Lifestyle Ambassador for America Pistachio Growers in India. He is a great icon for health, nutrition and wellbeing. With his help, we will be able to create awareness about American grown pistachios among discerning consumers. American grown pistachios are available under quality brand names across all major retail points and e-commerce platforms across India,” said Sumit Saran, moderating the discussion. This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
It is time we become more aware about this amazing nut and make American grown pistachios a part of our daily diet.
But this year I’m also recommending pistachios for the wealth of vital nutrients they contain, which can help your immune system to operate at its best.”Moderating the discussion, Mr. Sumit Saran said, “India is a growth market for American grown pistachios.
We are delighted and honored to have Luke Coutinho as Lifestyle Ambassador for America Pistachio Growers in India.
With his help, we will be able to create awareness about American grown pistachios among discerning consumers.
American grown pistachios are available under quality brand names across all major retail points and e-commerce platforms across India.”
WORKING from home, schooling your kids and being cooped up indoors takes its toll, leaving many of us reaching for junk food.
A study this week revealed that gorging on takeaways dramatically affects emotions, often making us irritable and angry. So soothe your mood by changing what you eat.
Nutritionist Charlotte Faure Green says: “This is not the time to beat yourself up about what you’re eating. But remember, a diet full of fruit and veg not only boosts mental health but will go a long way to supporting your immune system.”
Here, Charlotte shares her top 18 foods and vitamins to boost well-being in lockdown.
These are loaded with vitamin B6, which helps to build serotonin and dopamine – our happy brain chemicals.
They are also a great source of fibre, which goes to feeding our good gut bacteria.
Not only do they come in their own clever packaging but they are the perfect snack to give your brain a feel-good boost.
2. Vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because we get it from exposure to the sun.
We live under a pretty grey sky in the UK during the winter so it’s fair to assume we’re not getting enough, and that in turn is linked to low moods.
A supplement is a great way to top up those levels and could offer just the boost you need.
3. Baked beans
Beans are good for your heart, but also your brain.
They contain high levels of protein, including tryptophan, which acts as a mood elevator.
They also provide the B vitamins, making beans a bit of an all-in-one food for a good mood.
It is the most popular drink in the world. And studies show caffeine may elevate levels of feel-good serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
One decade-long study showed that women who drank coffee were less likely to become depressed. But be mindful that the mood-lifting success differs from person to person.
Try to drink it after food to slow down the stimulatory effect. And preferably before lunchtime.
Potatoes have a bad reputation they just don’t deserve. Our humble spud is one of the healthiest foods going, full of mood-boosting nutrients including magnesium and vitamin C.
Our brain needs carbs to function and create serotonin. Why not get all this goodness in the nation’s favourite form of potato – the chip?
Pair with protein and swap to sweet potato fries for extra brownie points (they contain a little more vitamin B6).
6. Omega-3 fish oil supplements
These unbeatable mood boosters are cheap and full of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, without the pong!
Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be the only anti-inflammatory able to cross the blood–brain barrier into our grey matter. Fish oils are vital for brain health and managing our stress response.
Supplements are great if you’re not hitting the recommended two portions of oily fish per week.
You have probably heard about the health benefits of fibre. But not all fibres are created equal. Oats contain a special type of fibre called beta-glucan.
We eat these for our gut bacteria to use as fuel, to enable them to make our happy and calming brain chemicals.
Clever! A study showed people who ate oats at breakfast reported better mood and energy levels and less irritability.
8. Peanut butter
An energy-boosting protein with healthy fats. A study completed in 2020 found that regular consumption of nuts and legumes was associated with a 66 per cent lower risk of anxiety.
This could be due to a special compound called p-coumaric acid which is associated with increasing brain levels of GABA, our calming neurotransmitter, to decrease stress.
Leaving only the argument: Smooth or crunchy?
You want clinically proven permission to eat chocolate? You got it! A 2013 study in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed that chocolate has many different compounds that can give our mood a boost.
Dark chocolate in particular contains the building blocks of serotonin, and magnesium which reduces stress.
It also makes us release endorphins, much like we do when we exercise, which can also serve to reduce our stress levels.
10. Vitamin B12
In an ideal world we would get all our nutrients for good health from the food we eat.
Vegans are often very low in vitamin B12, which is primarily found in animal products, and iron, which can be found in abundance in leafy greens.
This complex contains many of the big hitters for good mood- building, as an all-in-one capsule.
The lovely dark purple and red colouring of berries is due to all the antioxidants they contain, which are responsible for protecting our cells, particularly in the brain.
They also feed some of our most beneficial gut bacteria, essential for creating calming neurotransmitters and help manage inflammation in the brain associated with depression and other mood disorders.
Eggs are a great source of protein. But also of choline, which is an essential micro- nutrient required in order for the brain to function properly and is associated with mood regulation.
Eggs are also high in vitamins B6 and B12, among countless other nutrients, that are vital for the production of our good mood chemicals.
13. St John’s Wort tablets
St John’s Wort has long been used as an herbal remedy to relieve mild to moderate low mood, anxiety and sleep problems.
It is readily available over the counter, but this does not mean it is for everyone. Speak to a healthcare professional first.
St John’s Wort is known to interact with numerous medications, including reducing the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill.
Being poorly hydrated can mimic feelings of panic, so ensuring that you have lots of water-filled foods such as oranges can go a long way to improving mood.
Oranges are rich in those lovely B vitamins but also vitamin C, which we burn through at very high rates when stressed, making replenishing those stores very important.
We all know about using honey to fight colds and infections, but magical honey also contains tryptophan, the building block of serotonin, so it can help to boost your mood.
It is sweet like sugar, but honey does not release inflammatory free radicals in the same way refined sugar does and can actually help reduce brain inflammation.
Pro- biotic foods, including yoghurt, contain friendly gut bacteria.
Many of our happy hormones and neurotransmitters are produced by the bacteria in the gut, so ensuring these are kept replenished every day gives our mood the best chance.
Oily fish salmon makes up one letter of nifty acronym S.M.A.S.H.
Not the powdered potato you remember from childhood – it stands for Sardines, Mackerel, Anchovies, Salmon and Herring – all easily sourced fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
They are brain protectors which help increase circulating levels of serotonin.
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Yes, we’ve saved the best till last. Research has linked moderate alcohol intake with a better mood, not to mention a longer life.
And red wine also provides tons of antioxidants that benefit your brain and heart. Having a small glass of red alongside dinner has been established as a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, which is associated with a reduced risk of developing depressive symptoms.
But remembering that the health properties of wine may stop after a small amount is important.
Beloit, Wisconsin — DaVinci Gourmet, an innovative global syrups and sauces brand, is launching in the U.S. market DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost, a naturally flavored beverage syrup that can be easily added to many everyday beverages. The syrup is formulated with Wellmune, a natural ingredient clinically supported to help strengthen the normal function of the immune system.
In today’s environment, consumers are continuing to be more proactive with their health by looking to support their immune function through healthy lifestyle products. However, consumer research is highlighting a gap in the foodservice industry. For example, while immune health is the number one benefit global consumers want from healthy lifestyle products, 78% of consumers want restaurants to offer more menu items with functional benefits (source: Kerry Proprietary Consumer Research, Proactive Health, 2019). DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost syrup meets the above consumer demand because it can easily be incorporated into their everyday menus and home beverages — items such as smoothies, juices, coffee and other health-oriented drinks.
Kimberly Kurth, Senior Brand Manager of DaVinci Gourmet, said: “Consumers are expecting more from their food and beverages. At DaVinci Gourmet, we saw this as an opportunity to meet our customer’s demands by incorporating Kerry’s own Wellmune ingredient into an easy-to-use DaVinci syrup that can seamlessly add immunity support benefits into beverage creations. It’s an exciting innovation between two global brands, made possible by Kerry’s diverse Taste & Nutrition portfolio, and one that just can’t be matched by competitors.”
Wellmune is a proprietary baker’s yeast beta 1,3/1,6 glucan, supported by over a dozen clinical studies that clearly demonstrate its ability to support general immune health, maintain overall physical health, and protect against the harmful effects of stress. The new DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost syrup brings together the added functionality of Wellmune and the innovation of DaVinci Gourmet, making it easier to add and communicate immune health benefits to any menu item or home beverage.
John Quilter, VP & General Manager at Kerry, said: “Wellmune helps deliver on consumer demand for safe, effective and research-supported immune health products. Consumer research gives Wellmune’s immune support a high believability rating, with nearly three-quarters of respondents indicating interest in purchasing a product containing this immune booster; in short, consumers understand and trust the benefits. Couple this with the fact that it can easily be incorporated into a variety of products and you now have a perfect partner for food and beverage innovation.”
DaVinci Gourmet Beverage Boost will be available in the U.S. through foodservice distributors and operators beginning in February. It is a simple way for any operator to add immunity support benefits to health- and wellness-oriented beverages. Lightly sweetened with subtle hints of creamy, vanilla sweetness, one serving (two pumps of syrup) is just 20 calories and delivers the recommended daily amount of Wellmune to deliver clinically supported benefits.
Learn more about DaVinci Gourmet’s Beverage Boost syrup at kerryfoodservice.com.
About DaVinci Gourmet
DaVinci Gourmet brings bold flavor across your entire menu. Our extensive selection — from traditional to cutting edge — was crafted to enhance flavor and turn your passion into a lasting impression.
Wellmune® is a natural food, beverage and supplement ingredient clinically supported to help strengthen the normal function of the immune system making it easier for people of all ages to feel well and stay well. Part of Kerry’s ProActive Health portfolio, Wellmune is a proprietary baker’s yeast beta 1.3/1.6 glucan, and is patented, kosher, halal, non-allergenic, non-GMO and gluten-free. As a global brand available in more than 60 countries, Wellmune has regulatory approval in major markets, including GRAS status in the U.S., and novel food approval in Europe and China. A recipient of numerous industry awards, Wellmune is part of Kerry’s nutrition and wellness portfolio. For more information, visit Wellmune.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
January has us thinking about wellness and strengthening our immune system. Smoothies and smoothie bowls can be a great way to incorporate more antioxidants through vegetables and fruits, boosting your intake for the day.
For a smoothie bowl, you can mix the smoothie and then choose your favorite topper for it. In the recipe below, there are three different smoothie topper examples included. Or you can get creative and make up your own mixture!
A favorite option of mine to include as a smoothie topper is pomegranate. Pomegranates are a great source of fiber and vitamin C. They also provide antioxidants, which have been linked to disease prevention and heart health.
You can find whole pomegranates and “de-seed” them yourself, or you can purchase the arils (the edible, little seed parts) by themselves. If you have kids, it can be fun for them to see the inside of the pomegranate – it looks like a container of jewels!
A few tips on selecting and de-seeding if you choose to do it on your own:
Choose a pomegranate that feels heavy for its size and is plump and round.
Pomegranates typically can last on the counter for 3 to 4 weeks, or in the refrigerator for longer.
For the easiest seed removal:
Rinse the pomegranate and then immerse it under water in a bowl.
Be sure you can see what you’re doing, and lightly and carefully score the skin in a few places with a sharp knife.
Then, peel the skin and break segments apart under water. This will prevent the bright-colored pomegranate juice from spraying out and staining clothing!
You’ll find that the pomegranate arils sink and the skin will float, so the underwater process can help make it easier. You can then strain the seeds and pat them dry to use.
Whether you top your green smoothie bowl with pomegranate arils, the kiwi medley listed, the berry-melon medley listed, or the orange-mango medley listed, this smoothie recipe offers your immune system a boosting blast and your taste buds some refreshment.
Somewhere between Week 1 A.C. (After Coronavirus) and Week Where Are We Now?, it became pretty clear the enduring pandemic was taking a toll on our state of mind. And—albeit helpful—there are only so many Headspace meditation tracks one can do. That’s why we reached out to mental health pros to share the tools of the trade proven to boost mood, calm anxiety, and alleviate stress.
11 Products Proven to Boost Mood, Calm Anxiety, and Alleviate Stress
1. Google Home Mini
Take the counsel of Solara Calderon, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist in San Diego, CA, who uses this device every night to teleport herself away from the relentless news cycle and to a place of zen. “From ocean waves to crickets to pattering rain, I love soothing sounds,” she says. “I visualize myself at the beach, or sitting by a campfire stargazing, or watching rain fall outside my window. This combination of sound and imagery helps me distance myself from the mundaneness of quarantine life and reminds me of pleasant moments I’ve had in the past. It also reminds me these moments will come again in the future,” she continues. Studies have shown listening to nature sounds promotes relaxation, causing physiological reactions like a decrease in muscle tension and pulse rate. “One study in particular has attempted to explain why this is the case, noting that listening to nature sounds can impact brain activity and the autonomic nervous system for some individuals, particularly those who are experiencing high levels of stress.” So, “Hey Google, play country night sounds.”
“Research indicates lavender does indeed have anti-anxiety and stress-reducing properties among other promising qualities,” says Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Santa Rosa, CA. We’ll take it. Manly also appreciates that lavender “evokes a sense of springtime, fresh air, and sunshine,” three things we could all use right about now. Keep a bottle on your desk and a spray bottle in your car. Reducing stress and improving your mood has never been easier.
Next time your partner yells at you for playing video games, let them know this one is therapist-approved. “There’s a reason why the Nintendo Switch has been sold out since last March—it’s a certified, blissful, calming escape from the current reality,” offers New York City-based therapist Taylor Orlandoni, LMHC. “To the surprise of anyone who has not played it yet, Animal Crossing is actually shown to boost mood and mitigate the experience of negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings. And if you’re skeptical about it, just check out Reddit for hundreds of personal anecdotes.”
“My favorite relaxation book—that I read frequently and recommend to clients—is a pocket-sized book called How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh, who’s an expert on mindfulness,” says Risa Williams, LMFT, therapist, coach, and author of The Ultimate Anxiety Toolkit: 25 Ways to Worry Less, Relax More and Boost YourSelf-Esteem. “All of Thich Nhat Hanh’s books are good for gaining insight, however the simplicity of the writing in this particular book makes it especially easy to read when you’re stressed out. Hanh reminds us to stay in the present moment, to appreciate what we have, and to breathe through intense feelings in order to feel relaxed and calm.”
Josh Briley, Ph.D., clinical psychologist licensed in the state of Texas and science and education director for Electromedical Products International, Inc., has used this FDA-cleared cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device both personally and with his patients with much success. “Within a few minutes of placing the ear clips on your earlobes and setting the current to a comfortable level, you feel very relaxed and calm, as if your anxiety and stress have just melted away,” Briley says. The product is backed by 100+ clinical studies, demonstrating its effectiveness in treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and pain. “I’ve used Alpha-Stim with veterans who have suffered with anxiety and depression for decades, and with patients in the midst of a suicidal crisis or panic attack. In my 17 years as a practicing psychologist, I’ve never seen anything work more quickly, effectively, or safely than Alpha-Stim.”
Dr. Brian Wind, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and chief clinical officer of JourneyPure based in Murfreesboro, TN, praises the humble yet effective acupressure mat. It provides relief at “the end of a long day when all you want to do is lie back and relax.” The mat works by stimulating pressure points throughout your back, neck, and shoulders to promote feelings of relaxation. Based on traditional Chinese medicine, there’s some encouraging published scientific research that acupressure works: “A 2015 review showed that acupressure was effective in relieving symptoms of anxiety, although it was only a temporary effect,” says Wind. “Another 2015 study found that acupressure helped relieve the anxiety of patients hospitalized for cancer treatment.”
This simple, age-old practice does the trick for Hannah Milford, LPC, at Happy Camper Counseling, in Austin, TX. “When I need to get myself in a better place, I turn to journaling. I find that expressing my thoughts and feelings through the written word, helps me externalize and let go of difficult emotions more quickly,” she says. Countless psychological studies show the benefits of journaling, from this research on expressive writing in helping with depression to writing about feeling and stress as a way to strengthen your immune system.
“The benefits of plants on our mental health have been well-studied, but if you’re limited for space in an apartment or don’t have the drive to become an in-home gardener, incorporating plants into your space can seem daunting,” says Orlandoni. That’s why her advice is to start with small and low-maintenance succulents for a mental health lift, pointing to studies like this one, which showed that interacting with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress.
This is a great one if you have kids: “I use bubbles with children and adults to help accomplish mindfulness in a fun way,” says therapist Stacy Haynes, Ed.D., LPC, ACS, founder of Little Hands Family Services in New Jersey. “Any brand of bubbles will work [for this science-based strategy]. Breathing regulates the mind and body and helps to calm the brain.” How can you not be in a better mood and alleviate stress after playing with bubbles?
“Not just another meditation app!” says April Brown, LMFT, marriage and family therapist and owner of Heard Counseling LLC, an online private practice in Florida. What makes Brown a fan of this free app is it uses cognitive behavioral therapy (a scientifically based strategy) to help manage anxiety and stress, and improve your mood. “It allows you to choose the kind of worry or low mood you’re feeling and tailors the tools to that specific type of concern. It offers quick solutions and tools to improve your mood when you’re feeling low,” she says. Brown also appreciates all the features on the app tie back to this therapeutic approach since “CBT has been consistently shown in research to treat anxiety and depression, and improve mood.”
Dr. David Rabin, M.D., a neuroscientist, board-certified psychiatrist, and health tech entrepreneur based in Monterey, CA, was inspired to create this device after encountering countless patients who simply wanted to feel better, but found stress and insomnia holding them back. (Join the club.) He partnered with the University of Pittsburgh, and they found certain combinations of gentle vibrations could help improve mood and lower stress, as measured by heart rate variability. The result: Apollo Neuro, a wearable wellness device, which “trains your nervous system to recover from stress more quickly, proving to be extremely helpful for those who suffer from chronic issues like anxiety and insomnia.” Since its launch last year, studies have shown that it reduces stress in nursing staff by 40 percent in two weeks and may aid in recovery and performance of athletes.