Symbiotics Life

Keep Children Healthy During Summer Months

Once school is out, it’s easy to get caught up in lazy summer days, especially for children with video games, TV marathons and social media. Keep your children healthy during summer months with these tips:

Related: 5 Easy Tips for Running With Your Children 

For food and snacks:

  • Put all healthy foods like veggies and fresh fruit at eye level.
  • Let your children pick out healthy foods at the store and prepare it at home.
  • Add leafy vegetables such as spinach to smoothies to add fiber and vitamins.
  • Add fresh or frozen fruit to water for calorie-free flavor and as an alternative to soda and other sugary drinks.

For activities & exercise:

-For younger children who aren’t going away to camp, have play dates.
-Children away at camp should include physical activities in their daily routine.
-Create a fun route and make walking your pet a fun activity to get your heart rate pumping.
-Make a summer bucket list of activities that includes games to play, places to go, friends to play with, activities you can try at home.

More: 5 Tips for Packing Healthy Lunch For Your Children 

3 Easy Ways to Improve Digestive Health

Your digestive system is an important key to your health. Digestive issues can negatively affect your body’s ability to absorb the right vitamins and nutrients from the foods you eat. For better immunity, efficient digestion and overall health, paying attention to improving and restoring your gut is essential. Here are three easy ways to improve your digestive health:

Related: Healthy Gut Trinity: Prebiotics, Probiotics & Symbiotics

Hydration

Hydration is key and water is the best thing for your digestive system and overall health. If you don’t drink enough water your digestive system can slow down causing back up. The goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day, which can also aid your metabolism.

Probiotics/Prebiotics

Keeping your digestive tract healthy means incorporating probiotics and prebiotics to your diet. Probiotics are naturally good bacteria living in digestive tract but we often don’t have enough due to excess bad bacteria and yeast, from either bad diets, antibiotics and more. You can keep the balance in your digestive tract by getting prebiotics from vegetables, fruits, grains and beans.

Work it Out

Getting physical helps speed up your digestion, increase blood flow to your organs and helps stimulate muscles found in the GI tract. Working for at least thirty minutes a day can help keep everything in your body working actively.

3 Ways to Be Healthy With a Busy Schedule

Even if it may seem hard to find a few minutes to ourselves throughout the day eating healthy and staying fit is important for optimal health. Here are 4 helpful ways you can enhance your health without taking up too much time:

Related: 4 Super-Foods for Healthy Digestion

Symbiotics Smoothie
We always hear it, breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day! And if you’re always on the go, it may be easy to miss out on breakfast. Simple smoothies take no more than four minutes to make, are packed with great health benefits and can help keep you full and satisfied. Add two tablespoons of our Symbiotics Colostrum Powder for an extra immune boost! Try this smoothie recipe.

Water
Are you having enough of it throughout your day? Purchase a large water bottle and keep it around, always having it with you will remind you to drink enough throughout the day. Need something extra? Add lemon slices and cucumbers for a delicious taste and healthy benefits.

High-Intensity Interval Training
This one’s important, since we complain about not having enough time. Now you don’t need too much time. You don’t need to go to the gym for hours on end to reach your goals. With a high-intensity interval training you can boost your fitness levels in as little as thirty minutes, intervals are extremely effective in transforming your body.

More: The Orange Immune Boost

4 Super-foods for Healthy Digestion

We’ve all heard about probiotic foods that contain healthy live bacteria and their benefits for gut health, but there are also foods called prebiotic foods, that nourish the healthy bacteria already living in our body. A combination of both keep our body balanced.

Here are four prebiotic super-foods to add to your clean, whole-food diet to aid your digestion:

Asparagus

Aspargus is a mega superfood for digestion. It contains multiple nutrients that may help heal the gut wall and is rich in inulin, which helps increase the activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Garlic

Garlic has great immunity boosting benefits. Not only is it a great prebiotic but it also helps to combat unhealthy gut bacteria.

Carrots

Carrots aren’t only just good for your skin, they’re also good for your gut and are packed with compounds called arabiongalactans, which good bacteria in the intestinal tract thrive on.

Coconut Flour

Make the swap to coconut flour, it has 5 grams of fiber per serving compared to wheat based flour which comes in at .8 grams per serving. The increase in fiber will help with your overall digestion.

Put these superfoods on your plate and discover the benefits!

5 Ways to Add Energy to Your Smoothies

Smoothies are quick, easy, can satisfy your sweet-tooth and still be a nutritious and healthy way to add some energy into your day. If you need an extra boost of energy check out these 5 energizing ingredients you should be adding into every smoothie:

Seeds

Seeds are a great and easy way to add protein into your smoothies. Chia and flax seeds are our favorites when reaching for that extra source of protein.

Leafy Greens

The greens are the most nutritious part of the smoothie, anything from spinach, kale, and parsley can add fantastic benefits to your smoothie without even tasting them.

Spices

Put some spice in your life with a few spices in your smoothie. Spices have great benefits like antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Our favorite spices to use in smoothies are cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and even turmeric!

Goji Berries

You may be hearing the term “superfood” everywhere and that’s exactly what the Goji Berry is. Goji berries are high in antioxidants, contain 18 amino acids and can be a boost for your immune system.

Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass isn’t only an energy boost but also contains amino acids, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and so much more that can help but your body in balance.

4 Foods to Eat Before Yoga

Ever been getting ready to go to yoga or any workout and can’t think of what to eat beforehand? Here are 4 things you can enjoy before your class or workout session:

Related: The Orange Immune Boost

Almonds

Almonds are a great snack at any time to keep away hunger. Raw, unsalted almonds are not only easy to digest but they also have a great balance of protein and healthy fats to keep your energy levels high during a workout. That’s not all these nuts are energy boosting and packed with fiber and antioxidants.

Bananas

Remember, fiber will keep you feeling full. Bananas contain a lot of fiber and are a low glycemic fruit giving you just the right amount of sugar to keep you going during a workout. Potassium found in bananas can also help to keep you hydrated and the magnesium helps prevent cramping of muscles.

Oats

A small bowl of oatmeal before a workout can help you feeling satisfied. Full of fiber and high in magnesium, oats will keep you going.

Green Smoothies

We love smoothies and a simple green smoothie is a great way to give you an energy boost. Try this simple recipe: handful of spinach, 1/2 cup berries, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, 2 tbsp. Symbiotics Colostrum Powder, 1/2 cup of coconut water.

More: 6 Healthy Ways to Invigorate Your Water

4 Ways a Good Workout Can Help Your Brain

Have you ever gotten a wake up call after a great workout? Exercise isn’t only good on the body but it can also be great for your brain. Here are three ways a good workout can change everything:

Related: 5 Easy Tips for Running With Your Children 

Releases “feel-good” chemicals

Dopamine is released in the brain when good things happen like falling in love and even when you exercise.

Improves attention span

Studies show that aerobic exercise enhance our abilities to maintain and shift attention. Just an hour of exercise has been shown to cause significant improvements in attention and it can also increase long-term attention enhancement.

Makes you happy 

Exercise can boost your mood in many different ways and releases neurotransmitters like serotonin and noradrenalin, a natural version of morphine that is produced by the brain.

Not only great for your memory, also beats stress

Exercise isn’t only great for your memory and your mood it also helps beat stress! Regular exercise can help regulate your mood and protect you against the destructive effects of stress on the brain.

What are you waiting for? Get to exercising and reap all the wonderful benefits!

Recipe: Spring Detox Smoothie

5 Tips for Packing Healthy Lunch For Your Children

5 Tips for Healthy Lunch

Getting the children involved is key

Having your children have a say in what they eat allows them to feel responsible and gives them a great sense of encouragement. Talk to your children about healthy options so that they know how to make the right choices when putting an input about what goes into their lunch.

Find a spot in your kitchen and make it the lunch packing station and get lunch prepared with your children the night before.

Make healthy food fun

Creating a theme for your children’s food or using cookie cutters to make shapes of of breads, cheese, deli meat and even special cutters to add designs into your children’s fruits.

Prepare your own snacks

Kids love snacks, and they supply your children with energy throughout the day, so make them nutritional. Packaged snacks don’t usually have the proper nutrients and can sometimes be packed with sugar. Taking control in the kitchen the night before with your children can help make nutritious snacks fun.

A balanced diet includes all of the food groups

Make sure to incorporate all food groups: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains.

Hydration is key

Encouraging hydration with your children is important. Water provides all the means for energy and school-aged children should drink between 6-8 cups of water a day. Allow your children to choose their favorite water bottle, this may make them more inclined to drink from it. If water is too boring for your children, add frozen fruit to boost its flavor and keep it chilled.

 

Are GMOs in the United States food system causing an increase in allergies ?

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, living in the United States increases your risk of allergies.

The study concludes that living in the US for a decade or more can raise the risk of most allergies.

Former Financial and Food Industry analyst Robyn O’Brien says, “Food allergies have been skyrocketing in the United States in the last fifteen years. Not only has the CDC reported a 265% increase in the rates of hospitalizations related to food allergic reactions in a ten year period, but the sales of EpiPens, a life-saving medical device for those with food allergies, has also seen record sales growth according to the New York Times.”

The study led by Jonathan Silverberg of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York, “Children born outside the United States had significantly lower prevalence of any allergic diseases (20.3%) than those born in the United States (34.5%).”

You may be asking why the United States is more prone to allergies and studies concluded it may be a symptom of a hypersensitive immune system or something wrong with our food system and the way they have been genetically engineered foods.

Source: Robyn O’Brien

5 Easy Tips for Running with Your Children

The weather is getting warmer and getting your kids to put down their electronic devices or games to fit exercise into their day can be a bit of a hassle, but when you make exercise more about fun and less about exercising it’ll keep them excited.

Related: 5 Ways to Add Energy to Your Smoothies

Try these 5 simple tips to get running with your children!

1. Run in different places, variety makes things more fun and less boring from children. Run in your neighborhood, at the park, at your local gym, or on a trail. Keep the experience new!

2.Track your time. Keep a record of your time and watch as your family improves.

3. Be open to keeping the experience playful. Chase your child, do a sprint race, make up a game.

4. Offer a reward at the end. Keep it simple: a smile, playing a game, or even their favorite snack.

5. Have an end goal in mind.

More: Digestive-Friendly Blueberry-Spinach Smoothie Recipe

4 Simple Changes You Can Make to Eat Better Daily

Eating healthier can really be quite simple by making a few changes and swaps to the use of your daily ingredients. Here are four simple ingredients you can trade into your kitchen for quick and easy ways to eat better daily:

Tea

Now we’re not saying you need to get rid of coffee all together but if you swap out one cup of coffee for tea once a day you can help lower stress levels all while reaping the benefits and nutrients of herbal tea.

Coconut Oil

Although coconut oil may mean there will be an extra couple of dollars coming out of your wallet, your waistline will thank you later. Coconut oil has tons of health benefits that your vegetable oil doesn’t and it also can help keep your appetite under control.

More dark leafy greens

Let’s forget about what we need to get rid of in your diet. Think proactively and think of what you should be adding to your daily diet instead. Dark leafy greens tend to be high in antioxidants, fiber iron and more nutrients your body deserves.

Prepare more meals at home

Spending your time prepping, washing, and chopping in the kitchen is always worth the effort. Being able to see exactly which ingredients are going into your meal will allow you to avoid all the unhealthy fats and sugars.

Try this healthy recipe:

Spring Season Allergy Tips

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Drink Water

Mild dehydration can activate histamine production, so keep your body hydrated with at least 8 glasses of water daily.

Eat foods that help fight allergies

Foods rich in vitamin C and folic acid can help to reduce symptoms associated with allergies. Plus, the vitamin C is a natural boost for your immune system.

Shower

Showering once you get in from being outdoors to wash pollen off that might have been lingering on your clothes, hair and skin.

Laundry

Wash clothes and begging often to prevent allergens from sticking around in your home.

Indoor activities

Try staying indoors when the pollen count is highest during midday and afternoon hours.

3 Seeds You Should Be Eating More Of

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Hemp Hearts: Full of amino acids and omega fatty acids. May help to improve circulation.

Chia Seeds: Contain omega fatty acids, antioxidants, protein, calcium, and fiber. May help with hydration.

Flax Seeds: Contains fiber, omega, fatty acids and antioxidants.

6 Veggies With Protein

Vegetables aren’t always typically known for being a great source of protein, but there are some sneaky ones out there that have a pretty good amount! Here are some plant-based ways to get this essential nutrient.

Peas

Each half-cup contains three and a half grams of protein.

Spinach

You’ll find three grams of protein in a half cup of spinach.

Baked Potato

Another stealth source of protein? Potatoes! A medium-sized one contains three grams.

Broccoli

Broccoli’s not just filled with fiber (2.6 grams per half cup)—it’s also a great source of protein, with two grams per serving.

Brussels Sprouts

These little green guys get a bad rap, but they’re actually nutritional superstars: Each half cup packs two grams of protein, along with 247 milligrams of potassium and 110 micrograms of vitamin K.

Corn

OK, we know that corn is technically a grain. But you can find it in the produce aisle—and you’ll be glad to know that half a cup of kernels provides two grams of filling protein.

Diets that are deficient in protein reduce both the numbers and function of T cells. Stay healthy with Symbiotics Colostrum Powder and great sources of protein.

3 Reasons You Should do Bridge Exercises

Strengthen your core

The bridge exercise will activate all your core muscles and works effectively to work these muscles, tightening and strengthening all in one easy-to-do move.


Improve Performance

Your glutes are more important than you think. Power is what aids your athletic performance, and strengthening your glutes can help you be faster and more effective.

Improve Posture

When engaged in a bridge you’re helping to build the strength in your glutes and erector spinae, which can help you maintain good posture while you’re sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Try these different bridge moves and see which one is right for you:

Narrow Bridge

1. Lay flat on your back with feet and knees together.
2. Tighten your glutes and inner thighs as you lift your hips up.
3. Hold at the top for 2-3 seconds and then lower back down.

Do not let the legs come apart. Perform 20 reps.

Bridge Pulses

1. Lay flat on your back with your knees bent, hands pressed down and your feet hip-width apart.
2. Lift your hips up as high as possible.
3. Then lower your hips an inch then lift the hips an inch.
4. You can continue this small range of motion for 30 reps.

Weighted Bridge

1. Laying flat on your back with knees bent and feet hip width, hold a weight on your hips and keep it in place using your hands to stabilize it the entire time.
2. Tighten your glutes to lift your hips up as high as you can keeping your back straight and core engaged.
3. Come back down to the center and repeat the movement.

Perform 10 reps.

Supplement Safety: Who Can You Trust?

by Andrea Donsky, RHN

Lisa Davis, MPH

Ashley Koff, RD

Listen to Ashley Koff discuss supplements, our Symbiotics and more!

There’s been some recent buzz lately about the safety of supplements — or rather, lack of safety — even in some of the popular Big Box store brands.

How do you know if your supplements are safe?

According to Registered Dietitian, Ashley Koff, there are certain things you need to consider, first and foremost, when contemplating supplement use.

First, there’s no supplement out there that can out-do a poor quality diet. If you’re turning to supplements, you should first look at the quality of the foods you’re eating and start there.

Second, the best case scenario for a poor-quality supplement is that it’s just a waste of money. Worse? A lot of supplements don’t carry the ingredients they claim to, or they might have the advertised ingredients, but also contain other ingredient “fillers.” Or, they might have the right ingredient/nutrient, but the way the nutrient has been processed becomes foreign to your body. Calcium supplements are often a big offender in that regard.

Third, your doctor needs to be informed about everything you’re putting in your body… not just your prescription medications. Certain interactions can occur that might cause one health condition to develop when you think you’re fixing another. Koff gives the example of a woman who was taking a high dosage of a fiber supplement and ended up with high blood pressure (and being put on a blood pressure medication) because of the licorice root in the fiber supplement.

Finally, look at your supplement as just one element of your overall nutritional plan. It should act as part of the foundation for complete, optimal nutrition — not replace it.

If you’re not quite sure which supplements are safe and which are questionable, you can always look for the GMP stamp of approval (Good Manufacturing Practices). Also, you should shop for your supplements like you shop for your food; look for whole food, organic nutrients.

In the accompanying audio segment, Koff explains more about the recent supplement safety issues, the top things you should be aware of when shopping for supplements, and specific brands she knows to be legitimate.

7 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Lemon Water Every Morning

It’s so simple to juice half a lemon into your water every morning and the benefits are just too good to ignore.

LemonWater_Symbitocis_infographics

 

 

Digestion: Lemons and limes are high in minerals and vitamins that help loosen toxins in the digestive tract. 

Hydration: Starting the day with this cup can help prevent dehydration.

Cleansing properties: The juice from the lemon can act as a natural diuretic, helping to flush unwanted toxins out.

Supports Immune System: Lemons are high in vitamin C and potassium which can help boost the immune system.

Freshens Breath: Lemon water is effective in freshening up your breath due to the citric acid.

Clears Skin: The vitamin C in a lemon can help decrease blemishes by flushing toxins from the blood, which can help to clear the skin.

3 Foods to Boost Your Mood

Adding certain foods to your diet can help boost your mood, give you more energy and even clear your mind. The foods we consume are broken down into their chemical properties by our digestive systems to feed our cells, and can either raise or lower blood pressure. Try these three mood boosting foods to make you feel good daily:

Salmon

Salmon is loaded with omega-3s which can help improve your mood. Omega-3 helps maintain the healthy chemical levels in your brain.

Cacao 

We often turn to chocolate when we’re feeling down and with good reason. But next time reach for cacao, chocolate in its natural state without the added sugars and chemicals. Cacao contains one of the highest sources of antioxidants, fiber, iron, and magnesium.

Bananas 

You may know bananas for their potassium but they’re also rich in vitamin B, which can help to bring positive changes to your mood.

 

Benefits of Using a Reusable Water Bottle

Using a reusable water bottle isn’t only beneficial for our wallets, but also for our health. Aside from the contributions to going green, reusable water bottles can help contribute better habits and benefits to overall health. Here are four benefits:

Related: 3 Ways to Improve Digestive Health

Good For The Environment:

A reusable bottle saves dozens of plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill and taking hundreds of years to decompose.

Makes Water Convenient:

Having it always available means you don’t have to wait to get home, or look for a place to buy a bottle. Having more accessible water means that you drink more.

Affordability:

Instead of buying a water bottle every chance you get, reusing your bottle and refilling it with water will be super inexpensive and  convenient since most public facilities have water fountains to fill up your bottle. This will also help you save your money each month.

BPA-free

These bottles are also better for your health and your families. Not only are these bottles durable, stylish and decrease your waste the BPA/Lead-free component is important to your health.

More: 5 Energizing Ingredients For Your Smoothie

Ask Ashley Koff, RD: Men and Supplements

by Ashley Koff, RD

Question: In your opinion which are the top five supplements that men should take everyday?

Thanks for your question Carlos but to answer it would mean I think all men have the same nutritional needs – and that’s, well, a huge, unhealthy, oversimplification. Your supplement needs are impacted by your sex certainly, but more so your health status, your life stage (not just your age), your family history, your actual nutrition intake, and your personal health goals. So rather than give you 5 supplements for all men, let me give you some tips on how to identify what you need.

Tip #1: have an updated health personal profile – labs, measurements, mental as well as physical health assessment, and family history info. Ideally your doctor can help you with all if this but there are also apps like AskMD that help you amass all of this in one place.

Tip #2: don’t supplement worse than your diet choices – this may sound like a no-brainer but I can’t tell you how many people tell me how “quality” they’ve made their diet only for me to look at their supplements which are full of chemistry lab projects – how do you intend to build strong bones from chalk or concrete or help your immune system with synthetic vitamin isolates?!

Tip #3: identify your personal health goals – reduce negative impact of stress (even the kind that comes from awesome workouts)? What about help support the body’s detoxification efforts? Perhaps it’s that you do great nutritionally at home but need support when you travel and have less access to your quality go-to’s.

Tip #4: consider all the areas of nutrition you get from food: vitamins, minerals, fats, phytonutrients (antioxidants and more). Your supplements should help support you across all of these so essential fats as well as tougher to get vitamins and quality phytonutrients.

Tip #5: what does your actual nutrition intake often miss? Are you dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, missing veggies, skipping fruits, dislike herbs and spices etc? Look to the nutrients you could be missing here.

Tip #6: are you taking medications that could reduce absorption of certain nutrients?
And if all of this only confuses you further, I am here to help with a supplement evaluation appointment – many of my clients do this annually or when life stages or health/ health goals change.

OK and because I know you really just want to know – where this typically nets out is:
1) a quality daily supplement that delivers organic minerals especially – I like New Chapter’s Every Man
2) an additional source of magnesium – I advise Natural Vitality CALM
3) a quality source of all the essential fats you would get from fish, in their whole food form – I like New Chapter Wholemega
4) a blend of herbs and spices that help support a healthy immune response – I like New Chapter Zyflammend
5) support for healthy digestion – a quality probiotic (see AKA supplement list www.AshleyKoffApproved.com/ak-list and Symbiotics
For many men, I increase detoxification support with OncoPlex (Xymogen) to get added SGS glucoraphanin & I almost always recommend Coq10 a most potent antioxidant (especially key if you take a statin.)

The First, Best Step 1 to Better Health

by Ashley Koff, RD

Millions of us have already taken a step 1 – we committed to a cleanse or a gym or a new wearable tracking device or even made an appointment with a dietitian – to get our health on path in 2015. But there’s actually a step before that that you will want to make sure you take so that any and all efforts get optimal impact this year and beyond.

The first, best Step 1 to better health begins at the core – your core, actually – to optimize digestion before you do anything else.

Optimal digestion means that food gets broken down into nutrients, and those nutrients get to where they need to go, and that they get used efficiently by your bod. Optimal digestion means that what shouldn’t stay is recognized and removed. Optimal digestion also means that your immune system gets the messages it needs – directly, fast and correctly.

So what is the best step 1? How should you optimize your digestion? While there are general good ideas for all – consume probiotics, prebiotics and Symbiotics, reduce or remove added sugars, add magnesium, eliminate chemistry lab projects etc. – the truth is that Step 1 is to figure out what your digestive system needs to be in optimal health. So I created this quiz and these tips to help you get started

The AKA(Ashley Koff Approved) Digestive Tune Up– take the quiz, sort out what needs attention, and get at it NOW so that everything else you are doing translates to optimal success this month, this quarter, this year and beyond! 2015 – we SO got this!

3 Steps to Get & Keep Your Immune Health from New Years Eve into 2015

by Ashley Koff, RD

When it comes to this time of year, there are just as many people asking me how they can stay (or get) healthy – as in immune health – versus lose holiday or 2014 extra lbs. It’s a valid concern as the holidays may seem to thicken the waistline (or create concern that they could) but fatigue, sugar, alcohol, more food, later nights and less quality sleep, and more contact with others also threatens even the most robust of immune systems. Thankfully there are 3 easy steps.

Intake: OK, you may want to enjoy the “fun” stuff but now is the time to double down on Mother Nature’s immune kit – all the colors of the rainbow in fruits and veggies, as well as herbs and spices will help support a healthy immune system. Worried there won’t be veggies at your party? Purée them up in my Winter Wellness smoothie which also includes Mama natures’s extra immune helper – colostrum – which helps support healthy digestion and immune activity in the digestive tract lining.

Read More: AKA Kitchen Recipes

Eliminate: Yes, this refers to healthy bowels so make sure of your intake of water, fiber, and possibly add supplemental magnesium to maintain regular elimination. Sweating is also a key form of eliminating toxins – I’m a huge fan of infrared saunas as well as sweat inducing dance parties and other physical activities. And finally, eliminate all chemistry lab projects – the fake stuff – to quote my gal pal “Does this Equal grow on the Equal tree?” if it’s not directly from nature don’t direct it into or on you. Keep it simple for your system to do the most effective job at keeping you healthy.

Recovery: So many parties, so many errands, so many end if the year projects all translate to so little rest and recovery for the body and that spells trouble for immune health. Find time for the naps (especially if sleep was sub-optimal the night before), try to keep a set bedtime, and also aim to identify the things you can skip – happily say “that’s just not happening in 2014” and cross it off that list (as well as think real hard about what makes it onto 2015’s list).

2015 Mantra: Ashley Koff, RD

by Ashley Koff, RD

“You are NOT what you eat, you are what you digest and absorb. Many of us experience stress at some point in our days. Did you know that any stress diverts attention from digestion? Additionally, stress, nutrition choices and other health factors (medications, surgery, illness) can negatively impact the health of our digestive tract. 2015 will be the year of the “Gut Check (Up)” where we better realize that without a healthy gut (digestive tract) the “health” part of our 2015 goals can’t happen. At Ashley Koff Approved we are obsessed with creating healthy guts through Better Nutrition, Simplified. Take the AKA Digestive Tune-Up to see what you may benefit from adding or subtracting to your nutrition this year. Some of our favorite tools include Symbiotics Colostrum.

The AKA Digestive Tune Up

Get pre, pro’s, and sym’s…biotics in you: Our digestive tract relies on good bacteria (those are your digestive health “pros”) to dilute the impact of bad bacteria that can and will always find their way into us. But those pros don’t function optimally on their own. If you are already taking an AKA probiotic, or if you consider adding one during your tune up, you also need your pre and Symbiotics. Prebiotics are quality fibers that combined with alkaline forming foods like water with lemon and organic greens to feed and help create an optimal environment for the good bacteria. But there’s more. Symbiotics help to maintain a healthy digestive tract lining – so they work symbiotically with probiotics to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Let’s Talk Kids’ Health: Twitter Chat Recap

Dr. Greene and Ashley Koff, RD paired up on Twitter last night to discuss how we can keep our children healthy and happy in the year. Beginning with having a healthy holiday to how important happiness is for immune health. Check out the Q & A:

Dr. Grenne: We’re thinking a lot about viral illnesses this time of year. What do you do to support kids’ immunity?

Ashley Koff:

  • Best ‘boost’ foods are nutrient-dense w/o chemistry lab projects so choose organic/dye free.
  • Viruses can still benefit from good bacteria so I like organic, cultured foods &/or a quality probiotic.
  • Sugar suppresses immune system so don’t OD on it – especially hidden added sugars in breads, sauces etc.
  • Your freezer can be the best offense against a virus with organic fruits, vegs, whole grains, wild salmon etc
  • Easy immune tip /game: check in on eating a rainbow each day: did you have blue,orange,green (from nature not chem lab!)

Dr. Greene:  How do you get kids to eat “immune helping” foods?

Ashley Koff: Make food visually appealing – why not “play” with food – colors, shapes etc. Love “noodling” greens & spaghetti squash 4 ex.

Dr. Greene:  Does organic matter when it comes to immune health?

Ashley Koff: There are foods that aid body’s natural detoxification efforts like organic lemons, limes, greens, mushrooms, purple&orange veggies.

Dr. Greene: Sugar is another huge issue. Are there any sweets you feel good about kids having?

Ashley Koff: Nature gives us lots of sweets, skip the one’s made in a chemistry lab!

Dr. Greene: If you could recommend 1 organic fruit/veggie to boost immunity for kids, what would it be?

Ashley Koff: Oh no u don’t! We never pick 1 favorite,nature blessed us with too many too choose! Mono-eating is NON-immune healthy

Dr. Greene: Do you recommend supplements for immune health?

Ashley Koff: No supplement 4 immune override poor diet/no sleep;I rec Symbiotics &probiotic+quality kid multi

Dr. Greene: Kids tend to get sick when they travel. Your ideas for keeping them healthy?

Ashley Koff: Travel w ur own utensils, as so many fingers often touch the plastic stuff. Also, bring a great scarf &play dress up wrap around neck and face especially when flying (you too parents!)

Dr. Greene: Avoid? Abdominal fat 🙂

Ashley Koff: Processed fats r no good 4 any of us,but processing fats from foods a mistake too;eat food as found in nature.

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Gut Trinity: Prebiotics, Probiotics & Symbiotics

Ashley Koff R.D., internationally-renowned registered dietitian discusses Symbiotics with Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Andrea Donsky and health expert Lisa Davis hosts of Radio MD’s Naturally Savyy radio show.

Koff is widely sought after for her knowledge and ability to translate nutrition science into practical and motivating messages and appears regularly in the National Media, has authored two books and speaks frequently on the topic of better quality choices for better health.

Listen in as Koff joins Lisa and Andrea to share more about probiotics, prebiotics and symbiotics and why it’s so essential to incorporate them into your daily regimen:


Probiotics, prebiotics, and symbiotics… oh my!

You may have heard plenty about probiotics, those “good” bacteria that you naturally have in your digestive tract but often don’t have enough due to excess bad bacteria and yeast, overuse of antibiotics and other considerations.

Since probiotics became a “trend,” there are many foods that have probiotics added to them that really shouldn’t… ice cream, chocolate, cereal, etc. This has led people to believe that they don’t have to supplement with probiotics because they’re getting sufficient amounts in these “fortified” foods.

It doesn’t work that way, says Registered Dietician, Ashley Koff.

In fact, attempting to get your probiotics this way is actually working against you, because many of these foods have added sugars or artificial ingredients that are unhealthy.

Prebiotics are the preferred “food” that probiotics need to thrive. A few years ago, many manufacturers tried to make prebiotics as big of a trend as probiotics, which was really concerning to Koff.

Why?

First a little back-story… probiotics thrive the most on fiber; such as that found in vegetables, fruits, grains and beans. The great thing about this is that you can get these prebiotics from your diet; you don’t need to supplement.

There is another class of fiber that does a bit better when it comes to feeding probiotics, found in things like chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, and inulin. The problem is, these fibers are not readily digested in the body and can cause discomfort to your digestive system.

The key thing to keep in mind is that when incorporating prebiotics and probiotics, you want to get the best quality of probiotics — whether that is in supplement form or via cultured foods — and for prebiotics, try for those that come in a whole food matrix. Essentially, aim for getting them both in their most authentic form.

And, remember, the bacteria is meant to be alive and active… so you want to try to get that bacteria in the forms that preserve that state.

What sort of dosage should you be getting on a daily basis?

The answer is not clear cut. There are specific strains that do different things, and the point is not to just get “more” into your system, but rather get the right amount of the right kinds of strains.

So, for instance, you might see a label that only has one million CFUs (colony-forming units) and think that’s not enough; but, it could be an extremely effective strain.

What about symbiotics?

Symbiotic, in definition, means “working together.” So, in a digestive concept, symbiotics help to repair the gut lining, which is one of the most critical things in terms of digestive (and overall) health. Many people find that probiotics don’t work well for them, and it’s because their gut lining isn’t healthy. The lining of your gut is where your nutrients are absorbed and it also helps to keep the good bacteria in and the bad bacteria out.

What is Colostrum?

by Ashley Koff & Tshaka Cunningham

Colostrum is nature’s first food provided at birth by female mammals.

Often referred to as “life’s perfect food,” colostrum contains the perfect combination of immunoglobulins, growth factors, antibodies, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids to protect the body and promote healthy immune system function at birth.

As we age, the amount of immune and growth factors present in our bodies begins to decline and we may become more susceptible to fatigue, unwanted weight gain, loss of skin elasticity and loss of muscle tone. In addition, we may also become vulnerable to the many pollutants and allergens around us from our toxic environment.

 

A few reasons to take probiotics

Some may have heard about probiotics through various commercials on television, but many don’t have an understanding of exactly what they are and how they help our bodies. Sure, they’re good for us, but what role do they play?

What are probiotics?
Probiotics are microscopic organisms naturally found in the gut that help the body build long-lasting immunity to a host of illnesses.* Taking the form of bacteria or yeast, probiotics are believed to improve health by keeping the intestines healthy, assisting in digestion and even helping to promote a healthy immune system.* One of the most common types of probiotics is Lactobacillus bulgaricus, found in many yogurts and soft cheeses.

How do they work?
Occasional digestive issues may occur when the balance of good bacteria is thrown off. Probiotics may help by improving intestinal function and maintaining the integrity of the lining of the intestines*. They help to build up a natural defense*. Think of probiotics as superheroes in the body that promote balance.

What are the benefits?

A healthy immune system
Consuming probiotics in your diet may help you maintain a healthy immune system.* With more probiotics in your system, it’s the “good” bacteria rule.*

Promote healthy digestion
Probiotics play a key role in promoting proper digestion and metabolism. They aid in the breakdown and absorption of food.* Probiotics also promote regularity and help to keep an overall healthy digestive system.*

How do I get them in my diet?
One of the simplest ways to up your intake of probiotics is through a supplement. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU contains 30 billion colony-forming units, otherwise known as good bacteria. It may help to maintain a healthy digestive system, support your immune defenses and help to maintain a proper balance of bacteria.* Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, both found in this supplement, may support natural immune health.*

Yogurt is also a great source of probiotics and is easy to incorporate into your daily diet. Pair your morning meal with some yogurt topped with fruit or have it as a snack in between meals and top it with some protein-packed granola. You can even use unsweetened Greek yogurt in place of sour cream in recipes and meals.

Cheeses like gouda are another great source of probiotics and can easily be incorporated into your diet. Try topping your salad or soup with a bit of cheese for a boost of probiotics.

A Happy AND Healthy Holiday Season for Kids

by RD, Ashley Koff

The holidays provide such opportunity for fun for kids. Opportunities to see family, to take time off of school, to get and give new goodies, and to enjoy delicious foods. That said, just like with adults, all of these great things that the holidays can provide also create some risk for kids – to their overall health, beginning with their immune system. To that end, here are the things that you should focus on to keep your kids healthy during the holidays

  1.  Maintain sleep – there is no better medicine for the body than time to recover that comes with quality sleep. This can be a challenge with travel, with new gifts, with guests in the home and even with altered eating schedules. TIP: aim to keep a set bedtime and to identify a sleep regime that includes thirty minutes of “quieting” time prior to bed. AKA highlighted nutrient: magnesium – which is Mother Nature’s sleep aid that can be consumed in foods as well as supplemental food.
  2. Don’t Anti, go Pro and Sym – sure exposure to bacteria and viruses increases when we travel, eat out, eat differently, get hugs from others, and sleep in different places. But overloading on anti-bacterial products isn’t the key to keeping kids healthy. A healthy digestive tract lining is key to absorption into the body of key nutrients (like magnesium) as well as to keep the good bacteria (probiotics) in the digestive tract to help protect against the bad ones, as is having the immune system prepped to identify  and mark foreign invaders for attack and elimination. TIP: Get in the Probiotics and the Symbiotics for healthy digestive and immune systems. Quality cultured foods like organic kefir, cultured veggies will deliver the good guys (probiotics) and bovine colostrum (Symbiotics) helps keep the digestive tract lining healthy as well as supports the immune system’s efforts.  Consider a supplemental source of probiotics and Symbiotics chewables for your kids daily during the holidays.
  3. Stay Clean from the inside out – the body’s clean up team comes from all the different colors that we find in fruits and vegetables (this includes the brown (like mushrooms) and white (cauliflower) ones too) so its essential that these are part of any child’s daily holiday food choices. It can be easy and fun to make smoothies or soups that combine a whole bunch of different colors or to engage kids in a game throughout the holidays to see how many colors they can get in – and from different sources – daily.
Four Ways to Defend and Regulate Your Kid’s Immune System

If you have children, you’re well aware of the fact that building a healthy immune system is part of growing up. Adults tend to be more resiliant because their bodies have learned to recognize and immediately attack invaders. Children, however, are still developing. This is why caring for your child’s immune system is vital to keeping them happy and healthy. Here are a few ways to support your child’s immune health:

Colostrum
Colostrum is nature’s first food provided at birth by female mammals. Colostrum contains the perfect combination of immunoglobulin, growth factors, antibodies, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids to protect the body and promote healthy immune system function at birth.* Luckily, getting your child to take colostrum is simple with Symbiotics Colostrum Chewables. Available in a variety of delicious flavors like orange creme, root beer, cherry and pineapple, your child won’t know the difference between this supplement and a piece of candy.

Give them fruits and veggies
One of the best ways to foster good health for both you and your child is to serve up plenty of fruits and vegetables. These foods contain vitamins and minerals that support your entire body. If you can’t get your kids to get their daily dose of fruits and veggies, try whipping them up a smoothie filled with yummy foods like carrots, apples, spinach and strawberries. You can also add Symbiotics Colostrum Powder to the smoothie to enhance goodness. All they’re going to taste is the deliciousness.

Exercise
Research has shown that exercise may be just as beneficial in promoting a healthy immune system for kids as it is for adults.* Ranjit Chandra, a pediatric immunologist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, said that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in both children and adults. Try setting a good example for your children and make an effort to exercise as a family. This could include going for a walk, swimming or playing catch.

Keep your home clean
Keeping your home clean doesn’t just mean making it look clean. In order to defend your kid’s immune system, About Kid’s Health suggested dusting and vacuuming weekly, washing your child’s linens and pajamas at least once a week, washing all dishes in hot soapy water and washing all surfaces that could potentially be touched by your child.

Powerful PRPs

Increase the power of your smoothie with PRPs

Proline-Rich Polypeptides is a mouthful to say, but if you don’t know what PRPs are, you probably should – especially with winter upon us. PRPs come from colostrum, the first milk of newly nursing cows, and PRPs are the component largely responsible for providing a quick dose of immunity to new calves.*

PRPs are actually found in all mammals’ colostrum, and humans can benefit from bovine colostrum too. One good source of PRPs is Naturade’s Proline-Rich Polypeptides with Colostrum Plus supplement, which is safe and effective for people of all ages. It’s used to help balance the immune system and to provide support when you feel challenged or stressed.* Naturade’s PRP enriched colostrum product is tested to ensure that each lot is free of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones like rBST. It comes as a powder that you mix into your morning or post-workout smoothie – Mix one 3 g scoop with water or your drink of choice.

Consider PRPs and colostrum as you prepare for winter!

5 Quick & Easy Ways to Improve Your Digestive Health
  1. Assess your weekly digestion: are you going numbers 1 and 2 regularly- fully formed stools and light yellow or clear urine; do you feel bloated or have reflux?
  2. Eat a serving of organic greens daily.
  3. Squeeze half a lemon into water and drink it once daily, minimum.
  4. Get pre, pro and Symbiotics in!
  5. Swop meat or dairy once daily for organic protein source like hemp seeds, nuts, organic grains and legumes.

 

Top Five Exercises to Do At Home For Digestive Health

RD, Ashley Koff provided these great tips for digestive health.

  1.  Get moving – any kind will move your internal system.
  2. Chair twists – the key here is that you move your belly button not your shoulders so you may only be able to get to 2 or 10 (on a clock if 12 is straight ahead.)
  3. Push aways – from the table, when it comes to optimal digestion key is to keep your gut UNDERwhelmed, plus this is good for triceps.
  4. On your back knee bends – lie on the floor on your back and bring your knees into your chest one at a time or together and wrap your arms around them and give a little squeeze.
  5. 5 deep breaths: yeah breathing is an exercise and the one we tend to skip most! Breathe in through the nose for a 5 count, hold for a 4 count, exhale for a 6 count – that’s one breath – repeat 4 more times.
Workout and Play: Family-Friendly

It may look like a playground, but those monkey bars and slides can be used like a family-friendly gym. Here are 4 simple workouts you can try with your children while keeping the fun alive:

  • Sitting on the swing, grasp the chains and lift your legs so they’re parallel to the ground. Cross one leg over the other, then switch, maintaining your balance. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  • Grip an overhead bar(monkey bars) or set of rings. Lift your knees and bring them as close to your chest as you can. Drop your legs and repeat five times to start.
  • Sit and hold onto the edge of a bench with your legs slightly extended, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground. Keeping your shoulders back, slide off and lower your bottom until your elbows are bent 90 degrees. Hold the position for two seconds, then lift back up.
  • The slide climb you should only try when you have the slide to yourself! Hold on to the sides of the slide, scramble to the top as quickly as you can, then slide down.
ShiftCon 2014: Mia Voss & Naturade COO, Kareem Cook

Mia Voss of The Mia Connect talks with our COO, Kareem Cook at ShiftCon 2014. If you don’t know what ShiftCon is, “ShiftCon was born out of the idea that together we can create a profound impact on the world around us. We can literally shift how we eat, raise our families and our impact on the environment.” We were sponsors at ShiftCon and wanted to educate everyone on our products from VeganSmart, Symbiotics and more. Learn more about our products and how you can shift your diet and make the right impact on the environment:

How to find more energy during the day

Everyone could always use a little more energy during the day, especially when the day is busy and life priorities demand attention. We know that sleep is hard to come by and there is only so much that coffee can do. But the good news is, you don't have to go through your day simply completing the motions. Here are a few ways you can find some more energy throughout the day and increase your productivity:

Combine coffee and naps
Short, 20-minute naps are often needed during the day to help refuel your body and keep you feeling refreshed. When you do take that nap, however, you may want to think about combining it with a cup of coffee. According to LifeHack, these two elements together can have a big impact on productivity. Coffee enters the bloodstream about twenty minutes after you drink it. So if you take a short nap, you'll feel ready to go upon waking up.

Drink lots of water
Water has been shown to enhance performance for even the most demanding endurance activities. Instead of downing sugary drinks like juice and soda, fill up on some good old H2O. You may tend to reach for the water more often if you make it fun to drink. Add some lemon, lime or frozen fruit to your water to keep it cool, add antioxidants and boost flavor.

Grab a lemon
Sniffing a lemon may actually revitalize your senses and leave you feeling more energized. The citrus scent from fruits like oranges, lemons and limes can stimulate alertness and wake you up. It doesn't hurt to incorporate them into your diet as well!

Eat the right foods
Unfortunately, greasy burgers and sweet snacks aren't going to provide you with the natural energy you need to take on the day. You will often feel sluggish and tired. Choose foods high in nutrients, like vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Other great foods that are going to give you a powerful boost include brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans, salmon, yogurt and eggs. Eating the right foods is important especially in the morning so you can start the day off with energy. Try a bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit and honey for a delicious kick to begin the morning.

Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
Getting enough sleep to stay energized during the day seems like common sense. However, it's important to not overdo it. Sleeping too much can actually deplete your energy levels and make it harder to fall asleep later that night. Go to bed around the same time each night to get your body on a regular sleep schedule. The proper amount of sleep may also keep your immune system healthy.

Wear bright colors
Your mood and energy level can actually be affected by what you're wearing. According to Marie Claire, wearing darker colors promotes a more somber mood, while bright and fun colors can project a cheery mood onto others, which can give you an equally peppy energy level.

Difference between probiotics and prebiotics

Though they sound similar and there’s only one letter of difference, probiotics and prebiotics are not the same thing, but they each are beneficial in different ways.

Probiotics
Probiotics are microorganisms that are beneficial to the body. Taking a probiotic supplement like Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU or eating foods rich in probiotics – like yogurt, kefir, kombucha tea, kimchi, sauerkraut, soy milk, tempeh and even pickles – can help restore the digestive system’s good bacteria. Things like poor or high-fat diets, smoking, alcohol consumption, antibiotic use and infections can upset the balance of bacteria in the gut. Probiotics can restore this balance, and have been shown to treat diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections and other health issues, and they may even boost brain function and lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol.

Prebiotics
Just like probiotics, prebiotics aren’t a food but they’re found in various foods. We can think of prebiotics as the fuel that feeds probiotics’ successful restoration of good bacteria. Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates found in fibrous foods. When combined with probiotics, the two become known as a synbiotic, which is a characteristic of foods that have both good bacteria and the fuel to keep them going. Kefir and some yogurts are considered synbiotic. Prebiotics are found in a limited number of foods, including raw onions and leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, whole grains like raw oatmeal, barley and wheat, and they can be found in other fruits and vegetables in very small amounts. Cooked onions, leeks and artichokes have lesser quantities of prebiotics but are often more palatable when cooked. If you think you need a prebiotics to maximize the benefits of probiotics but do not eat enough foods containing prebiotics, there are supplements available.

Your immune system will be working even when you go on vacation!

Summer is finally here! Time to take advantage of all the glorious sunny weather, plethora of spirited activities and ideal vacation destinations before it’s too late. While this is definitely the season to cherish the outdoors, it’s also important to remember that all that time spent outside will leave your immune system more susceptible to allergens and unwanted germs. Here are a few tips on keeping you healthy and active this summer instead of spending the season bedridden and fatigued.

Adjust your diet
It’s no coincidence that the healthier you eat, the better you will feel. Knowing which foods you consume to help boost your immune system is the ultimate weapon in avoiding certain ailments, and it all starts with ingesting essential vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are the key toward eliminating reactive oxygen species, free radicals and other damaging molecules from entering your body and prompting infection. Your best source for antioxidants come from colorful fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, carrots, cherries, tomatoes and blueberries. All these foods possess beneficial phytonutrients that can break down and devour invading germs. In addition to receiving excessive sunlight, implementing more vitamin D through the foods you eat is another component of achieving a healthy immune system. The best ways of getting adequate levels of vitamin D besides being out in the sun include:

  • Canned tuna
  • Low-fat milk or yogurt
  • Oysters
  • Fortified tofu
  • Mushrooms

Stay active
Summer is when you essentially have no excuse not to receive plenty of physical activity and exercise. With indoor and outdoor access available, summer is the ideal time to finally achieve that New Year’s resolution and get back in shape. And if you need any more motivation, exercise is a strong companion for a healthy immune system. While you’re out there running around, stimulating blood flow and cardiovascular activity as well as flushing out excess bacteria from your lungs, all this activity is sending antibodies and white blood cells traveling throughout the body at a quicker rate, leading to better prevention of illnesses. On top of increasing immune ability, exercise leads to more effective sleep and stress reduction, two other traits that can keep you feeling fresh and lively. Some easy summer activities that can keep your heart pumping and immune system thriving can include:

  • 30 minutes of walking
  • 18 holes of golf
  • An hour long bike ride
  • Rollerblading or biking instead of driving to work
  • Jogging with your pet to the park
  • Partaking in a few hours of tennis per week

Get your eight hours
As advocated by the National Sleep Foundation, eight hours is the magic number when it comes to getting an efficient night’s rest. Besides avoiding waking up on the wrong side of the bed, sleep is essential for aiding your line of defense against disease. While you are asleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which work to fight against symptoms of infection or inflammation. When you are consistently not receiving the recommended quantity of sleep, cytokine production is reduced, making it easier for you to become sick. Frequent exercise during the day will help your body achieve quality sleep at night for those who tend to endure restless nights of tossing and turning.

Symbiotics Colostrum Plus
An efficient and easy way to provide your immune system with proper assistance is by taking two capsules of Symbiotics Colostrum Plus a day. Colostrum Plus boosts immune factors with Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs) which serve as an immune system stabilizer.* Colostrum’s dual action—in the bloodstream and in the GI tract, helps maintain healthy intestinal flora in a normal GI tract.* Symbiotics Colostrum Plus is a uniquely helpful supplement providing Lactoferrin, Immunoglobulins and Proline-Rich Polypeptides (PRPs).

The benefits of probiotics

When we think about bacteria, we tend to associate it with negative connotations. This simply isn’t the case, as bacteria is a crucial factor for boosting our immune system, manufacturing essential vitamins and assisting in improving our overall digestion process. There are already millions of living bacteria cells lined up along the walls of our stomach and intestine that work to break down nutrients for our bodies. Specifically, probiotics are a form of bacteria that are key components for aiding digestion, and while certain foods such as yogurt, pickles and tempeh are solid solutions to providing more of these small organisms to your gut, there are more efficient and faster ways to receive the proper amount of probiotics you need.

How probiotics work
When your digestive system endures an unstable balance of healthy gut bacteria, your intestines can experience pain and the entire metabolism process may slow down. When you consume probiotics, these microorganisms work to help build and strengthen the lining of your gut and intestines, so unwanted bacteria that can provoke nauseating symptoms such as upset stomach and diarrhea can be eliminated. They also help regulate the speed and processing of food being broken down within your intestine, making sure that all the quality vitamins and minerals are being properly absorbed. Essentially, the main functions for probiotics are as follows:

  • Boosting your immune system by increasing production of antibodies
  • Destroying toxins generated by “bad” bacteria in the intestines
  • Producing B vitamins that quicken the metabolism process
  • Preventing infection within the gut and intestinal lining
  • Sending signals to cells to provide relief against potential illnesses in the intestines

Benefits of probiotics
There are many lifestyle factors that play into how “bad” bacteria or an imbalance of “good” organisms within the gut and intestine can develop. If you are not eating nutritiously, breathing in polluted environments or not receiving enough sleep, you are putting yourself at risk for poor digestion and possible infection within the intestines. Fortunately, probiotics are safe and easy way to increase the presence of “good” bacteria in the body, which can prevent nauseating symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome as well as the common cold and flu.

Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU
If you are looking for immediate digestive relief, try using Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU to give your immune system the help it needs while letting you feel better in no time. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU contains billions of good bacteria forming colonies with every capsule, that will work to strengthen the lining of your intestines, maintain healthy intestinal flora and leave your stomach feeling refreshed and free. Naturade Probiotics 30 B CFU is completely allergen and dairy free, and is recommended for anyone experiencing symptoms of bloating, gas and general digestive discomfort.

Lack of intestinal bacteria linked to obesity complications

As obesity continues to evolve into a growing epidemic, researchers are continuing to try and find new opportunities for rapid weight loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of all Americans are obese, which can lead to serious complications involving cardiovascular health, blood pressure levels and other hazardous health side effects.

Recent studies discuss how bacterial buildup inside our intestines might provide a direct link to diabetes, and fluctuation in our bacterial population could provide a clear connection to being overweight. Intestinal flora, or microorganisms that live within our intestinal lines, was the subject of focus for researchers from Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. The collaborators tested 169 obese participants and 123 non-obese subjects to determine whether their intestinal flora could spell out weight loss for them in the future. The researchers said that individuals with minimal bacterial species in their intestines are more likely to develop complications from obesity, specifically regarding abrupt weight gain conditions and chronic inflammation. Essentially, obese or healthy-fitted people with low intestinal flora had higher risks for hazardous side effects than those with rich intestinal flora.

The most important aspect to the examination was that weight gain was found to not officially be a primary diagnosis to some the worst elements of poor intestinal flora intake. Gut bacteria is essential for your body to improve its digestive process and boost immune health. The human gut pertains about 10 times more bacteria than all the cells throughout your body combined, protecting your intestines from infection, improving the lining of your immune system as well as regulating metabolism.

Jeroen Raes, a professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussel and lead contributor to the study, acknowledged that you don’t have to be overweight to experience all the typically related symptoms of diabetes.

“We were able to distinguish between two groups based on their intestinal flora: people with a large richness of bacterial species in their intestines and people with a few less bacterial species,” Raes said in a statement. “A species-rich bacterial flora appeared to function differently compared to the poorer variety. It was surprising to see that obese and non-obese people were found in both groups.”

Factors for unhealthy gut flora
As further studies are necessary to help understand intestinal flora’s relationship with overweight symptoms, there are several factors that can pay into developing unhealthy gut flora. These lifestyle choices can include:

  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
  • Diets low in fermentable fibers
  • Dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils
  • Chronic stress
  • Chronic infections

If you are concerned about maintaining a healthy intestinal flora level, there are still plenty of ways to avoid inflammation of intestinal bacteria. Ingesting plenty of fermentable fibers, such as sweet potatoes or yams, can be beneficial, as well as eliminating your use of table salt and sodium intake with your diet. These are just a few of the ways intestinal bacteria can not only help you avoid obesity, but defend your immune system from unwanted illnesses as well.

How to keep your immune system healthy during travel

Getting ready to take off for a vacation or booking your next flight for work is always somewhat stressful. You have to remember to make hotel reservations, bring your passport if you are heading out of the country and last but not least, pack that toothbrush. With so many different obstacles to juggle, it is easy to forget about your own health sometimes, but it is your immune system that that should be on the forefront of your mind when it comes to frequent travel. Everything from changing time zones to drinking foreign tap water can have some sort of physical impact on your body, so for the next time you find yourself taking the red eye flight away from home, here are a few tips to help give your immune system a much needed boost:

Stay hydrated
As simple as this tip can be, maintaining plenty of fluid intake is as essential as it gets when it comes to a healthy immune system. When you are traveling in a plane, the air pressure and drop in humidity can provoke dehydration, which is the biggest advocate for an unprotected immune system. It is recommended that while traveling you should drink 8 ounces of water every hour, and try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, especially when traveling by plane.

Antioxidants are your friend
When your body enters a location it is not familiar with, it becomes more susceptible to floating bacteria and viruses with which your immune system has never been acquainted. That is why ingesting plenty of healthy antioxidants is your best source for preventative action against illness. Loading up on vitamins A, C and E is the simplest way to keep your body in tip top condition. Some great foods bursting with antioxidants include:

  • tomatoes
  • strawberries
  • carrots
  • cherries
  • pinto beans

You can also get plenty of antioxidants by consuming just a few capsules of Symbiotics Lactoferrin, which is proven to defend your immune system while sprucing you up with some much needed traveling energy.

Colostrum is key
If you are not aware of all the immune boosting properties adding some colostrum can provide for your body, it is time to get with the picture. Everything from easing digestion to increasing your immune response is supplied through colostrum supplements, and the amount of proteins, antibodies and antioxidants each serving contains is practically unparalleled to any other vitamin supplement out there. Try taking a few capsules of Symbiotics Colostrum Plus during your next trip, and get ready to conquer the world!

How stress affects your immune system

Stress not only comes in many forms, but also affects us in a variety of ways. Whether it is deadlines from work forcing us to skip lunch or pulling an all-nighter trying to finish a college paper, pressure never seems to take a break.

While those examples are the more general consequences of stress, one of the lesser discussed symptoms of stress is an unhealthy immune system. This can not only result in feeling under the weather, but can turn you into a coughing and sneezing fest on top of an already  intense boardroom meeting. Keeping your immune system happy is essential to controlling stress levels, so here is an overview of how stress affects the immune system, plus some tips to combat against feeling both sick and anxious:

Understanding stress
When posed with a situation that inflicts stress, our bodies go through what is commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response. Adrenaline kicks through the body and activates a stress hormone called corticosteroids that can reduce the immune system’s ability to effectively fight off unwanted bacteria and antigens. Stress doesn’t simply go away easily. A strenuous event such as a car accident or mounting pressure from a boss tends to stick within our minds, leading us to constantly think about it, which in turn produces more and more corticosteroids.

Every time you conjure up more feelings of stress, your immune system is thrown through a limbo, leaving you susceptible to illness. Researchers from Ohio State University have also found that our moods are often influenced by our immune cells’ reactions that occur when our brains signal stress. Using mice, the doctors found that repeated exposure to stress can produce the highest concentrations of immune cells traveling to the brain, which not only leaves the immune system more vulnerable to infection, but also force the cells to infiltrate areas of the brain linked to anxiety and fear, therefore inducing even more stress.

In another study conducted by researchers from Ohio State University, professors found that loneliness and isolation, in addition to chronic stress, can harm overall immune system health. After analyzing blood samples from people prone toward loneliness against those more socially active, the researchers discovered that the lonely test subjects had higher levels of inflammation-related proteins, which can regularly cause problems for immune systems.

Lisa Jaremka, a professor at Ohio State University and lead author of the study, said her team’s research signals a clear connection between stress and poor immune health.

“It is clear from previous research that poor-quality relationships are linked to a number of health problems,” Jaremka said in a statement. “The same processes involved in stress and reactivation of these viruses is probably also relevant to the loneliness findings. Loneliness has been thought of in many ways as a chronic stressor – a socially painful situation that can last for quite a long time.”

Coping with stress
An important way to help ease the tension in your life and simultaneously boost your immune system is by learning how to recognize and handle stress factors. A few tips to help you alleviate stress include:

  • Identify what is building pressure on your life.
  • Understand what stressors you can and can’t control.
  • Eliminate unnecessary stress by avoiding people or environments that provoke tension.
  • Express your feelings through writing or conversation with someone close instead of bottling your emotions.
  • Focus on the positive and adjust your goals and standards accordingly.
  • Find the time to do an activity you enjoy every day.

These are just a few ways to learn how to cope with stress. Being able to combine a number of these guidelines to your everyday life can put your mind at ease, but keep your immune system healthy.

Healthy sleeping habits to boost your immune system

If you are often finding yourself tossing and turning at night, you might not only be hurting your chances at a perky morning, but you could be damaging your immune system as well. Researchers from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health have analyzed how consistent sleep deprivation can negatively impact your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to illness.

The researchers took a group of healthy men and assigned them to 4 to 5 hours of sleep every night before having to fulfill a typical workday. They discovered that the men who had at least three hours less than the normal eight hours of sleep at night had weakened white blood cells as well as significant changes in gene levels – two sure signs of a frail immune system. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 50 to 70 million American adults who have some variation of a sleeping disorder. If you are struggling with obtaining the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, here are a few tips to help you get the slumber you need to be active and productive throughout the entire day.

Establish a routine bedtime
Getting your body to adhere to a strict time schedule is essential for receiving a good night’s rest. If you find yourself tuning out at 10 p.m. one night then staying up until 2 a.m. the next, your body’s internal clock will be confused. Once you have established your preferred time to fall asleep, try to stick to that time even on the weekends, which is often when sleeping routines are thrown out of sync. The same can be said for waking up in the morning as well.

Know what you are putting into your body
Guess what? If you are smoking cigarettes, eating ice cream or drinking nightly cocktails before bedtime, the odds are your sleep will suffer from it. Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine usually take hours to wear off, which will keep your brain wired and mind wandering while you are trying to get some shut-eye. Avoid these late-night temptations as much as possible.

Avoid lights at all cost
Many people resort to watching television, scanning computer screens or flipping through their electronic music players before falling asleep. All these lights right before rest can reduce your body’s production of melatonin, the naturally produced hormone that helps you sleep efficiently and is regulated by light exposure. Try not to watch television or read from electronic devices before sleep to ensure proper melatonin regulation in your body.

Limit your naps
If you are someone who frequently needs a cat nap during the day to get by, you aren’t doing your body any favors by catching up on lost sleep at night. Any naps that last for more than 30 minutes can affect your body’s sleep cycle, and the best time for naps is during the early afternoon. Before napping, try to make sure your blinds or shades are closed so sunlight can not readjust your internal clock.

Get your stress out
The more your mind is at ease, the better your body will sleep. Simply making sure you are organized and know what you need to do for tomorrow is one of the more efficient methods of getting a healthier eight hours of sleep.

Exercise!
As if you needed another reason to work out during the day, routine physical activity is one of the best ways you will enjoy a deep and peaceful sleep at night. Don’t exercise too closely to your bedtime though. Get a solid 30 minutes of a workout right around dinner time for the best sleeping results.

The benefits of taking lactoferrin

There are many new products on the market promoting their inclusion of lactoferrin as a healthy ingredient, but what exactly is lactoferrin? Lactoferrin is a protein found naturally in cow and human milk, and it is especially abundant in colostrum. It is also found naturally in our tears and saliva, and possesses a wide variety of healthy benefits for our bodies. Here are just a few ways that lactoferrin can help:

Iron absorption
Lactoferrin has been proven to help regulate the absorption of iron throughout the body, as well as provide iron to the cells that need it. Iron is crucial for everyday vital bodily requirements, such as facilitating muscle function, supplying oxygen to our brains and bloodstream and preventing general symptoms of iron deficiency, which include fatigue, weakness and headaches. Without enough iron, your body will struggle with the strength necessary to carry on throughout the day.

Boost your immune system
Lactoferrin is also essential in providing an increased defense for our immune systems. Lactoferrin deprives unwanted bacteria in the body from the nutrients they need to continue spreading. Lactoferrin is able to boost your body with beneficial antioxidants, enhance oxygenation of the tissues and improve white blood cell health.

Clear skin
If you are having trouble maintaining healthy or clear skin, lactoferrin also works at reducing acne activity and preventing breakouts. In a study published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, researchers found that young adults who took lactoferrin supplements twice a day for eight weeks were able to reduce acne outbreaks by 22.5 percent, while 77 percent of participants reported fewer signs of acne activity.

These are just a few of the ways lactoferrin can help keep your body healthy and feeling great. A perfect way to get started taking lactoferrin is with Symbiotics Lactoferrin Capsules.

Orange-Ginger Green Smoothie Recipe

Six simple ingredients are all you need for this smoothie. Together these ingredients create a powerful boost without needing a cup of coffee. Make sure to blend the spinach and romaine first, then add the banana, oranges and ginger.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water
  • 4 generous handfuls fresh spinach
  • 1 scoop Symbiotics Plus
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1″-2″ knob of fresh ginger
Lacto-what? Learn about the health benefits of lactoferrin

If you aren’t familiar with lactoferrin, now is the time to learn about it. This iron-binding protein, which is found in large quantities in both human and animal colostrum, has many positive health benefits. Just in case you haven’t heard of colostrum, it is the first milk that a mammal mother delivers to her newborn offspring, and it’s important because it kickstarts the immune system.

Lactoferrin is important because it deprives invasive bacteria of the iron they need to reproduce. It also controls cytokine releases and sends iron into the red blood cells, which is important in providing oxygen to the body’s tissues.

Benefits of lactoferrin

This important protein can increase iron levels in the blood and possibly decrease inflammation. There’s also some evidence that it promotes bone health in women and works as an anti-fungal.

Lactoferrin is just one component of colostrum. If you’re interested in lactoferrin for the boost it can provide to your immune health, try Symbiotics Lactoferrin, which has been isolated from bovine colostrum, or consider a total colostrum supplement like Symbiotics Lactoferrin with Colostrum Plus, which naturally supports immune health and improves digestive health.

How to select a colostrum supplement

Colostrum is the first milk a mammal produces for her newborn, and it has several important immune properties. Many people take a colostrum supplement to boost their immune health and promote a healthy and balanced digestive tract.

Naturade makes various types of colostrum so you have options based upon your differing needs. Here are a few different types that are currently available:

  • Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Candida Formula: This is good for people who have imbalanced digestive flora due to a diet with overly processed foods and high fat. Candida albicans can cause a yeast infection when too much is present. This supplement has Candida Balance™, a formula with lactoferrin, probiotics and colostrum to reduce candida and restore the balance of flora in the gut.
  • Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Arthro Formula: Aside from boosting the immune system and balancing the digestive tract, this formula has MSM, glucosamine sulfate, lipase and cetyl myristoleate to promote joint and bone health.
  • Symbiotics Colostrum 40% High-IG: These capsules contain high levels of immunoglobulin content and give an extra boost to the immune system for athletes and others whose bodies are under physical duress.
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