Before you even begin to look at all the great things supplements can do for you during the rough winter months and all year through, the Harvard Medical school offers some advice on healthy lifestyle choices that you can make everyday to improve your defenses. Their advice includes items like:
- “Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.”
If you are like most people, you may be doing pretty well with some of these bullet points, and not so well on others. For example, if most of your meals come from a drive-through, your diet is probably low on fruits, veggies and whole grains, and high in saturated fats. Chronic stress may be keeping you from achieving adequate sleep, reducing your commitment to regular exercise, and even be getting in the way of your desired weight goals.
In our recent trip to the SOHO-NPA trade show in Florida, we learned about the importance of whole food nutrients to achieving optimum health, whether those nutrients can be completely achieved through your diet or could need support from supplements to fill in the nutritional gaps our diets often leave. For example, as carbon dioxide levels rise in our environment, zinc levels fall in plants, making it necessary for us to actually supplement with zinc if we want to reach optimum levels.
What do you get from a quality, plant-based supplement? If you think about it, in order to survive, plants have to create chemicals to protect themselves. The same things those chemicals do to protect plants also offer support for our bodies. For example, the chlorophyll that helps plants absorb energy can support our own bodies’ energy production, as well as providing antioxidants. In other words, whether we eat them or take them from a quality product, we use the chemicals plants use to defend themselves to help increase our own arsenal of defense.
Another interesting fact we learned at the Florida trade show was another good reason for regular exercise–it is the only way to pump the lymph fluid in your system, which helps to move around your body’s natural cellular defenses against attackers.
Besides the vegan supplement products we already carry, Source Naturals presented a complete line of vegan supplements. Nutraceuticals introduced a new line that offers not only natural progesterone creams, but also estriol, the bio-identical form of estrogen. We discovered a new product for tooth whitening without peroxide or other harsh chemicals. And homeopathic KingBio premiered a child’s product for tummy aches and a new Cherry Angioma Remover for those red spots on the back of the hands that often occur in older adults.
A final thought to sustain you through the coming months: Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. (–health.harvard.edu/flu) Since almost 70% of your immune system cells are produced in your intestines, taking steps to maintain a healthy colon is essential, from supporting its mucosal lining to maintaining its probiotic balance. Quality water, fiber, fermented foods, and supplements are just some of the things you can do on a regular basis to make your immune system happy all year through.
As the icy fingers of winter begin to swirl around us, don’t forget to make Betsy’s Health Foods one of the tools in your arsenal of defense for optimum health this season–and all year long.
Dr. Carl Germano lecture, Dec. 5, 2014, SOHO Trade Show
Dean Morris, Master Herbalist, lecture, Dec. 6, 2014, SOHO Trade Show
*This article is for education purposes only. It is not intended to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease. Consult your healthcare provider.