Winter can be a difficult time. Many experience what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD can cause symptoms like fatigue, depression, and social withdrawal in climates where there is a lack of sunlight. This wintertime stagnation makes us less active and more prone to weight gain and other negative side effects. However, detoxification can help refresh and reset your body just in time for spring.
The Importance of Resetting
So what even is detoxing anyway? Detoxing is the process of removing harmful toxins that have entered the body by way of our environment, the foods we eat, or the fluids we drink. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, an American physician and New York Times best-selling author, we are constantly living in a sea of toxins and it is slowly destroying our bodies and brains.
Although our body naturally detoxes through the liver and kidneys, some modalities can help support the natural process.
5 Easy Ways to Detoxify and Refresh
Detoxing can seem like a big step for some people, but don’t fret. We aren’t here to put anybody on a liquid-only month-long diet. There are easy ways we can help our body detox without having to strain ourselves too hard.
1. Drink Mo’ H2O
If you don’t already carry a Nalgene everywhere you go, start. The average person, male or female, should consume roughly 13.5 cups of water per day — or about three 32 oz Nalgenes. Staying properly hydrated will allow for water to transport waste products out of the body through urination, sweating, and breathing. IV detox therapy can also help keep your body hydrating while flushing your body of harmful toxins, while replenishing with vitamins and minerals.
2. Avoid Processed Foods and Sugary Beverages
Consuming high amounts of processed foods and sugar can have detrimental effects to the organs that play a pivotal role in detoxification. For example, high consumption of sugary beverages can cause fatty liver, a condition that negatively impacts liver function. By consuming less junk food, we can protect our detoxification process.
Exercise, quite literally, is one of the best things we can do for our body. Exercise by itself does not detox your body, but studies have shown that exercise helps keep those vital organs like the kidneys, liver, and lungs functioning optimally.
4. Eat More Antioxidant Rich Foods
Antioxidants protect your cells against damage caused by molecules called free radicals. At high levels, free radicals begin to hurt the body by attacking healthy cells. This can lead to a condition called oxidative stress. An antioxidant-rich diet can help reduce damage caused by free radicals, lowering the risk of diseases that can impact detoxification.
5. Limit alcohol
Over 90% of alcohol is processed by your liver. Studies show that low-to-moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial for heart health, however, excessive alcohol consumption can cause a wide range of health problems, including damaged liver function. Limiting alcohol drinking is a very beneficial way to keep the body’s detoxification support strong.
How can we maintain this refreshed state?
Sustaining your cleansed state for lack of a better term, may seem daunting at first. But in reality, it’s quite easy and even pretty fun. One of the best things to do is to maintain a healthy diet. As we said, antioxidants are essential for helping your body with its natural detoxification process. So eating foods rich in antioxidants such as:
Another way to maintain your detox is simply drinking water. Water helps toxins out of the body through urination, sweating, and breathing. It also promotes healthy organ function. And don’t forget to hydrate before and after working out. Leaving your body dehydrated after a workout can leave it vulnerable to harmful toxins.
Detoxifying habits can flush our organs of harmful toxins and reduce the impact of oxidative stress. Wintertime is prime time for your body to fall victim to bodily pollutants since our activity level is much more stagnant. So take advantage of natural benefits, they’ll keep your mood up during those dark winters and have you bursting at the seams with energy and youthfulness right in time for spring.
There’s a reason why it’s called Spring Cleaning.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
How Does the Immune System Work? Being healthy is a top priority in our lives right now…and almost everyone’s best friend is their immune system. The immune system is a complex system of cells and molecules that protects our bodies from outside invaders like infections, bacteria, and viruses, called antigens. These antigens attach themselves to receptors on immune cells, which then triggers the immune system response. Then, the immune system stores the antigens’ DNA and makeup before creating, distributing, and storing white blood cells that fight these bacteria and viruses.
Innate vs Adaptive Immune System
The immune system is actually made up of two subdivisions: the innate and adaptive immune systems. The innate system is more general. It provides a non-specific defense against germs and outside bacteria that enter through the skin or digestion. The adaptive immune system is more specific. It creates antibodies to fight specific germs and viruses that enter the body. This is the immune system that stores the DNA information of certain antigens to create specific antibodies to fight them off.
Finding the Truths!
This past year, we’ve been bombarded with quick fixes that claim to boost your immunity to the moon and back. There are a lot of myths going around on how to help boost your immune system. So, let’s take a dive into some of them:
Myth One: Exercise has no effect and may even weaken the immune system.
Truth: Exercise lowers blood pressure, helps keep body weight under control, and can protect you from diseases. It does this by lowering the levels of hormonal cortisol in your body. Therefore, exercising actually boosts your immune system.
Myth Two: The more active your immune system is, the healthy you are.
Truth: A hyperactive immune system is related to many different conditions like allergic reactions and underlying diseases such as diabetes and lupus.
Myth Three: Stress doesn’t impact the immune system
Truth: Stress produces a hormone called cortisol, which changes the way your white blood cells react to the viruses and bacteria that enter the body. Therefore, stress reduces the body’s ability to fight off diseases.
Myth Four: Gargling salt water or vinegar will kill viruses
Truth: Gargling salt water, vinegar, or other mixtures won’t kill anything, but it may soothe a sore throat.
Myth Five: Being born with a good immune system will prevent you from getting sick.
Truth: Besides the fact that the immune system, unfortunately, weakens with age, there is no certainty that you won’t get sick.
What Can You Do To Boost Your Immunity?
So, all in all, there are a lot of immunity myths floating around on the internet, but there are ways that never fail to boost your immune system:
Strong immunity is built through balanced, healthful decisions. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your immune system. Taking care of your immune system takes time. Self-care isn’t just about the skin anymore. The inside of your body needs some love too.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
What Does Vitamin D Actually Do?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble that is naturally present in certain foods and is also produced when ultraviolet rays from sunlight land on the skin and trigger vitamin D synthesis. The body producing vitamin D in response to sun exposure is why vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D has many important functions in the body, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth through calcium absorption, promoting bone growth, protecting against diseases and conditions, and reducing inflammation.
Vitamin D and Depression
Research has connected a link between people with depression and vitamin D deficiency. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and spikes in colder months, known as seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not considered a separate condition, but a type of depression with a seasonal pattern. Weather affects people’s moods. Dull, cold, rainy days make us feel gloomy and unmotivated, while sunlight breaking through the clouds can lift our spirits and give us a little feeling of hope. In fact, the vitamin D receptors in our brain are in the same locations in the brain associated with depression (i.e. the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, hypothalamus, and substantia nigra)
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
Sunlight can be an individual’s primary source of vitamin D. During colder, darker months there is less access to the sun’s ultraviolet rays to trigger the vitamin d synthesis in the body.
There are actually very few foods that have high amounts of vitamin D. Without adding any of these foods into your diet there is a high chance that you are not getting proper amounts of vitamin D in your meals.
Older adults have an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency because the skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D declines with age.
Greater Amounts of Melanin
Greater amounts of the pigment melanin in the skin reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.
Obesity does not actually affect the body’s ability to produce vitamin D, but the higher levels of body mass and fat sequestered requires higher levels of vitamin D for the vitamin to work properly.
Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, conditions that affect fat absorption also affect the production of vitamin D. For example, conditions such as liver disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease all have a negative effect on vitamin D.
Signs of Deficiency:
Signs of Depression:
Reach out to a doctor if you are having signs of depression. If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of suicide here are some support resources:
Solving Vitamin D DeficiencyTo treat your vitamin D deficiency the obvious answer is to increase your intake of vitamin D, but how? Ways to increase your intake are:
Helpful Tips for Combating Winter Blues
If the lack of sunlight and lack of vitamin D is affecting your mental health and causing symptoms of depression, the first (and best) thing to do is always talk to a doctor and seek professional help. Outside of that, here are some self-care tips during the colder months especially that can help combat the winter blues:
All in All:Vitamin D and depression have been linked through various studies, making vitamin D essential for not only your physical health but mental health as well. Getting the proper amounts of vitamin D can be hard, especially in the colder, darker months, but making efforts to include vitamin D in your diet or through supplements will help prevent a vitamin D deficiency. The winter blues can get the best of us, but if we take care of our bodies and our minds we can make it through the gloomy days and get back to the sunshine!
Remember to please seek professional advice or help if you are experiencing any symptoms of depression.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com.
Being in a mental rut can harm our health, productivity, and mood. Constantly bombarding ourselves with tasks, either through procrastination or just straight-up overworking ourselves, can give way to heightened levels of stress and anxiety. So, let’s look at five ways to help boost our productivity and mood.
1. Sleep good, work better.
Sleeping is a fantastic, and probably the easiest, home remedy to boost energy. Our mind and body are interconnected, so keeping one healthy ensures the other will do the same. A good start is maximizing sleep quality. Sticking to a structured sleep routine that provides our body with at least 8 hours of sleep will ensure consistent energy levels during the day. But for this to work, you must stick to a specific bedtime and wake-up time. Inconsistent sleep patterns are almost as harmful to the body as little to no sleep.
2. A healthy body is an optimized brain
As mentioned above, our body and brain are interconnected. We have talked about resting our bodies, but what about fueling them? Well, certain foods that are high in vitamin B12—one of the main vitamins known for energy enhancement—can help boost energy levels, giving you the fuel needed to get through the day. Fish, meat, poultry, and other dairy products are high in B12. Incorporating this vitamin into your diet can help power both your mind and body, helping you take on whatever life throws at you.
3. Stop workin’, start walkin’?
We know this may seem counterintuitive, but taking a step back from a task or assignment can actually help you get it done quicker! Exercise is not only crucial for the body; it also promotes mental well-being. And exercise doesn’t necessarily mean maxing your deadlift between paragraphs. It can be something as simple as going for a walk around the block. Just getting your body moving helps relieve stress, which can significantly inhibit productivity. Before you even start your work, early morning workouts have been said to get your mind and body prepared for the day.
4. Put down the phone
Social media, texting, and phone calls ranked as the 4th biggest workplace distractions only behind bathroom breaks and talking with coworkers. We’ve all been there: a text message alert or a Twitter notification goes off, and you are instantly entranced into the endless rabbit hole that is your cell phone. There are a bunch of simple ways to prevent this from happening. For starters, keep your phone and work separate. This can go as far as keeping it in a different room, whatever prevents you from distracting yourself. Other methods, such as putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” and “Airplane Mode,” can immensely cut down distractions without feeling disconnected.
5. Organize your workspace
For many, a cluttered workspace = a cluttered mind. Having a clean workspace can work as a productivity “placebo.” You can trick yourself into working harder when your surroundings are organized. Everyone has their own gauge on what is considered to be “clean,” so do whatever you think is necessary. If it means just clearing off your desk, then go for it. And if “clean” means sanitizing all of your work materials, then do that. Just make sure not to overdo it. There is a fine line between organizing your workspace and plainly pushing off work. Find that balance. Find that productivity.
Feeling run down can have a lasting impact on our short term productivity, leaving us feeling defeated and mentally exhausted. But simple changes to the way we carry on through the day can help boost productivity and increase energy levels. Simple changes to our sleeping patterns and diet are two vital ways we can achieve this added boost in energy. Other changes such as exercise and work habits can help maximize productivity without stretching ourselves too far. These tips do not have to be followed verbatim, but should act as a guide in helping you navigate what best fits your lifestyle.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com
Binge-watching the news lately? If so, you probably have heard the coronavirus attacks the immune system. The people who are most at risk are immunocompromised. The immune system is an essential bodily function that needs to be taken care of. It is the body's primary defense mechanism against foreign organisms such as viruses and bacteria. If you're looking for other ways to boost your immune system besides getting enough sleep and staying hydrated, maybe it's time to try some vitamins! Take a look below for the best vitamins to help enhance your immune system:
Vitamin A is integral to the development of the immune system, as well as boosting it. It also regulates cellular immune responses. This vitamin also has an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system.
Specifically, Vitamin B6, as it is vital to support your immune system by producing antibodies to help fight viruses and infections. Not only that, but this vitamin can support brain health by improving cognitive function. So yeah, treat yourself to ordering that salmon tonight, cause it's packed with this vitamin!
You knew this was coming, right? Obviously, we had to include this vitamin C, as it is a powerhouse when it comes to boosting your immune system! Out of all of the vitamins listed here, this is the one that you should've started taking, like yesterday. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the production of white blood cells, which can help you fight off bacteria and viruses. It can also help produce antibodies, which can help fight against invading pathogens by binding themselves to foreign microbes, which helps neutralize them.
A deficiency in vitamin D can increase your susceptibility to infection and is linked to causing autoimmune diseases. Since we know you don't want that (especially in this pandemic), it's recommended to drink milk and get some sunshine. But when you go outside, make sure you use a facemask and stay 6 feet away from everyone else! #socialdistancing
What a surprise, another antioxidant! Immune cells have higher concentrations of vitamin E, all the more reason to use it to boost your immune system! A deficiency in this vitamin will cause a decrease in cellular immunity. It helps the formation of red blood cells, which can improve blood circulation as well. Think about buying foods rich in vitamin E like spinach, sunflower seeds, broccoli, and kiwi.
Iron, which is found in hemoglobin, is a vital substance, and about 70% of it can be found in red blood cells. Red blood cells help transfer oxygen from your lungs throughout your body, including your immune system. Without this essential function, you're going to start to feel tired and fatigued. This exhaustion will affect your immune system's ability to fight off infections.
Selenium helps you lower the oxidative stress in your body, which can boost your immune system. A deficiency in this vitamin can harm your immune cell function and weaken the immune system's response to potential threats such as bacteria and viruses.
Zinc is vital when it comes to your immune system because it keeps everything in balance. It can decrease the rate of infection by slowing down your immune system's response. This helps control inflammation that can be deadly in your immune system. You can find Zinc in a bunch of foods such as oysters, yogurt, and chickpeas.
This article was originally published at iveeapp.com
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live