Tag: immune system’

Vitamin D and You

Veronica working from home

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a nutrient that our body needs to function properly. Vitamin D is special since it’s a nutrient that our body can make, but also one that we can get through the food we eat. Vitamin D, along with calcium, is a key component in making healthy bones. Beyond healthy bones, the benefits of Vitamin D also includes combating infections and helping reduce inflammation?

However, Vitamin D is also unique in that it is relatively difficult compared to other vitamins to get through food. Thankfully, your body can make its own Vitamin D. The production of this home-grown Vitamin is boosted by exposure to sunlight. The more sun you get, the more Vitamin D your body starts to make. This helps stave off the dangers of a Vitamin D deficiency.

What is Vitamin D Deficiency?

If you aren’t getting enough Vitamin D in your diet, you may start to develop symptoms of deficiency. However, unlike some vitamin deficiencies, lacking in Vitamin D can cause more subtle effects, mainly manifesting as a greater risk of other medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, or asthma in children. The most surefire sign of Vitamin D deficiency is the weakness of bones and muscles – the condition known as rickets is often associated with this vitamin deficiency.

The Tricky Part of Vitamin D

Vitamin D has always been a bit tricky when it comes to adopting healthy practices like going vegan, or partaking in vegan juice cleanses. This is because unlike a majority of vitamins, Vitamin D is somewhat rare in fruits and veggies. The best place to find Vitamin D in nature is actually in certain fish and surprisingly in animal products such as milk and egg yolks.

Some medical professionals have used this as a reason to warn people off of going vegan, even for short periods of time. However, this is pretty alarmist, for a few reasons. For one thing, while Vitamin D may not be naturally common in many fruits and vegetables, it is often added to orange juice and cereals.

You shouldn’t underestimate your body’s ability to maintain Vitamin D levels with sunshine. Making sure to get a safe level of sunlight is a good way to keep your Vitamin D levels up – this is why it’s unhealthy to shut yourself indoors too much. Understandably, this naturally can be more difficult if you are in a part of the world where some seasons have long sunless stretches.

Vitamin D and Blended Juice Cleanses

So should you be worried about suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency if you decide to take on a blended juice cleanse during the less sunny months? Short answer – most likely not. Blended juice cleanses don’t often last long enough for there to be any notable side effects from deficiencies in particular vitamins. The benefits you’ll get from the blended juice cleanse, in detoxing your system, will generally outweigh any risks.

The one exception is if your doctor or other medical professional has warned you specifically about an existing Vitamin D deficiency. In this case, this is an obstacle that can easily be overcome through the incorporation of Vitamin D supplements into your diet.

In short, maintaining Vitamin D levels is important. And it’s also important to listen to your body if you aren’t feeling well. But this shouldn’t turn into a major concern blocking your detox plans. From healthy foods, oral vitamins and other supplements you can reach healthy Vitamin D levels. So go ahead and enjoy your cleanse and the weight loss it brings!

Immune System Boosting

Veronica working from home

Immune System Boosting

If worrying about COVID wasn’t bad enough, we’re heading into the months also known for being flu season – and let’s not forget the regular set of sniffles and colds that tend to go around this time of year. If you feel that you just plain don’t have time to get sick, we hear you. This piece will give advice on how to boost your immune system through healthy practices this fall and winter, and the considerations you need to make when undergoing a juice cleanse.

The Don’ts of the Immune System

Sometimes it’s not so much about what you do, but about what you don’t do. Before you can start in building up a strong immune system, it’s important that you make sure that you’re not sabotaging yourself from the get-go.

So first things first – no smoking. If you drink alcohol, try to do it in moderation. Try to avoid foods that will cause you to put on weight like fast foods and empty carbs – higher body weights are linked to weaker immune systems.

Also, be wary of “shortcuts” to immune boosters. You’ll see a lot of products on store shelves that say they’ll give you a supercharged immune system – but no “vitamin” gummy can beat a diet of healthy fruits and veggies.

Immune System Boosters

One of the most powerful weapons in your immune-boosting arsenal has to be one of the easiest – sleep! Not getting enough sleep can ruin your immune system. (If you have difficulty sleeping, a blended juice cleanse might be just what you need!)

Exercise, even in small amounts, is also great for keeping your immune system ready to go. Not only will exercise support a stronger immune system, but it can help you keep your weight low – and as we mentioned, high weight is an immune system risk.

One of the most important things is, of course, to simply not stress out too much about it. It might seem counterintuitive, but worrying too much about your immune system can… weaken your immune system. The mind and body are connected, so stress on one will affect the other. It sounds crazy, but stress is never good for your health in any way.

Most importantly – put good stuff in your body! Fruits and vegetables are the way to go. Not only will they keep your body strong and ready to fight off season diseases or otherwise, but many of them are full of amazing immune boosters like Vitamin C.

Do Cleanses Help the Immune System?

Making sure that you have a healthy diet is key to keeping up your immune system and overall health. Many are worried that a blended juice cleanse can present an immunity risk since it represents a sudden change in diet. However, this is generally not a major concern. In fact, it’s the flat-out opposite!

Blended juice cleanses are all about packing as many vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals into a single drink. Some of the most effective foods for boosting the immune system include ginger, turmeric, and carrots – which you’ll find in our detox soups.

However, blended juice cleanses help build a healthy immune system in a lot of indirect ways too. The cleansing process is great for helping you lose weight, get more sleep, and feel more relaxed. As we mentioned, all of these are key points to check off if you’re trying to fight off infections.

So if you’re looking to fight the common cold and flu this winter season, a blended juice cleanse could be just the ticket. You’ll eliminate toxins from your body, get ready for some weight loss to counteract those Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and just feel all-around great, no matter the weather. Make sure to check out all our great blended juice cleanse kits to get started!

Vitamin D for a healthy Immune System

Vitamin D and Covid

We’re taking our health seriously in these uncertain times – and maintaining a healthy immune system may be the most important way to protect ourselves against Covid-19. Before all else, we need to eat healthy and stay active. After that, according to the experts, Vitamin D, the “Sunshine Vitamin”, can help.

Vitamin D: What is it?

Vitamin D is a substance naturally produced by our own bodies after exposure to sunlight. Our ability to absorb calcium depends on it – for strong bones, we need plenty of Vitamin D. Numerous studies have shown that Vitamin D regulates the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. It protects against influenza and and is possibly a factor in protecting against Covid-19.

How much do I need?

Adults need 600 IU of Vitamin D each day, increasing to 800IU per day if you are over 70. Everyday Health says: “very few foods have enough Vitamin D to reach recommended daily intakes, and sunshine can be unreliable in certain climates. Men and women relying on sourcing Vitamin D through diet alone typically don’t exceed 288 IU a day on average.”

Have you had your Vitamin D level tested recently? It might shock you. Nearly half of people tested for it were deficient in a recent study. A “good” level of Vitamin D in lab testing is a serum concentration of 25 ng/ml. In your lab results, anything under 20 is considered low, and 35-55 ng/ml is considered optimal.

If you don’t know your Vitamin D level and want to make sure you are getting enough, should you take supplements? The NHS suggests taking 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day, But getting vitamins from food is preferable for most of us.

Vitamin D foods

What foods have Vitamin D?

If you don’t want to take a supplement, you can get Vitamin D from certain foods. Vitamin D is found in oily fish (like salmon and sardines), in red meat, liver, egg yolks, and foods that are fortified. If you are a vegetarian, you can find yogurt, oatmeal, and some cereals that are fortified with Vitamin D.

I’m pretty much a vegetarian, but I occasionally enjoy healthy fish like wild salmon. Try my Salmon Carpaccio  and Ginger Glazed Salmon Recipes. And read my article: Benefits of Wild Salmon (and The Best Recipe).

wild salmon

The Vitamin D – Covid-19 Connection

Vitamin D keeps our immune systems at their best, and new studies find that not only does it keep your immune system healthy, it may protect against respiratory illnesses, possibly including Covid-19.

Researchers at Northwestern University have found that Covid-19 patients with Vitamin D deficiency are twice as likely to get more severely ill and to die. And the researchers also found that normal levels of Vitamin D have a beneficial effect on patient outcome.

According to Dr Vadim Blackman, “Vitamin D will not prevent a patient from contracting the virus but it may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are effected”. He continues: ““Our analysis shows that it might be as high as cutting the mortality rate in half,” Blackman said. “It will not prevent a patient from contracting the virus, but it may reduce complications and prevent death in those who are infected.”

As you might expect, numerous studies of Vitamin D and Covid-19 are underway. Here are a few of the most promising:

  • A recent study cited by the NIH: “Vitamin D might induce antimicrobial peptides to reduce Covid-19 replication”.
    More simply stated, it might keep the virus from multiplying in your body. And that’s a good thing.
  • A study of older people showed that Vitamin D has protective effects from influenza. “…vitamin D has been shown to have protective effects and the researchers concluded that vitamin D appears to be a safe strategy to protect against acute respiratory infections. ”
  • A former director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, proposed using Vitamin D to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in a recent news interview. He said: “Vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of respiratory infection, regulates cytokine production and can limit the risk of other viruses such as influenza. A respiratory infection can result in cytokine storms – a vicious cycle in which our inflammatory cells damage organs throughout the body – which increase mortality for those with COVID-19. Adequate Vitamin D may potentially provide some modest protection for vulnerable populations.”

Where do we go from here?

First and foremost, we continue to drink our Green Drink, eat a healthy diet, and stay active. Unhealthy habits and food deficiencies hurt your immune system and make it harder to fight off disease-causing bacteria, viruses and toxins. Getting tested for your Vitamin D level is a good idea, I’m doing that. And most important, stay calm, stay focused, and stay safe.

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