At Utzy we are dedicated to providing truthful, honest information that helps you to live a healthier lifestyle
When you think of what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle, gratitude probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
But it should be.
Incorporating gratitude into your life transforms the way you view yourself, the world, and the people in it.
Practicing gratitude reminds you that goodness does exist in this world.
When you take the time to reflect on the good you’ve received--either from other people or higher powers-- you will be better off because of it.
People who are intentional about counting their blessings often enjoy improved physical, social, and emotional health.
Simply being grateful can dramatically improve the quality of your life and relationships.
Ready to learn how?
Want to get the best sleep of your life?
Try counting your blessings every day.
While getting enough sleep each night is essential for good health, the quality of your sleep is equally important.
Gratitude journaling is one of the most effective ways to count your blessings and cultivate gratitude. Researchers in the UK recruited healthy young women to either keep a gratitude journal or fill out a survey each night.
The women who kept gratitude journals were instructed to write down three people and three things that made them feel grateful.
After only two weeks, gratitude journalers reported boosts in their sleep quality.
To see if gratitude journaling may help improve your sleep, try to follow the “Three Good Things” practice when you journal. Jot down three experiences that you feel grateful for, how each experience makes you feel, and why you think each experience happened.
Set aside at least 10 minutes each night to write these experiences down. Writing is a necessary part of the process--don’t just think about it and say you did it. For the best benefits aim to journal at least three times per week.
It probably comes as no surprise that optimists tend to live healthier and happier lives.
But what if you’re not an optimist? Being grateful may be your golden ticket.
People who have higher levels of gratitude tend to report lower levels of stress.
Gratitude may allow you to bounce back more quickly from life’s ups and downs with a more hopeful, positive, and resilient outlook on life.
Being grateful can literally turn you into an optimist.
One simple way to cultivate more gratitude and optimism is through prayer. Researchers have found that prayer is an effective way to boost optimism and reduce negative emotions.
For the most powerful impact try to focus on giving thanks for the good in your life while you pray.
Keep at it and over time you may begin to see that glass a little more full than empty.
Do you crave deeper and more meaningful connections with those around you?
Think of it as the “social glue” that helps strengthen relationships with others.
Being grateful for those around you may motivate you to be more kind, more social, and more giving.
Gratitude may even nudge you toward finding new friends or partners when you recognize how thoughtful other people can be.
Remembering ways those you love have been good to you can help you view your relationships in a deeper and more positive light.
Subconsciously, this means you might start to seek ways to be a better friend or partner, which can really improve the quality of your relationships.
To begin reaping some of these benefits, try writing a letter of gratitude to someone important in your life.
Be very specific in terms of what this person has done to impact your life and why you are grateful.
Present the letter in person if possible and actually read it out loud to them.
Watch how the benefits of this simple exercise will blossom in your life and relationship.
70% of American workers report hating their jobs according to a recent Gallup poll.
If finding another job is not an immediate option, practicing gratitude in the workplace might make those 2080 hours per year more tolerable, fulfilling, and engaging.
Happier employees tend to be more successful.
What may surprise you is that happiness itself may lead to career success and not the other way around. The cultivation of gratitude can lead to more positive emotions, including contentment and happiness, which can make you a better employee. Who knows, you may even get a raise!
Be intentional about being grateful in the workplace.
Take a moment to genuinely thank a coworker. If your workplace has a “kudos” program, you could also nominate someone for a job well done.
Send a thank you note to your supervisor.
Or block out 5 minutes before work to say a short prayer of gratitude.
When you leave work, reflect on the good, not the bad.
Being more intentional about acknowledging the good in your workplace, whether it’s people or experiences, helps you cultivate more positive emotions at work and in general.
The leading cause of death in America, heart disease, is responsible for nearly 1 in 4 deaths each year.
In addition to not smoking, following a healthy diet, and being physically active, consider practicing gratitude to reduce your risk of succumbing to this silent killer.
One study reported that healthy volunteers who experienced feelings of appreciation had measurable improvements in heart rate variability (HRV). Having high HRV means your heart might be better able to handle stress and function better overall.
In another study, patients with heart failure experienced significant reductions in inflammation after an 8 week gratitude journaling intervention.
Inflammation may also be related to your risk of developing heart disease.
Keep that heart healthy by keeping a running list of people, experiences, and places that make you grateful.
When it comes to heart health, most people associate it with having a healthy diet, exercising, limiting alcohol, and reducing stress.
But what if I told you that there’s a way to improve your heart health that goes beyond all of that?
Having a community of people that you can associate yourself with, trust, and seek support from is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to heart health. Unfortunately, it is also something that is often neglected.
Before we get into the details of how community can be healthy for your heart, let’s first talk about why having a healthy heart is important in the first place.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men. In fact, one in four deaths are related to heart disease.
High blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease, and 47% of Americans have at least one of these risk factors (1).
Improving eating habits, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake are all pieces of the puzzle that may help improve heart health.
Studies have also found that having a sense of community is part of that as well.
A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association examined Italian immigrants in a small town called Roseto, Pennsylvania (2).
The study was developed because the town doctor was surprised how few heart disease problems he saw in community members of the town.
The researchers compared health statistics of the people in Roseto to other local towns for seven years, and what they discovered was shocking.
These surprising results made the researchers dig deeper into what the Roseto community was doing to have such positive results, and they called it “The Roseto Effect” (3).
Since diet is a major contributor for a healthy heart, the researchers examined the diet of the Roseto community and found that their diet wasn’t great. In fact, they were eating a lot of fried foods.
They also examined their lifestyle and discovered that many individuals worked in quarries or mines, leading them to be exposed to many toxins. They then would spend their leisure time enjoying cigars and wine.
The researchers then looked further and noticed a very close-knit social community among family and friends. In particular, elders were nurtured by the community instead of neglected.
The researchers concluded that a sense of community among individuals living in Roseto was the main contributor to the lack of heart problems in the town.
In other words, having a community can help support a healthy and happy heart (4).
Although the Roseto Effect study was done in the 1960’s, the benefits of community still hold true.
Unfortunately, social commitments and ties are often neglected and thought of as just another thing to add to our “to-do” list.
- A decreased risk for depression or anxiety
- An increased sense of purpose and connection
- Improved self-confidence and self-worth
- Better coping mechanisms and support during stressful times
Even though being part of a community takes some work, there are many benefits that it can provide.
So how can you build a community in your own life?
Below are some ways:
In addition, attracting a community can sometimes mean getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things.
It’s also important to ditch any judgement you may have and focus on building connection that goes beyond a person’s skin color, gender, or age.
Diet and lifestyle can have a large impact on heart health, but don’t forget a sense of community as well.
The more you surround yourself with people that can support, inspire, and connect with you, the healthier your heart will be.
Toxins are everywhere.
From the foods we eat, to the body products we use, to the water we drink, to the products we clean our homes with (1).
Toxins can be detrimental to our health for many reasons.
For example, pesticides in food have been linked to ADHD in children, parabens found in many body products may promote growth of breast cancer, and exposure to phthalates has been linked with obesity, changes in sex hormones, reduced fertility, and allergy and asthma symptoms (2, 3, 4).
It’s impossible to avoid toxins completely, but there are plenty of ways to help reduce your exposure to them.
Follow these six ways to reduce toxins today.
Buying organic vegetables and fruits can help reduce exposure to pesticides.
If you aren’t able to switch to 100% organic, choose organic for produce found on the “Dirty Dozen” list.
This is a list from The Environmental Working Group (EWG) that contains the non-organic produce that has been tested highest in pesticide residue.
Although the 2019 list has not come out yet, the produce listed on the 2018 Dirty Dozen list include (5):
Many processed foods can contain added preservatives and chemicals to help increase shelf life.
Therefore, reading ingredient lists on products can be very helpful when trying to reduce toxins.
3. Drink More Filtered Water
Water is essential for our health and can help flush out toxins in the body.
To make sure you are drinking enough water, aim to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day.
And don’t forget to use filtered water, because some tap waters may contain contaminants.
In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency found that about 85% of the population was drinking tap water that contained over 300 contaminants.
That’s why it’s best to filter your water with a water filtration system such as a water pitcher, countertop filter, or install a filtration system in your home (8).
Plastic is the go-to material for many products such as kitchen equipment and storage, toys, bags, and water bottles.
Not only is it harmful for the environment, it can also leach toxins into your food and skin.
Below are some tips to help reduce your plastic use:
Body products are poorly regulated and often contain toxins that have never been tested for safety. Avoid using body products that contain these common toxins (9):
We love Tanna Beauty + Wellness, a company that makes all-natural, raw beauty products.
Cleaning products don’t have to disclose what ingredients they contain, which means that the products you use to spray, wipe and scrub with could contain potentially harmful toxins (10).
Replace toxic cleaning products with things like white vinegar, baking soda, borax, castile soap or essential oils.
Check out these recipes for some DIY cleaning products recipes.
Although toxins cannot be completely avoided, you have the power to decrease them from the foods you eat, to the body products you use.
Try incorporating these six ways to reduce toxins to make this new year a much healthier and less toxic one.
January is here. Planning to jump into a new workout routine?
Get ready to wait in line at the gym.
70% of U.S. residents intend to start exercising more this year. By February, most will be ready to quit.
We all know that exercise is essential for our health and wellness. So why is it so hard to make this habit stick?
With the right plan and mindset, your workout goals do not have to crash and burn.
Read on for our best tips on how to start working out and how to keep going all year long.
This sounds very obvious, but start with something you enjoy. If you are dreading your workout every time you lace your shoes up, you may not be on the right path.
There are many choices for working out including cardio, strength training, high intensity interval training, and more.
You can start on your own or join a group class. You can workout in a gym or even in your living room. You can take up outdoor hobbies like hiking, kayaking, or rock climbing.
If you’re still trying to decide what you like, many classes will let you try for free in the beginning.
For those of you who may have concerns about your ability to safely workout, consult your doctor. Then, get started.
So you’ve found an activity you like. Now it is time to start thinking about what your goals are.
Why do you want to work out?
The more specific you can get, the better.
Write your goals down and post them in a place where you can view them daily.
Goals are essential to remind you of what you hope to accomplish but they can also be daunting.
One simple way to start tackling them is to take the teeniest possible baby step. Every step gets you closer to making your workouts a lasting habit. Plus, as you achieve each little baby goal you will get more confident and motivated to continue.
You may have heard this idea of simple progression described as the tiny habits approach.
For others the Japanese principle of Kaizen comes to mind. However you think about it you can use this practice in your workouts.
Let’s say your goal is to run 30 minutes 3 times per week. Set a micro goal of running for 5 minutes once per week. Then work up to twice per week. Then add 1 minute to each workout, and so on.
As you grow stronger both physically and mentally, you will be much better prepared (and more likely to stick to it) by the time you reach 30 minutes.
Besides, even 5 minutes of activity has important health benefits.
Despite our best intentions, there are days where we feel very unenthusiastic about what we want to accomplish.
This is normal.
We go wrong when we blame ourselves for not reaching out goals because we lack willpower.
A lot of people who are successful with keeping their workout goals have learned not to rely on willpower.
In fact it is often our surroundings that help determine if we will continue to workout or stay inactive.
Building a supportive environment to hold you accountable to work out even when you don’t feel like it is essential.
You can do this by joining a weekly class or exercise group or finding a workout buddy who you know is all about their fitness (and yours!).
You can even recruit your partner, kids, or roommates to remind you to workout even if they won’t be joining you.
You might also hire a personal trainer to help you stay on track.
Have a system in place that will push you to work out when you don’t feel like. This transforms your workout from an activity to a habit.
Perhaps you are some who likes your workout and knows it needs to get done but you still don’t love it.
You will love temptation bundling. This simple approach combines something you really enjoy (think: guilty pleasure) with something you want to get done.
For example, get in the habit of listening to a good audiobook or podcast while you workout.
If you can, stream your favorite show on the treadmill instead of binge watching it on the couch.
Catch up with a friend by inviting them to walk with you or give them a call and chat on the go.
Social activities can be a great way to enjoy quality time with friends and stay active at the same time. Organize group runs or join a sports league. Walk around the field while you enjoy your child’s soccer game.
Get inspired, get creative, and get moving.
How can you do something you love and get your workout in at the same time?
Tracking how you are progressing with your workouts is essential to maintain motivation. Simple tracking adds another layer of motivation beyond viewing your written goals.
Think of a simple symbol you can use to show if you worked out or not.
It can be as basic as a check mark. Then in a planner you check daily or even on a sheet of paper, add a checkmark every time you work out.
When you look at all those check marks adding up over time, you will feel proud and more motivated to keep going.
It’s a simple hack that inspires you to keep going.
If visual tracking interests you, find more great ideas of how and what to track on Pinterest.
Last but not least, remember to treat yourself compassionately.
Sometimes we fall into a trap of working out to punish ourselves for eating too much or for looking a certain way.
Or we feel we need to workout more than we realistically can or should.
This is not the kind of mental space that fosters healthy exercise habits.
When you exercise in the ways you enjoy and in the ways your body is designed to move, you are giving yourself an invaluable gift.
Exercise can boost your mood, help increase your self-confidence, and do wonders for your health.
It is natural to feel guilty if you miss a workout here or there.
The key to being compassionate is to acknowledge that setbacks happen but they do not define you.
Also be realistic.
Some days you will not have the time or energy to work out.
If you miss a day, it doesn’t mean you have failed.
You can always start working out again tomorrow.
Our sole purpose at Utzy is to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
Our motto, “Supplement with Confidence” isn’t just a marketing quip; it's a promise to deliver the highest quality and most effective products possible.
Products that you can have confidence in.
At Utzy, we firmly believe that supplementing is a very important action towards overall wellness. Your body needs essential vitamins and minerals to function and flourish.
But supplements are just a piece of the health puzzle.
In addition to supplementation, there are other healthful habits and actions that you should do daily that will assist you on your journey to feeling better and having a more productive life.
Around here we refer to them as "The Seven Essentials to Healthy Living".
Read on below...
Hippocrates, known as the founder of medicine, was quoted as saying:
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food"
This idea is just as true today.
Your diet is the foundation of your health.
Live by a “pay the grocer – not the doctor” mentality. Try to consume only REAL FOODS – organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes; as well as natural, pasture raised, grass-fed meats. Make sure to get enough daily fiber.
An excellent way to get quality food is by supporting your local organic farmers as much as possible. Eat high quality foods. Eat until you're satisfied, and stop there.
A sedentary lifestyle is a proven killer.
Get to the gym – and get your heart rate up. Try to get some form of exercise every day; this could be as simple as going for a walk on your lunch break.
While there are many different approaches to exercise, the biggest step is to simply do something. Park further away, take the stairs, look for small ways every day to move it!
Almost daily, we see in the news that millions of Americans have problems with sleep.
If you are one of them, make a commitment to getting better sleep.
You can try following our article on 10 sleep tips for your best night of rest.
We all need adequate amounts of restful sleep – health professionals recommend 7-8 hours a day.
Turn electronics off before bed so that you can wind down. Look for ways to eliminate unnecessary stress in your life and live peacefully.
Use natural green medicine as a first choice.
Avoid using harmful household chemicals and cleaners.
Make sure that you use clean beauty products.
Water makes up 60% of your body weight. Drinking adequate amounts of purified water throughout the day is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do and helps to flush out harmful toxins.
We recommended the 8x8 Rule- eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
It turns out that the old saying - “as a man thinketh so is he” - is true! The gut-brain connection is a real thing, so work on having positive thoughts.
Science backs up the notion that laughter does a heart good. In fact, happiness and positivity are linked to a “wide variety of forms of well-being,” according to a recently published study (1).
A major key is to show gratitude toward the people who have benefited your life. Take thankfulness walks. Regularly count your blessings.
Build a community of family and friends that you can rely on, and they you.
Having a "Do Unto Others" focus goes a long way to relational wholeness.
Living by the Golden Rule is a must in building meaningful relationships and a more positive outlook on life.
Without a plan, chances are you will fail. Address your problems, create a strategy to change, and find people that can assist you on your journey.
Creating a plan is the first step on your path to feeling more vibrant, and becoming healthier.
First steps may include: seeing that doctor for that physical you’ve been putting off, hiring a trainer, finding a good nutritionist, and building a team to support you.
Start small and be consistent!
The 7 Essentials listed above are foundational to our core beliefs of what is necessary to build a healthy lifestyle and future of wellness. Think of ways to integrate them into your daily life.
Doing so will help you to live your life to the fullest!
Daniel Powers (co-founder of Utzy Naturals) is a health fanatic and writer. Obsessed with optimizing every aspect of life, he is passionate about teaching others how to live a healthier, happier life.
Taking a trip to the grocery store can feel like you need a PhD to figure out what to buy.
Which foods are the healthiest?
Organic? Gluten-free? Keto? Before long, a simple errand starts to feel like a pop quiz you aren’t prepared for.
The good news?
Shopping for healthy foods doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. We’ll share some simple tips to help you stock your cart like a champ.
This simple rule will steer you toward the healthiest foods in the store.
Have you ever seen a nutrition label on a sweet potato?
While there are some minor exceptions, you’ll find that most fresh produce and seafood, spices, tea and coffee do not contain labels.
This means these foods don’t have any additional artificial ingredients or additives. Most of the foods in this category are also plant based.
This matters because eating more phytochemicals, which are found only in plant based foods, dramatically up our odds of living longer, healthier lives.
Choosing more foods without labels is an easy hack to increase the amount of fresh, whole foods in your diet.
We can’t deny that some processing is essential for our sanity. Think of all that time we’re saving by not growing and milling our own flour!
The problem arises when foods are over processed and key nutrients are removed and replaced with extra sugar, salt, and other ingredients.
Eating a diet high in heavily processed foods can leave our bodies over-nourished calorie wise but otherwise starving for essential nutrients.
One simple way to tell if your food is highly processed is to check the ingredient label and see how long the list is.
Select products with fewer ingredients.
Next time you’re at the store, try getting real potatoes instead of instant. Or sneak whole wheat white flour into your baked goods instead of white flour. Choose fresh fruit and nuts instead of fruit snacks and chips.
The possibilities are limitless and each shift brings you closer to a more nourished and better functioning body.
For context, one small container of flavored yogurt contains about 7 grams (almost 2 teaspoons) added sugar!
Note: natural sugars found in unsweetened dairy products, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are not harmful to our health. As mentioned above, many of these plant-based foods that also happen to be natural sources of sugars provide unique health benefits.
Regardless of which diet you follow, use this list to help you figure out which types of foods deserve more room in your cart. Don’t get so hung up on food rules that you neglect the basics.
Shopping for healthier foods does not need to be complicated or time consuming if you keep these simple principles in mind.
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients we know of.
It plays a key role in many different bodily processes, including: immune support, bone health, and muscle function (among many others).
Read on below to learn more about how vitamin D impacts your health, and how to ensure that you get enough through the winter months.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, since our bodies make it when our skin comes into contact with sunlight. It plays a key role in bone and muscle health, and also supports our hormones, immune system and moods (1, 2, 3, 4).
Vitamin D is nutrient that many people are lacking in; especially in climates without a lot of sunlight. It’s suggested to get your Vitamin D level tested on a yearly basis, and opt for levels between 40-60 ng/mL for both adults and children.
Anything under 30 ng/mL is considered a deficiency (5).
Vitamin D can be obtained in several different ways including sunlight, foods, or supplements. We'll detail below how each of these methods can help to boost your vitamin D levels.
Exposure to sunlight provides the best quality Vitamin D, and you don’t have to be outside for very long to reap great benefits (6).
Just 10-15 minutes of sunlight can provide 10,000-25,000 IU of Vitamin D alone.
Of course there are many factors that can affect how well your body will absorb Vitamin D from the sun.
Another option would be to get a light therapy lamp to use during the winter months. This is a great option if you live in a location where sun exposure is limited (8).
Keep in mind that too much sun exposure can be dangerous, and it’s important to limit being outdoors for long periods of time without sunscreen. Too much unprotected skin exposure may lead to dehydration, pain, early aging, and skin cancer.
There are very few foods that contain natural sources of Vitamin D. That’s why Vitamin D is often fortified into foods such as milk or orange juice.
Even though fortified foods can be helpful, aim to consume the majority of your Vitamin D from foods that naturally contain it.
Another way to increase your Vitamin D intake is to take a high-quality Vitamin D supplement.
A supplement can be especially helpful for individuals who are not exposed to much sunlight during the winter months (such as in the Midwest), and for those who want to increase their Vitamin D levels more quickly.
Not all supplements are created equal, and there are many things to consider when choosing a Vitamin D supplement.
If you're interested in a high quality vitamin D supplement, Utzy offers a couple of different options.
Our product line includes:
Vitamin D plays a critical role in our health, so it is important to get your levels tested on a regular basis.
If you find that your levels are low, incorporate Vitamin D-rich foods, get some sunlight or use light therapy, or a take a Vitamin D supplement to help improve your levels.
When you feel the first signs of an immune system attack, what’s your first thought? If you’re like me, you probably think, “Oh no, I don’t have time for this right now!”
We live busy lives, and it can be difficult to make our health a priority.
When you take care of yourself first, you can continue to take care of your family and work on your biggest goals, without being derailed by immune challenges.
Today I’ll show you 10 ways to naturally boost your immune system.
By incorporating these simple lifestyle changes, you’ll take your health to the next level this winter.
Read on below...
Wash your hands frequently, and for at least 20 seconds each time.
Did you know a virus can spread to about 50% of surfaces in an office building (door knobs, phones, etc.) in just 4 hours (*)?
One sneeze can emit 40,000 droplets at 200mph, and those germs can live for days on steel or plastic.
The most common way germs are transferred is through your hands. Usually when you get sick it’s because you’ve touched something with cold or flu germs on it and then put your hands in your mouth.
One way to ensure you’re killing bacteria when you wash your hands is to sing the Happy Birthday song in your head (which takes about 20 seconds).
Here’s a photo of how clean our hands get at different intervals throughout the hand-washing process.
Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
White blood cells are your body's main protective agents against attacks on your immune system. Sleepless nights diminish the number of white blood cells released when you are exposed to a virus (**).
Your body repairs itself as you sleep each night, and without adequate sleep you are more susceptible to immune system attacks.
If you’re having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, you may consider taking a sleep supplement to help your body relax into restorative sleep.
Aim to exercise for 20 minutes each day.
When you exercise, your body rids itself of toxins and germs through your sweat and urine. You also boost your mood and your immune system as you increase blood flow in your cardiovascular system.
You’ll receive these benefits from as little as 20 minutes of exercise.
You can can run on the treadmill, walk around your neighborhood, or put on a YouTube video with your favorite type of exercise.
What should you do if you’re feeling like your coming down with something?
It may be beneficial to exercise at a low-to-moderate level that makes you feel energized when you finish. The goal isn't to exhaust your body, the goal is to get your body moving and active.
If you’re really not feeling well, skip the workout and let your body recover.
At the first sign of immune compromise, take natural herbs to support your immune system.
Here at Utzy, we’ve developed U-Mune which is packed with powerful herbs to naturally support your immune system.
The three primary active ingredients in U-Mune are elderberry, echinacea and oregano.
Getting these powerful, immune-boosting herbs in your system is as easy as taking U-Mune daily.
Even though the holidays can be a hectic time, do your best to keep your stress levels low.
Releasing cortisol is your body’s natural response to help you get through a stressful situation. While periodic, short-term stress isn’t something to be concerned about, you’ll want to make sure you’re not continually stressed.
When our bodies are chronically stressed, we produce more cortisol, which works to lower inflammation. According to Dr. Leonard Calabrese, "your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood... this opens the door for more inflammation" (*).
Stress also works to decrease your body’s lymphocytes — white blood cells that help fight off immune attacks..
Exercising and spending time in daily prayer can help to reduce the stress hormones released in your body.
The holiday season can be stressful, but if you make a point to retain your sense of calm, your body will stay healthier this season.
Go outside every day and get some sunshine on your skin, this helps to align your circadian rhythm and provides vitamin D.
Get 30 minutes to 1 hour of sunlight daily. Going outside in the morning, in particular, will help your circadian rhythm be aligned with your body’s natural sleep cycle.
Researchers recently found that sunlight increase the movement of T cells. These T cells are associated with white blood cells and allow them to react faster, further boosting your immune system (*).
Make it a point to go outside at least once per day to maximize your sun exposure. An easy way to do this is to walk your dog in the morning or eat lunch outside in the afternoon.
If you live in a cold climate where getting daily sunlight in the winter isn't an option, you should take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement is an inexpensive way to support your immune system and ensure adequate vitamin D levels.
At Utzy we offer a Vitamin D3 formula, if you live in a cold weather climate, you'll want to grab a bottle.
Eat poultry and drink bone broth weekly. There’s a good reason why your mom would serve chicken soup when you were sick as a child!
The high vitamin B-6 content in poultry forms red blood cells which fight against invading germs.
Bone broth contains gelatin and other nutrients which are beneficial to your gut lining, which is where most of our immune system is found.
The 19 different essential amino acids found in bone broth helps your body to fight against viruses and bacteria on a cellular level. The lipids released in bone marrow also help in producing white blood cells.
Put chicken or turkey on your weekly meal plan along with a broth-based soup. You can roast a chicken whole and freeze the bones. When you have enough bones, use your slow cooker or pressure cooker to make broth (here's a recipe), which you can add to soups or drink on its own.
Add 1 to 3 garlic cloves to your daily diet. Allicin is a compound found in garlic that activates white blood cells which fight some strains of the cold and flu (*).
Allicin is activated when garlic is sliced or crushed and can lose some of its disease-fighting properties when cooked. Keep this powerful ingredient preserved for longer by crushing it and leaving it alone for 10 minutes before cooking.
Add garlic to your stir fries, soups, chilis and and roasted vegetables. To receive the health benefits of allicin, consume at least one clove in each meal you prepare.
Add 2 to 3 cloves per day to your meals if you feel something coming on to reap the antimicrobial benefits of garlic.
Eat 1 to 2 servings of citrus and berries daily. These fruits are good sources of vitamin C, which activates our white blood cells’ function in fighting infections.
Vitamin C also makes antibodies, and its antioxidants protect our bodies from the harmful compounds that our white blood cells may produce as they fight infections.
Add berries to your smoothie or oatmeal for a nutrient-packed breakfast. Add the juice of a lemon or a lime to your water or tea daily, and you’ll be well on your way to meeting your daily vitamin C requirements.
Limit refined sugar to a few times per week.
When you consume sugar, whether it’s in a healthy fruit drink or a rich pastry, your white blood cell count goes down for several hours after eating.
The more sugar you eat, the more you crave it, and some researchers suggest that sugar is more addicting than cocaine (*).
Immune challenges always happen during the holidays when sugary treats are plentiful. If you’re already not feeling well, you may want to avoid sweets entirely. Be intentional about what you put in your body and know if it’s worth the lowered immune response.
Chances are, you’d probably rather eat your mom’s apple pie at Thanksgiving dinner than prepackaged cake at a work party.
Choose wisely and your immune system will thank you.
So many of these strategies work together to make our bodies healthier. When you go outside for a walk first thing in the morning, your body’s circadian rhythm is reset, and you clear out toxins while you prepare your body to get adequate sleep later on at night.
When you consume foods and herbs that help support your body on a cellular level, and you keep flu germs off your hands, your body will feel better overall.
Implement these immunity boosting tips and boost your health this winter!
I get it.
Bone health isn't the most exciting topic.
But it IS crucial for your overall health and wellness.
Without healthy bones you can't move around and live an active life.
And unfortunately, as we age, our body's naturally start to lose bone density.
You don't have to be a victim.
Thankfully there are many ways that you can naturally strengthen your bones.
You don't need some fancy exercise machine or a magical potion to build stronger bones.
Actually, building stronger bones is surprisingly simple.
So how are you supposed to build healthy bones?
Read on below...
Below are the top, researched-backed tips for building stronger bones.
It is quite easy to stay indoors and be inactive on a daily basis.
This inactivity not only effects our muscles (due to limited exercise), it also impacts our bone health.
When you're outside your skin is exposed to sunlight. This start a natural process whereby your body starts making Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important for bone health because it helps your body to properly absorb calcium, a key nutrient in bone health.
So start getting more sunshine in your life.
Go for a walk in the morning (or on your lunch break). Jog outside instead of inside on the treadmill. Take your dog for a walk. Etc...
Now, if you live in a cold climate where it's difficult to get sunshine, or if you are afraid of getting too much sun (and potentially risking skin cancer), taking a Vitamin D supplement is a great option.
We'll go over this later on in the article.
Calcium is important for bone health.
We all know this.
But do you know why calcium is so good for you bones?
Calcium is the mineral that is laid down when your body builds new bone tissue.
And since old bone cells are constantly being broken down and replaced by new bone cells, eating enough calcium gives your body the "raw materials" that it needs to build up and repair your bones.
The amount of calcium that you need differs depending on your age.
In general, the older you are, the more calcium you need.
Here's a link to a helpful article that goes over how much calcium your body needs throughout different stages of life.
While you can supplement with calcium, you should aim to get the majority of your calcium needs via your diet.
The best source of dietary calcium is found in milk (you can also check out our article on the 10 best foods for bone health here)
Now, if you still can’t get enough calcium from drinking milk (or if you have an allergy), you can supplement with calcium.
Our Essentially-U multivitamin contains calcium as well as other vitamins and minerals that are important for bone health.
While calcium is important, there are other nutrients that are important.
You may be surprised to see protein on this list, but there's a good reason for it.
Protein is a key for good bone health.
We usually think of protein as being important for muscles, not bones. However, 50% of bone tissue is actually made of protein (1).
According to studies, protein intake has an impact on calcium absorption and can affect both bone formation and bone breakdown (2).
In order to maximize bone formation, make sure to get enough protein.
For protein-rich meals, you want to rely on foods such as chicken and eggs. Beans and nuts are also great protein options.
So how much protein is necessary for the body to have strong bones?
It depends on different factors; from your size to the activities that you do.
As a rule of thumb, a person with a larger frame requires higher amounts of protein per meal and vice versa.
We said earlier that there is no "magic potion" for building stronger bones.
While that is true, there are very important nutrients involved in building bone density.
In addition to calcium, the two most important nutrients for bone health are Vitamins K2 and D3.
Getting enough of these nutrients is vital for maintaining your bone health.
However, the majority of American are deficient in these two vitamins.
This is problematic.
Vitamin K2 is involved with guiding calcium from your bloodstream into your bones. This helps to support joint elasticity and overall bone health.
Vitamin D helps you to absorb calcium into the bones.
As you can see, these two nutrients are key for your bone health.
However, it can be difficult to get enough of these vitamins through diet alone.
This is where supplementation is a good idea.
We recently launched a Vitamin K2 + D3 supplement. Our formula contains highly absorbable vitamin forms, and will help to support your overall bone health.
If you think that you might not be getting enough K2 (or D3), definitely check out our K2 + D3 formula.
If you are interested in learning more aobut the role that K2 and D3 play, check out our in-depth article on the benefits of Vitamin K2 + D3
Want to learn more about supplementation?
Check out our blog post on the Best Bone Supplements. Complementing vitamin D3 and K2 with other supplements like Magnesium can be beneficial, as these nutrients all work together to build stronger bones.
The body is known for its ability to adjust to the stress that it is experiencing.
If you don't exercise, which is a "good stress" for your body, then your body will become weak.
And one thing that you have to understand is that your bones can also become weaker or stronger depending on the activities that you do.
One of the best ways to stimulate the bone growth is via exercise.
You need to lift heavy if you want your bones to stay strong.
Now, "heavy" is relative.
What's considered as being heavy for a grandma is different from that of a young male powerlifter.
The key is to find something that challenges your body.
While lifting heavy weights is awesome for bone health, it's not always a great option for everyone. Especially those with an injury history.
In that case, doing cardio, such as running, is a great option.
While running outdoors is best (get that sunshine!), you can also run on a treadmill. Getting a good treadmill is a great way to stay active daily, even during the winter months.
It should come as no surprise that having a healthy diet and exercising are keys for building stronger bones.
It seems that "diet and exercise" are the answers to most of our ailments.
However, simply knowing this doesn't do anything if you don't make changes.
Knowledge is power WHEN it's put into action.
So make sure you endeavor to live a healthy lifestyle. This is the key to naturally building stronger bones
I'm James Hood from FitnessAbout.com. I'm a vegan bodybuilder and a passionate blogger from Detroit. I believe in holistic development and likes to cut the BS promoted my media about health.
At Utzy we are proud to announce that two of our sleep aid formulas have won awards for being the best natural sleep aids in their categories.
Stay Asleep won the category as the "Editor's Choice" for best overall natural sleep aid. Our top selling sleep formula was recognized for having ingredients that are "tested for quality, purity, strength, and composition".
Micro-Melatonin won the category for being the "Best Low Dose Melatonin". Micro-Melatonin was recognized for it's small dosage of 250mcg that allows for "more precise dosing". It was also noted that Micro-Melatonin's innovative cherry flavoring helps to "promote your body's natural melatonin production".
We are honored to have receive these awards; we will continue to strive to create the cleanest, most effective natural supplements on the market.
-The Utzy Team