With coronavirus vaccines being distributed nationwide, finally, we’re all breathing a collective, hopeful sigh of relief. There is light is at the end of the pandemic tunnel. So while we wait and look forward to our turn to roll up our sleeve, a new study just found that there is something real you can do to improve your chances of having the best results from getting vaccinated, and building the strongest antibodies when the vaccine enters your body.
A new study just published in Perspectives on Psychological Science titled “Psychological and Behavioral Predictors of Vaccine Efficacy: Considerations for COVID-19,” helps underscore the importance of eating a healthy diet, as it relates to the vaccine’s efficacy.
Healthy Eating Could Be Your Immune System’s Top Defense Against Virus
For their research, scientists at the Ohio State University (OSU) reviewed 49 vaccine studies in humans from the past 30 years that show how different conditions impact the body’s immune system. They discovered that stress, depression, and unhealthy lifestyle choices (smoking, eating junk food) can negatively affect the body’s immune response when exposed to vaccination. On the flip side, improving your health and making smart lifestyle decisions (eating a diet high in plant-based foods) can bolster our immune response to a vaccine.
“When we think of vaccine efficacy, we often think of the vaccine itself. My motivation was to draw attention to the fact that we [as subjects] bring important factors to the table as well — and those factors are modifiable,” says Annelise Madison, lead author of the paper, and a graduate student in clinical psychology at Ohio State, in a Science Dailystatement.
“If we can address them now, when most of the world has yet to receive the vaccine, we have the chance to make our response to the vaccine quicker, more robust, and lasting,” she continues. In the study, the team at OSU noted that most people are not reacting to the pandemic stress with healthy habits, but are actually going the wrong direction, according to recent data that shows an increase in alcohol sales, more overeating (and higher sales of junk food), and a dip in daily physical activity, as recorded by those who wear Fitbits.
While the study does not suggest specific foods to eat to boost your immune response to the vaccine when it’s your turn to receive yours, it’s safe to say that junk foods, processed bags oof chips, boxes of crackers and cookies and, red meat that’s laden with saturated fat are not on the “healthier” diet list. So skip the cheeseburger and opt instead for a salad rich in plant-based foods and whole grains, of the quinoa and kale variety. The antioxidants and high-fiber content of a whole food plant-based approach will create a better host system to welcome the new antibodies into your immune arsenal.
Since what we eat and drink and how active we are impacts all aspects of our health and wellbeing, these are things that we can control (“modifiable,” as Madison calls them). We may not be able to choose how soon we get the vaccine, but until then, we are able to influence our body’s response when we get it.
A Plant-Based Diet Can Boost Immune Protections
While more research is needed to replicate these findings with regard to the new coronavirus vaccines, it’s well-known that a whole-food, plant-based diet can help protect and enhance immunity, to all viruses. Some doctors are urging people to go plant-based now, in light of coronavirus, and to improve their long-term health. From eating ‘shrooms to loading up on fiber, here are 11 tips to boost your immune system, and here are 15 immune-supportive foods to build your natural defenses and safeguard your health.
If “you are what you eat,” we’d like to be a rainbow-filled garden, metaphorically, with immune-bolstering superpowers, until the day we get that first inoculation. Our arms will be ready.
The start of a new year is often coupled with self-reflection and the desire to adopt healthy lifestyle choices, but this year prioritizing health takes on greater meaning as people look to boost their immune system and prevent illnesses. Holistic health and immunity against common colds go hand in hand – according to U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, healthy individuals should make sure to maintain their immune system to lower the incidence of infection, lessen severity of symptoms, shorten duration of colds, which suggests that regular supplementation could be encouraged for preventing and treating their colds. Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutrition expert and author of Why Diets Fail, provides recommendations to boost immunity through nutrition, lifestyle changes, and supplementation which can easily be incorporated into one’s daily health and wellness routine.
1. Go outside to enjoy Vitamin D. A quick walk during the day can do wonders for the body, especially when the sun is shining. Make sure to apply SPF and head outside for 10-30 minutes per day to take advantage of the sun’s natural form of Vitamin D as this vitamin helps protect against common colds and can decrease inflammation. Can’t go outside? Not too many foods contain vitamin D naturally, but salmon and white mushrooms are some options to try. Also, try to include Vitamin D-fortified food products in your diet, like milks, cheeses, and cereals.
2. Power up your Zinc intake. Zinc helps build the innate immune system and shorten the duration of colds. Macrophages and other white blood cells that attack pathogens need zinc to function at full capacity. vitafusion Gummy Vitamins makes an easy-to take and highly potent Zinc supplement that contains 15mg of Zinc and 270mg of Vitamin C.
3. Magnesium does it all, especially when about 300mg is consumed per day. There’s evidence that magnesium plays a major role in brain function, sleep regulation, and emotional stability. The mineral contains calming properties while activating your parasympathetic nervous system and can be found naturally in leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and milk. vitafusion Gummy Vitamins fuses together this essential mineral with a tropical citrus flavor into a yummy gummy with 165mg of magnesium that can be supplemented into the diet.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The start of a new year is often coupled with self-reflection and the desire to adopt healthy lifestyle choices, but this year prioritizing health takes on greater meaning as people look to boost their immune system and prevent illnesses. Holistic health and immunity against common colds go hand in hand – according to U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine, healthy individuals should make sure to maintain their immune system to lower the incidence of infection, lessen severity of symptoms, shorten duration of colds, which suggests that regular supplementation could be encouraged for preventing and treating their colds. Nicole Avena, Ph.D., nutrition expert and author of Why Diets Fail, provides recommendations to boost immunity through nutrition, lifestyle changes, and supplementation which can easily be incorporated into one’s daily health and wellness routine.
“This year, functional nutrition and holistic health will be big whether it is using food as medicine or making diet and lifestyle changes for preventative wellness and increased immunity,” says Avena. “Depending on what those goals are, whether it’s fitness improvement or stress reduction, nutritional solutions are available through various foods, vitamins, and supplements that can specifically assist in attaining both holistic health and immune system support.”
Below, Dr. Avena recommends ways to support the immune system and reveals how nutrients play a role in immune system functionality and mood regulation.
Consume 1 to 2 grams of Vitamin C per day to reduce duration and severity of common colds. This antioxidant protects against oxidative damage in white blood cells and other important immune cells so that they can function optimally, assuring a strong barrier against environmental pathogens and pollutants. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and more.
Go outside to enjoy Vitamin D. A quick walk during the day can do wonders for the body, especially when the sun is shining. Make sure to apply SPF and head outside for 10-30 minutes per day to take advantage of the sun’s natural form of Vitamin D as this vitamin helps protect against common colds and can decrease inflammation. Can’t go outside? Not too many foods contain vitamin D naturally, but salmon and white mushrooms are some options to try. Also, try to include Vitamin D-fortified food products in your diet, like milks, cheeses, and cereals.
Power up your Zinc intake. Zinc helps build the innate immune system and shorten the duration of colds. Macrophages and other white blood cells that attack pathogens need zinc to function at full capacity. vitafusion Gummy Vitamins makes an easy-to take and highly potent Zinc supplement that contains 15mg of Zinc and 270mg of Vitamin C.
Consider Elderberry as a natural remedy for the cold and flu. The berries and flowers of Elderberry are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that may boost your immune system and reduce recovery time after a cold or flu by activating the body’s immune response, increasing antibodies, and expanding immune cell production. Elderberries are safe to ingest when cooked, and can be used in many forms including syrup, tea, tincture, pill, gummies, and lozenges.
Magnesium does it all, especially when about 300mg is consumed per day. There’s evidence that magnesium plays a major role in brain function, sleep regulation, and emotional stability. The mineral contains calming properties while activating your parasympathetic nervous system and can be found naturally in leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and milk. vitafusion Gummy Vitamins fuses together this essential mineral with a delicious tropical Citrus flavor into a yummy gummy with 165mg of magnesium.
“It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or changing your diet in a drastic way. Holistic health is a preventative measure and while specific goals can be important benchmarks to make – implementing health and lifestyle routines that are manageable and promote overall wellness can help you achieve your goals while also making lasting changes to your overall wellness,” adds Avena.
CHICAGO (WLS) — The foods you eat affect the way your body feels.
Some foods can make you feel worse. Others can make you stronger and even boost your immune system.
ABC 7 Chicago spoke to Shelly Herman, co-founder of Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks, a grocery delivery service that works with Midwest farms. She shared what types of produce can naturally cleanse the body and are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Beets – dense with nutrients, including potassium, betaine, magnesium, folate, and Vitamin C and a good dose of nitrates. Beets can also help reduce blood pressure and anemia, improve circulation and cognitive function.
Carrots – a good source of beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits. They’re a weight-loss-friendly food and have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and improved eye health.
Ginger – Antioxidants and other nutrients in ginger may help prevent or treat arthritis, inflammation, and various types of infection. Researchers have also studied its potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, and other health problems.
Bananas – good fiber for detoxifying the intestines. Important minerals like selenium and potassium for brain health.
Kale – nutrient dense, fiber, antioxidants, healthy digestive tract. Adds a healthy dose of Calcium, Vitamin K (blood clotting, bone metabolism), and more.
Ensure your family’s nutrient intake is optimized to support immunity, starting with these three key nutrients and (mostly) kid-friendly foods in which they’re found. We also included some easy recipes to help boost your immune system.
Widely found in citrus (think oranges, clementines, grapefruit, lemons and limes), vitamin C protects from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies. You can also find this water-soluble nutrient — you need it pretty much every day — in bell pepper, broccoli, mango, berries, cantaloupe and even baked potatoes. One medium red bell pepper contains more than twice the amount of vitamin C found in an orange.
Recipe to Try: Double Orange Smoothie
A double dose of orange means a double dose of powerful nutrients, including vitamin C. Each serving of this tangy-sweet smoothie contains 57mg of vitamin C. Kids 9-13 need 45mg per day and kids 4-8 require 25mg. Makes 2 servings.
1 navel orange, peeled
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp honey, optional
Section orange; transfer sections to a small freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until sections are very cold, about 20 minutes.
In a blender, combine yogurt, ice, OJ, honey and frozen orange sections and blend until smooth. Serve in two glasses.
Healthy blood levels of this nutrient are linked to a healthy immune system. Deficiencies may increase your risk of developing a severe COVID-19 infection. While there are very few natural sources (salmon and eggs), vitamin D is added to dairy milk as well as select brands of non-dairy milk, yogurt, orange juice and breakfast cereal. It is also found in specially labeled mushrooms; check the Nutrition Facts label to verify.
Recipe to Try: Veggie Egg Bites
Looking for a quick make-ahead breakfast that’s healthy and will boost your immune system? Pull out the muffin tin to whip up these egg bites packed with yummy veggies. Contains 6 servings (Two egg bites per serving).
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (about 2 sprigs)
1 tsp salt
Black pepper, freshly ground (to taste)
1 large tomato, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin pan
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, cheese, salt, pepper and thyme
Divide the spinach, tomatoes and shallots evenly throughout each muffin cup
Pour the egg mixture evenly into each muffin cup, shifting around the vegetables as needed to allow the egg mixture to reach the bottom of each muffin cup
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the egg mixture is set and the tops of each Veggie Egg Bite are lightly browned
Serve hot, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
May be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
This essential nutrient is a key factor in the development and function of immune cells. The term “essential” means your body can’t produce it so it must be consumed daily. It’s found in animal sources — where it’s better absorbed — such as red meat, shellfish (shrimp, crab and oysters) and dairy products. Vegetarian sources include wheat germ, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, fortified breakfast cereals and tofu.
Recipe to Try: Beef Brisket Nachos
Make your next beef brisket a little more interesting by transforming them into nachos! Craving tacos instead? Find out what ingredients to use over at ShawSimpleSwaps.com. Contains 12 3-ounce servings.
Pressure cooker (or Instant Pot)
For the brisket:
2.5 pounds beef Brisket Flat Half
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 each jalapeño
2 cups beef broth
For the nachos:
12 oz tortilla chips
1 cup shredded reduced fat cheese
1 cup salsa
1 medium avocado, chopped
1-pound cooked beef Brisket, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
To prepare the marinade
Liberally rub the black pepper and salt into the brisket. Place inside a zip tight bag and pour the olive oil, garlic and jalapeño inside. Note, if you prefer less of a kick, omit the seeds from the jalapeño.
Massage the beef with the olive and garlic then place the bag in a bowl in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
To cook the brisket
Remove the brisket from the marinade. Discard marinade. Turn the pressure cook to SAUTE mode and brown each side of the brisket for 3 minutes. Press CANCEL and remove the brisket.
Add the beef broth to the metal pot of the pressure cooker, then place the metal trivet inside. Place the brisket on top of the trivet and secure the lid. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the time for 30 minutes.
When cooking completes, allow pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and check the internal temperature of the brisket, it should be 145 degrees or above. Remove the brisket from the pressure cooker and let rest another 15 minutes before slicing.
Serve up the brisket as nachos, in tacos, or a salad; the options are limitless!
To store brisket, place inside an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. You can also store it in the beef broth to keep it a bit moister as well.
To make as nachos
Place chips on a baking sheet. Cover with cheese and broil for 3 to 5 minutes in the oven, or until cheese is melted.
Remove and top with salsa, avocado, brisket, and cilantro. Drizzle BBQ sauce over the top. Serve immediately.
The flexitarian diet is a more flexible take on going vegetarian, allowing meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs in your meal plan in moderation.
There are no strict guidelines to the flexitarian diet, but experts generally recommend centering most meals around plant-based foods, while treating meat and dairy as an accent rather than the main dish.
Some of the health benefits of including more plant-based foods in your diet may include improved digestion, stronger immune system, and improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
An ever-growing body of research suggests that eating less meat and dairy and more plants can do wonders for your health. However, a vegan or vegetarian diet isn’t for everyone.
Fortunately, there is a middle ground: the flexitarian diet. As the name suggests, it’s a more flexible take on going vegetarian, meaning that you’re still allowed to eat meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs in moderation.
Here’s more about the flexitarian diet and what you should know before trying it.
The term flexitarian seems to have emerged around 2004 and gained steam after dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner published a book about the diet in 2008. Since then, its popularity has been steadily mounting.
The flexitarian diet is also a form of reducetarianism or reducing your total consumption of animal products. The difference, according to The Reducetarian Foundation, is that reducetarians steadily decrease their intake of all animal products – typically intending to eventually eliminate them.
Benefits of a flexitarian diet
“There are many health benefits to a flexitarian diet,” says registered dietician Shena Jaramillo, MS.
“A flexitarian diet may lead to an overall increase in fruits and veggies, a reduction in saturated and trans fats, and an increase in fiber intake. This can help to lower cholesterol, improve bowel function, increase immunities, and reduce inflammation in the body,” Jaramillo says.
It makes sense why a flexitarian diet might be good for your overall health. Not only does eating more plants help you get more of the vitamins and minerals your body needs, but it also makes it easier to meet your daily recommended intake of fiber – which plays a key role in gut health as well as blood sugar control.
“The majority of a flexitarian diet should come from fruits and veggies – fresh or frozen – beans, lentils, tofu, and whole grains,” Jaramillo tells Insider. “When eating animal products, try choosing leaner meats like chicken and fish.”
There are no strict guidelines on how much animal products to consume on the flexitarian diet. Experts generally recommend centering most of your meals around plant-based foods, while treating meat and dairy as an accent rather than the main dish.
Flexitarians may opt to have red meat once or twice a week, or nix red meat entirely and enjoy fish, poultry, and eggs in moderation. The point is to prioritize plant-based foods over animal foods, reducing the quantity of meat and dairy you’re eating overall, and focus on quality instead – eating free-range, organic, and grass-fed meat and dairy products whenever possible. Anyone can benefit from a flexitarian diet, not just those with the budget and access to these foods.
Not all vegetarian diets are created equal, of course, and experts generally recommend focusing on whole plant-based foods rather than processed meat substitutes (like some soy-based frozen veggie burgers) and snacks. In other words, foods in their natural state are healthier. The fewer ingredients, the better, generally speaking.
As a general rule, registered dietician-nutritionist Scott Keatley, CDN, says to fill your plate with twice the amount of vegetables or fruit per serving of whole-grains, beans/legumes, and nuts/seeds.
“Highly processed foods like cookies, candies, and crackers may be plant-based, but they are often heavy in calories while not offering a lot of nutrient density,” says Jaramillo.
Disadvantages of a flexitarian diet
One of the few disadvantages to following a healthy flexitarian diet is that you will likely need to spend more time planning, prepping, and cooking your meals in advance – which may feel like an adjustment if you’re used to grabbing whatever’s convenient.
There are also some potential nutritional deficiencies. For example, since calcium and vitamin B12 are more prevalent in animal products, you may need to seek out a fortified nutritional yeast, cereal, or dairy-free milk – or take a supplement – to fill that gap. Note that broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and navy beans are all plant-based sources of calcium, and eggs, yogurt, cheese, and fish can all help you to meet your recommended daily intake of vitamin B12.
According to Keatley, the stricter your plant-based diet is, the more prone you are to iron-deficiency anemia. That’s why it’s important to incorporate certain iron-rich foods into your diet, such as spinach, lentils, chickpeas, and cashews.
A flexitarian diet offers many of the same benefits as a vegetarian diet, provided you can significantly cut down on your consumption of animal proteins.
It can also be a viable way to lose weight, as long as you focus on eating nutrient-dense, fiber-rich plant-based whole foods, reduce the heavily processed foods and sugary foods you’re eating, and create a calorie deficit.
“The flexitarian diet can be very healthy,” says Keatley. “But like with every other diet, your choices still matter.”
Healthy sleep is integral to a strong immune system, and as COVID-19 vaccines are distributed, it’s important that people continue to get sufficient sleep for optimal immune response.
Sleep loss is associated with changes in several immune processes. Poor sleep may weaken your defenses against a virus, and it may affect how your body responds to a vaccine, increasing your risk for illness. For this reason, sleep deprivation in the age of a global pandemic is especially risky.
“As COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed, it is of utmost importance that patients continue to prioritize their sleep to maintain optimal health,” said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “Getting sufficient, high-quality sleep on a regular basis strengthens your body’s immune system and optimizes your response to a vaccine.”
There is extensive evidence of the link between sleep and immunity, and several studies have found an association between sleep duration and vaccination response. A 2020 study in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that the flu vaccine appears to be more effective in people who get a sufficient duration of sleep for the two nights prior to receiving the shot. Other studies have made similar findings evaluating patients’ response to vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, concluding that shorter sleep duration before and after vaccination is associated with lower antibody response and a decreased likelihood of disease protection.
“The role of sleep in boosting innate and acquired immune response is significant. All people, particularly health workers, should be aware of the immunity-boosting effects of sleep. Studies have shown that normal sleep after vaccination strengthens the immune response against an invading antigen and this immunity boosting effect of sleep is clinically significant,” said Dr. Khurshid A. Khurshid, director of the UMMHC/UMMS Center for Neuromodulation at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “A good night’s sleep before and after vaccination could be very advantageous.”
When we sleep, our body recovers from the day, working to repair muscles, organs and cells. Hormones are regulated that support our metabolism, immune response and other key physical functions. Our brain sorts and stores new information and prepares us mentally for the next day by regulating our mood.
For many though, the pandemic has negatively impacted sleep. One third (33%) of respondents to an AASM survey have experienced an impact to sleep quality, 30% have seen change in their ability to fall asleep, and 29% noted an impact to nightly amount of sleep. While it’s easy for stress and scheduling conflicts to interrupt nightly sleep, the AASM recommends that most adults should be sleeping at least 7 hours each night.
Follow these tips to get a better night’s sleep:
Establish a bedtime and morning routine – Consider developing a nightly routine that evokes calm and relaxation, which may include reading, journaling or meditating. Even for those working remotely, allow ample time to wake, reflect and prepare for the day ahead.
Ensure the bedroom is a space for sleep – Limit noise and distractions by making your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool – and only use the bed for sleeping, not watching TV or reading.
Set boundaries for blue light exposure – Consider setting a technology curfew by turning off your TV and other electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Silence your notifications and charge your devices away from your bed so you are not tempted to look at social media or news alerts.
Limit alcohol, caffeine and large meals before bedtime – Avoid consuming caffeine after lunch and avoid alcohol near bedtime, as both can disrupt sleep. If hungry after dinner, keep snacks small, sugar-free and easily digestible to avoid disrupting sleep.
Sleep on it: try to get good sleep on the night after vaccination.
The July 2020 Sleep Prioritization Survey involved 2,007 adult participants. The sample consisted of 1,005 parents with children between the ages of five and 18 years old. The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. Atomik Research, an independent market research agency, conducted the survey.
About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals (aasm.org).
While I do have hope that 2021 will be a better year than 2020, I can’t help but look back on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in various ways. As a dietitian and fitness fanatic, I’ve seen firsthand the toll it’s taken on the eating (and drinking) habits of my friends and family.
While sales of self-rising yeast (hello, homemade bread), cookies and Campari soared, I’ve also noticed that several healthier trends emerged as well.
If you’re looking to adopt healthy habits in the new year, consider adding these five wellness practices to your list of 2021 goals:
Immune-boosting foods and behaviors.
At-home fitness apps and gear.
Healthier freezer finds.
Immune-Boosting Foods and Behaviors
Trying to fend off contracting a potentially fatal virus has more individuals seeking immune-boosting foods. While you need to steer clear of the gimmicks, scams and misinformation that abound on the internet and social media about boosting immunity with specific products like apple cider vinegar or detoxifying drinks, some foods and nutrients have more solid science to suggest that a healthy diet coupled with adequate sleep can help keep your immune system functioning optimally.
Foods to add include vitamin C-rich choices like citrus – oranges, grapefruit and 100% orange juice – which have been flying off shelves since the onset of the pandemic. According to the latest data from Sunkist, more than 50% of shoppers buying citrus are doing so in order to boost their vitamin C intake.
On a similar note, MyFitnessPal reported that orange juice was logged into food records 30% more frequently than last year. And there’s a good reason to drink or snack on these juicy foods: Citrus fruits contain the polyphenol hesperidin, a type of plant pigment that has been shown to provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and vitamin C has long been shown to have immune health benefits.
Other vital nutrients that can supercharge your immune system include probiotics – found in nonfat plain Greek yogurt, kefir and fermented foods and have been shown to improve gut health – and vitamin D (otherwise known as the sunshine vitamin).The best food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, fatty fish and some mushrooms, as well as vitamin-D enriched foods and beverages, like milk, some breakfast cereals and 100% OJ.
At-Home Fitness Apps and Gear
With gyms all but shuttered for most of 2020, it’s not surprising that home fitness is one of the hottest trends that will likely continue into 2021. MyFitnessPal’s year-end survey revealed that high-intensity-interval training was the most logged activity, while swimming, spinning and other gym- and group-based activities were down significantly year-over year.
Health-conscious individuals have been using Apple Fitness Plus, Daily Burn, Peloton and other streaming fitness apps. As far as the trending home exercise equipment, indoor rowers, dumb bells, resistance bands and weighted jump ropes came out on top.
Now here’s the good news: The technology that’s bringing world-class coaches and the gym experience to your home appears to be helping to motivate more people to work out and crush their health and fitness goals. As a CrossFitter, I’ve had to adapt to lots of body-weight HIIT workouts for the past nine months.
Healthier Freezer Finds
Shoppers are raiding the supermarket freezers as they load up frozen fruits and veggies, plant-based burgers, perogies, pizza, poultry, seafood and side dishes, according to research by the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association.
In fact, sales of frozen fruit and veggies are outpacing sales of fresh, as more homebound shoppers turned to frozen foods for their added convenience, affordability, longer shelf-life and healthfulness. And here’s a noteworthy stat: MyFitnessPal reported that frozen spinach and frozen pineapple were included in more food diaries in 2020 compared to 2019, where frozen spinach was up 76% and frozen pineapple increased by a whopping 275%!
Now this is a promising trend because studies consistently show that frozen foods are nutritionally on-par (or even better!) than their fresh counterparts. And having plenty of fruits and veggies in the freezer means that you always have produce on hand to make preparing plant-forward meals and snacks a cinch.
As the pandemic put the kibosh on dining out, more Americans started making their own meals – and many of them plan on continuing to do so once the pandemic is over. What’s more, according to “The Wall Street Journal,” revenue in the meal kit service sector from players like HelloFresh, Blue Apron and Home Chef nearly doubled in 2020.
Plus, polls show that consumers say their kitchen confidence has soared over the last nine months. There are multiple perks of enjoying more home-cooked meals. Generally speaking, these dishes tend to be lower in total calories, saturated fat and added sugars compared to meals prepared outside of the home, along with being less expensive. That’s a win-win in my house.
Without any reason to be out into the late hours, many people have started putting a higher priority on optimizing their sleep and bedtime rituals. Research has shown that improving sleep quality can help boost your body’s immune system. Furthermore, one timely study found that flu shots were more effective among individuals who got a solid night of shut-eye on a regular basis.
Avoid drinking alcohol in the evening.
Consume functional foods and beverages that promote sleep (such as Driftwell, a nighttime beverage from PepsiCo that provides L-theanine and magnesium to help you relax and unwind before bed) or take an OTC melatonin or CBD-infused products designed to improve sleep. (The author has no ties to these products.)
Also, try drifting off while listening to a relaxation app and lying in a dark bedroom using evidence-based sleep enhancing products, like pillows and mattresses designed for your weight and preferred sleep position or a cozy weighted blanket.
SCIENCE | COVID-19 | Never before has it been so important for citizens worldwide to boost their immune systems. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to gain victims in every country, people are looking for ways that they can naturally strengthen their own body’s defenses against this fatal infection.As millions of people follow strict quarantine and social distancing regulations in every country, many are wondering if wearing masks and using hand sanitizer is enough. Without a healthy immune system, an infection of this kind of coronavirus bacteria could be very serious.
The good news is, that there are many natural ways through your diet with which you can give your immune system the improvement it needs. Along with following the recommended CDC guidelines, strengthening your immune system is possible, especially when adding the right nutrients and vitamins through daily supplements from Designs For Health. Let’s look at a few supplements that can help you boost your immunity.
When your body is under stress, it puts a huge strain on your immune system. Your body needs to work harder to deal with mild inflammations while under stress not leaving enough strength in your system to efficiently deal with invasions of infection or bacteria. Omega-3 amino acids work to reduce cellular stress that can lead to strain on your immune health. Adding foods like fish, fish oils, algae or a blended supplement can help your body to fight back against infection.
The healthy bacteria that make up general probiotics can help to boost your immune system. The role of probiotics is to ensure the healthy processing of nutrients while providing a strong barrier against harmful bacteria and inflammation. Your immune response is often kicked into high gear when you have inflammation in any part of your body making it less capable of dealing with an external infection. Foods that are fermented like kefir and sauerkraut contain good levels of probiotics. Yogurt is one of the most commonly preferred sources of probiotics and is tolerable for most people.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the production of antimicrobial peptides throughout the body. These peptides contain essential antibacterial and antibiotic properties that help the immune system to fight off foreign bacteria like COVID-19. Apart from spending time in the sun, which is the most common natural source of Vitamin D, you can add a supplement to your diet to ensure that you don’t become deficient, especially during the time spent in quarantine.
Curcumin is the extract that gives Turmeric the orange-yellow pigment and distinct flavoring. Known for its powerful antioxidant properties, Curcumin works to support many of the systems in the body including immune health. Curcumin has been proven to promote a healthy immune cell response when the body is threatened by infection or harmful bacteria. Taking pure natural forms of Curcumin in your diet can be effective, however, adding a blended supplement can aid in proper absorption at the cellular level giving you better results.
In the age of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to ensure that your immune system is as strong and healthy as possible. Following quarantine restrictions, social distancing guidelines including wearing a mask in public and adding one of these important supplements to your diet can help boost your natural defenses.
NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Vital Flow health supplement is a perfect formula that contains special herbs responsible for better blood circulation, balances hormones, and lowers down the body’s DHT level. By having these properties, Vital Flow also helps in treating all issues related to the prostate gland. Many men face the issue of enlarged prostate glands when they reach their old age. Before it gets more complicated, it is essential to control the problem in consideration to perfect prostate health. As per the manufacturer of Vital Flow, the product targets the root cause of the problem and improves prostate health. The enlarged prostate health comes with many other problems that include discomfort and inconvenience in regular life.
Recent studies on enlarged prostate indicate that many men feel embarrassed while talking about it, but now it is a time to talk about it. When men start aging, this problem gets complicated. When there is an enlargement of the prostate, it is due to an increase in the body’s DHT level. It results in more pressure in the bladder, which further leads to less control over the bladder during urination or frequent feeling of urination. Enlarged prostate gives painful urination and drastically affects the health of men.
Vital Flow is the best dietary supplement that is best for people who are facing the problem of prostate enlargement. The prostate is among the body’s vital parts, responsible for semen production and nourishing the body. The supplement treats the root cause of the prostate enlargement and reduces the size of the prostate. With the consumption of Vital Flow, a man can get relief from the discomfort of an enlarged prostate. There are many symptoms of this complication, and they are frequent urges to urinate, painful discharge, and pain during urination; all these symptoms are well controlled with Vital Flow.
The natural supplement is packed with unique herbal ingredients such as Saw Palmetto berries, green tea, Graviola leaf, Japanese mushroom trio, stinging nettle, and more. Saw Palmetto berries help prevent the production of DHT in the body and controls the prostate’s size. Graviola leaf is an ingredient that naturally reduces prostate size, and similar to saw palmetto, it reduces DHT. Japanese mushroom trio includes Maitake, Reishi, and shiitake mushrooms, which helps in flushing out the excess DHT level. Stinging nettle is responsible for boosting testosterone. Green tea removes all toxins from the body to get back the prostate into its appropriate size. MUST SEE: “Shocking New Vital Flow Report – This May Change Your Mind”
These natural scientific ingredients are perfect for reducing the enlarged prostate and reduce the size required by the body. Many doctors recommended Vitaflow for better prostate health, and it should be taken 40-50 days regularly for its maximum use. The formula comes with many benefits apart from better functioning of the prostate. According to the manufacturer, the formula is best for boosting hormones.
Many doctors prescribe many medicines to reduce enlarged prostate, but medicines are full of side effects. In that case, Vital Flow is a perfect supplement that can help men with enlarged prostate naturally and quickly. By consuming the pills daily, a man can experience better and fast relief from symptoms of BHP.
As one gets old, there is more DHT production in the body, which further results in enlargement of the prostate, affecting health. Before it is too late, get Vital Flow and have better prostate health. By ensuring complete removal of symptoms, the formula also ensures the problem does not happen again.
Vital Flow is successful because it addresses the root cause. The manufacturer claims that this fantastic supplement has no side effects and it is safe to use. The supplement does not have any artificial ingredients, ensuring it is ultimately a safe product to use. Vital Flow is a promising supplement to reduce prostate enlargement by working naturally in the body.