What is immunity and how to keep it strong

wellness shots

It seems that now more than we need to know about our immunity, what it is and how to keep it strong.

What does your immune system do?

Your immune system protects your body from outside invaders like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins.  It also helps to keep you healthy and reduces your chances of getting sick.

Where is your immune system located?

Your immune system is made up of different organs, cells, and proteins that work together to protect your body. Your skin is the first line of defence against germs entering your body.  Other parts of the immune system include your lymphoid organs.  To make a complicated science lesson easy to understand, here’s what you need to know:

Organs like bone marrow and your thymus create special immune system cells called Lymphocytes.

These immune system cells are what “fight” the germs in organs like the lymph nodes, the spleen, tonsils, and mucous membranes (your gut!).

How to support your immune system to make it strong?

Now you know your immune system is compromised of different factors that all contribute to one another.  Supporting your immune system is still being studied to prove direct links between lifestyle and immune function.

There are multiple factors that can play a role in proper function of immune system life diet, exercise, age, and stress.

  • Choosing a healthy lifestyle is your first line of defence.
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise daily
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Personal hygiene (washing hands frequently)
  • Minimize stress and develop coping mechanisms

What foods to eat to support a strong immune system?

  • include foods in your diet that are high in Vitamin C.
    • Spinach
    • Kale
    • Bell Peppers
    • Citrus Fruit
    • Strawberries
    • Papaya
  • Vitamin E: a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection.
    • almonds
    • sunflower seeds
    • Peanut Butter
  • Vitamin A helps to fight infection
    • carrot
    • sweet potato
    • butternut squash
    • kale
    • spinach
    • other dark leafy greens
  • Vitamin D – aka The Sunshine Vitamin.  One of the most powerful nutrients for supporting the immune system.
    • Get out in the sun for at least 15-20 minutes per day.  Most North Americans need a Vitamin D3 supplement to ensure they are receiving adequate amounts of Vitamin D.
    • salmon
    • mackerel
    • Sardines
  • Iron: helps your body carry oxygen to the cells in your body.  plays a very important role in immune system processes.
    • red meat
    • beans
    • broccoli
    • kale
    • chicken
    • turkey
    • mussels
    • lentils 
  • Other foods to include in your diet: Ginger, turmeric, garlic, fish oils and probiotics.

We hope this helps with some information on immunity. Stay safe, and stay healthy!

 

 

Benefits of Collagen

Did you know that collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies? The human body produces collagen, but that production starts to decrease in our 20s.

Collagen plays a major role in our skin health. It is responsible for our structural tissues as well as the strength and stability.  Collagen also plays an important role in strengthening your bones.  Food sources of collagen can come from bone broth.

Anyone can benefit from a collagen supplement. You can include these into your daily diet by adding a scoop into your water, tea, coffee or smoothie!  Most are tasteless and you won’t be able to tell its even there!

Benefits of Collagen

  1.  Improves skin health
  2. Helps with joint pain – because collagen helps maintain the integrity of your cartilage, adding this to your diet can help reduce any joint pain.
  3. Helps to prevent bone loss
  4. Helps to boost muscle mass
  5. Promotes heart health
  6. Great for hair and nails
  7. Helps improve gut health

Ramadan: Tips for Healthy Eating During Ramadan

Ramadan Mubarak to all who celebrate!⭐️ ????

Ramadan is a blessed month where millions of people around the world fast for an entire month from sunrise until sunset. A time to reflect, cleanse your soul, and give back to the community and those in need.

We wish all who celebrate a very happy and blessed month!

We’ve got some very helpful tips for those observing the month of Ramadan.

Morning Meal:

During Ramadan, you can wake up right before sunrise and have a morning meal (suhoor) to ensure you have enough energy to get you through your day.  This is actually highly recommended and shouldn’t be missed.  The food choices you make for this meal are super important and will impact your energy levels through-out your day.  Here’s what we recommend:

  • Stay away from simple carbohydrates.  These carbs are broken down quickly for energy, but do not provide long lasting energy and feeling of satiety.  Simple carbs include sugar, processed sugary cereals, some granola bars (read the ingredients), and crackers.
  • Instead try to include healthy fats, proteins, and some fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Overnight oats make an excellent suhoor as this helps to keep you full for a very long period of time.  Check out our Berry Oatmeal or Cashew Dream breakfast jars.  These both make excellent suhoor choices!
  • Dates make a fantastic choice as well.  They are nutrient dense and can help provide your body with energy to get you through.  They are also very high in fibre which is very important during Ramadan especially to ensure your bowel movements don’t slow down (sorry for TMI!)  One thing we recommend is to include almonds, walnuts or another form of nut with your dates.  The healthy fats in the nuts help to reduce the rate at which the natural sugars get broken down into your body.  They also help keep you fuller for longer.

Healthy Eating During Ramadan:

  • Ensure you are hydrated! This means drinking water right after you break your fast and during your morning meal.  Give yourself enough to wake up before sunrise to ensure you can drink some water.  It’s hard to drink enough water when you can’t drink through out that day, which is why it is super important to watch out for what you are drinking when you are able to eat/drink.  Choosing foods with high water content also helps.  Some of the juices we recommend that are excellent hydrators and very nutrient dense are Glow, Mean Greens, Evergreens, Beet it Orange, Royal Flush, and Pineapple Chia.
  • Try to control your portions and what you are eating.  Traditionally this is a time for families and loved ones to gather and celebrate.  Usually this also means including very heavy meals that one may over indulge in.
  • It’s best to break your fast with water and dates as you will be less likely to overeat.
  • Vegetables/Salad/Soup: Half of your meal.  We’ve got some delicious home made soups options that you can include for your daily Iftar.  Traditional Lentil Soup, Moroccan Chickpea Soup, and a hearty Butternut Squash.
  • Carbohydrates: Quarter of your meal.
  • Protein: Quarter of your meal

Controlling Sugar Cravings:

  • Understanding that sugar is an addiction is the first step. We aren’t saying to never enjoy your favourite sweets, but we are definitely recommending to limit it.  Knowing that sugar has a vicious cycle of leaving you wanting more and more is the first step in being able to conquer your cravings.  We recommend: DATES! They are naturally sweet and like we mentioned very nutritious.  You will likely eat less of whatever sweet you are craving if you reach for dates instead.

Take the time to plan your morning and evening meals so you can be prepared and not have to resort to unhealthy options.  Remember it’s about keeping a balance and still being able to enjoy the foods you love.  Find creative ways of making unhealthy meals, healthier by substituting fried to baked.

We hope this was helpful and wish you and yours a happy and blessed Ramadan!

Benefits of Blue Spirulina

What is Blue Spirulina?

This superfood is an extract of blue freshwater algae. The blue pigment comes from photosynthetic compounds in the algae. With no taste and no food colouring this makes a perfect addition to your smoothies or smoothie bowls!

The benefits of Blue Magic Spirulina:

  • Powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Increase your energy and endurance
  • has some immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory powers, and give you antioxidant support.
  • Some of the compounds in spirulina could also promote heart health by helping lower cholesterol and triglycerides
  • May help reduce blood pressure

Hawaiian Blü – New Smoothie Bowl!

Introducing our new Hawaiian Blü! Mango, banana, almond milk, and BLUE Spirulina.  It is absolutely DELICIOUS!

 

 

Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water

benefits of lemon juice

When life gives you lemons… you juice them and make delicious LEMON juice!  We know, it might be very difficult to just chug pure lemon juice, but thats not what we intend it for.  Read on for how we use pure lemon juice and the benefits of lemon water.

We use lemons in a LOT of our juices.  Lemon juice acts as a natural preservative to help ensure the juices stay fresh.  It also helps reduce the rate of oxidation keeping the juice yummy and delicious.  It also adds a yummy touch to certain juices!

We love lemon juice and enjoy the benefits so much that we thought we should create a pure lemon juice.

How to use pure lemon juice:

  • In your lemon water first thing in the morning
  • Add to your salad dressings with lemon, salt, olive oil
  • Add a splash to a cup, add some ginger root juice, add some honey, and pour some hot water into the cup to enjoy a delicious cup of ginger lemon honey tea.

Benefits of Lemons and drinking Lemon Water:

  • An excellent source of vitamin C and iron.
  • Can help to alkalize your body and neutralize free radicals
  • Supports a strong immune system.
  • Aids with you weight loss/weight management journey
  • Relieves sore throat: Warm water mixed with honey and lemon is a popular home remedy for people with sore throats.
  • Helps you stay hydrated
  • Aides in digestion: Promotes the production of digestive enzymes in the liver which helps in getting rid of waste from your body.

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Let’s talk about the benefits of pumpkin seeds!

Aside from these little seeds being delicious they are packed with highly nutritious vitamins and minerals which means that they have so many benefits.

Here’s what you get with only 28 g of pumpkin seeds:

  • 1.7 grams of Fiber
  • 5 grams of Carbs
  • 7 grams of Protein
  • 13 grams of Omega-6 fatty acids
  • 18% of RDI for Vitamin K
  • 33% of the RDI for Phosphorus
  • 42% of the RDI Manganese
  • 37% of the RDI for Magnesium
  • 23% of the RDI for Iron
  • 14% of the RDI for Zinc
  • 19% of the RDI for Copper

Evidence based benefits of Pumpkin seeds:

  1.  Very high in antioxidants.  Helps to protect against disease and the damages of free radicals.
  2. May help to improve Prostate and Bladder health.  They can help to reduce the symptoms of benign prostate enlargement and an overactive bladder.
  3. Very high in magnesium.  One of the best natural sources of magnesium.  This helps to control blood pressure, blood sugar levels, as well as heart and bone health.
  4. Provide support for a healthy heart by reducing blood pressure and increasing good cholesterol.
  5. High in Fibre.  Diets high in fibre are associated with reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
  6. May help to improve sperm quality and healthy due to the high amounts of Zinc.  Low zinc has been linked to low sperm count and infertility in men.
  7. Contains natural tryptophan which promotes restful sleep.

Pumpkin seeds are SUPER easy to add to your diet.  You can add to your smoothies, sprinkle on your salads or toasts, or just enjoy them raw!

However you choose to incorporate pumpkin seeds, make sure you include these in your diet to benefit from all the wonderful benefits they have to offer.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds