Monthly Archives - May 2017

#TBT – Plantain – History and Benefits

Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. This week we discuss plantain, a “weed” that has many benefits!

 

You’ve probably seen plantain (the plant variety, not the fruit related to the banana) growing in your backyard and dismissed it as a weed. However, this plant has been used for thousands of years by native peoples as a source of nutrition and healing. Plantago major or common plantain can grow almost anywhere, sprouting up even through cracks in asphalt and concrete and it can thrive in nearly any climate.

Related to spinach, plantain leaves provide iron, beta carotene, calcium, ascorbic acid and contains vitamins A, C and K. It can be added raw to salads but adult leaves tend to be stringy. It can be cooked just like spinach and the seedpods are edible as well, a bit like asparagus. Plantain is a little more bitter than spinach or asparagus and are great to use in stews or soups and stir-fries. They also have gentle astringent properties which help to dry up excess secretions in the respiratory and digestive tracts and can be helpful in treating chest colds and diarrhea.

Plantain is also commonly used as a natural poultice to draw out toxins and stingers from bug bites and stings and to alleviate other irritations. Crushed and added right to the problem area like a paste, it’s anti-inflammatory properties make it useful on wounds, burns and even removing splinters. Even if you don’t plan on harvesting the plant for use from your own backyard, it’s good to keep this information in your mind when camping or hiking in the woods!  Plantain can also help to cool and heal sunburns and because it contains a phytochemical called allantoin it generally promotes healthy skin by stimulating new cells and healthy tissue.

While you may be able to find plantain in your own backyard, if it’s been sprayed with chemicals and fertilizer you may want to find it from a different source. It is invasive so if you are thinking about planting some in your yard, be forewarned. Also keep in mind that while young shoots are more tender, the larger leaves contain more of the beneficial phytochemicals.

Whole Foods Spotlight – Asparagus

 

Springtime is the perfect time to enjoy thin, tender, flavorful stalks of asparagus! This vegetable has long been consumed and valued for its nutritional properties. An Egyptian frieze dating at around 3000 BC pictures asparagus as an offering and it’s name comes from a Persian word meaning stalk or shoot. During Roman times, Emperor Augustus coined the phrase “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action, as the vegetable is best when lightly and quickly steamed, broiled or sauteed. The thickness of the stem indicates the age of the plant and newer, slender stalks are the most tender. The stalks of older plants can be woody but can be peeled or easily snapped off.

While we typically think of asparagus as green, there are white and purple varieties of the vegetable as well. Purple asparagus grows naturally and has a fruitier flavor that makes the purple variety a great choice for eating raw. White asparagus has no chlorophyll to give it its green color as it’s grown underground or under plastic domes, completely shaded. Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally balanced vegetables. It’s low in calories and sodium, has no cholesterol and is a great source of fiber. It’s also loaded with minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium and zinc as well as vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B9 (folate), C, E and K.

The abundance of B vitamins, including folate, helps to maintain healthy levels of homocysteine, produced by the blood when amino acids break down. A deficiency of B vitamins will elevate these homocysteine levels leading to ailments such as damaged blood vessels, venous thrombosis which is the clotting of blood in the veins and other cardiac disorders. Folate is also linked to preventing neural health disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s also crucial for a developing fetus and women who are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant are strongly encouraged to increase their intake of folate.

Asparagus supports kidney health as well. A known diuretic, it helps to flush out excess salt and fluids from the body and helps to prevent toxins from building up in the kidneys and the formation of kidney stones. However, if you have uric acid kidney stones, your physician may tell you to avoid the vegetable to keep your urine from getting too acidic and worsening your condition. If you’ve ever noticed that eating a lot of asparagus causes urine to smell strong, this is because it’s the only food to contain a chemical called asparagusic acid. During digestion, this acid breaks down into compounds which contain sulfur which leads to the strong scent that everyone produces but only a small percentage of people can smell.

In addition, the high fiber content of asparagus and it’s prebiotic nature which acts as a food source for good gut bacteria makes it a fantastic choice for good digestive health. It also helps to support the immune system, provides protection for the thyroid gland and has anti-inflammatory benefits as well. All great reasons to pick up a bundle the next time you are at the farmer’s market or grocery store!

 

Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Grilled Sriracha Meatball Skewers with Coconut Rice and Asparagus

re:iimmune and Direct Relief Mobilize to Bring Medical Resources to Peru & Colombia

Direct Relief and re:iimmune Mobilize to Bring Medical Resources to Peru & Colombia 

– 35,000 doses of re:iimmune will be included in family hygiene kits to provide clinical strength hydration and intestinal immune support-

Springfield, MO, May 19, 2017— In the midst of historic flooding and mudslides that have impacted hundreds of thousands of people in Peru, Make People Better, LLC has joined forces with Direct Relief to provide essential medical supplies to those in need.

Over 35,000 doses of re:iimmune, a hydrobiotic recovery formula that provides clinical strength hydration and intestinal support, will be donated to Direct Relief to aid in recovery efforts. The doses are part of $32 million in medical inventories that the nonprofit organization has made available in Peru and Colombia.

“In disaster situations when IVs are scarce, many patients don’t get enough liquids to get better and stay better,” says Make People Better founder Dr. Kerri Miller. “I have seen the devastating impact on families and children firsthand. Even with proper nutrition, they often can’t absorb the nutrients from the food. I created re:iimmune to not only provide clinical strength hydration, but also intestinal support so people can get healthy, and stay healthy.”

Since 2014, Miller has donated over 160,000 doses of re:iimmune to sick patients worldwide in the U.S. and abroad. For every box purchased, Make People Better donates one dose to organizations such as Direct Relief who are working daily to improve the health of under-served populations. “We are grateful to our partnerships with Bartell Drug, Kinney Drug, and Walgreens stores, where direct sales make this type of giving program possible,” says Miller.

According to Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe, “Families are facing severe risks in the wake of these devastating storms. Water sources often become compromised after serious flooding, which can lead to a host of health issues. In addition to dehydration, cholera and other diseases related to poor sanitation pose additional threats to public health. The donation of re:iimmune will be incredibly helpful to promote healing from the inside out.”

About re:iimmune

re:iimmune is the first oral hydrobiotic recovery formula designed to provide clinical strength hydration and intestinal immune support, so patients’ bodies can absorb key nutrients from food and metabolize medications efficiently. re:iimmune delivers amino acid L-glutamine to help repair tissue, a prebiotic to feed the body’s “good” bacteria, zinc, ginger  and a blend of 14 probiotics to help boost immunity, plus ginger root to ease nausea.

About Make People Better

Founded by Dr. Kerri Miller in 2013, Make People Better, LLC is dedicated to addressing the missing components in wellness and bridging the gap in healthcare. The company’s core product, re:iimmune, is a hydrobiotic recovery formula that provides clinical strength hydration and intestinal immune support following illness and hospitalization. Do you know a community that needs help? Want to raise funds to donate more re:iimmune to those in need? Make People Better is looking to align with individuals and organizations who share our same vision of giving back. For more information, contact: https://reiimmune.com/contact/

About Direct Relief

Established in 1948 with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world – without regard to politics, religion, ethnic identities, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 80 countries and 50 U.S. states, Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, has received the CECP Directors’ Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, the President’s Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping, and been named among the world’s most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company. For more information, please visit https://www.directrelief.org/.

 

 

 

Whole Foods Spotlight: Sweet Peas

How many times did you hear, “Eat your peas!” when you were growing up? That piece of parental wisdom is definitely one to follow because sweet peas are tiny little powerhouses of nutrition. Today we share some reasons why you should put another spoonful of peas on your plate.

Packed with anti-oxidants including flavenoids, carotenoids, phenolic acid and polyphenols, peas provide protection to the immune system and protection against the effects of aging. Pisumsaponins and pisomosides, primarily found in peas, are two anti-inflammatory phytonutrients providing protection against heart disease. Also at work to keep the heart healthy? Generous levels of vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and folate which lower homocysteine levels linked to a risk factor for heart disease.

While peas are low in fat, they are jam packed with fiber and only have 100 calories per cup making them a great choice for weight management. They contain a phytonutrient called coumestrol which has been linked to stomach cancer prevention. The high fiber content helps stave off constipation and keep the bowels running smoothly.

For optimum bone health and osteoporosis prevention, getting enough Vitamin K and B is key. Once cup of peas contains over 40% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin K.

Peas are one of the best plants you can have in the garden to maintain healthy soil. The plant works with bacteria in the soil to replenish nitrogen levels. The plant easily breaks down into the soil after a crop has been harvested. They are also able to grow with minimal water, saving that valuable resource as well.

Soon after harvesting, much of their sugar content rapidly converts to starch so it’s best to consume them as soon as possible after they are picked. They can be kept in the refrigerator for two to three days, which helps to keep the sugars from turning to starch. If you are looking to freeze them for later use, blanch them for 1 to 2 minutes prior to putting them in the freezer where they can last from 6 months to a year.

Essential Vitamin List

We all want to feel and look our best, have lots of energy and keep our bodies healthy. Making sure we are getting the right amounts of essential vitamins is key to all of that! Today we’ve put together a list of the essential vitamins your body needs, what they do for your health and great sources to incorporate more into your diet!

A

What doesn’t Vitamin A do? This powerhouse is in charge of general growth and development. It’s crucial for eye health, teeth, skin and helps to boost the immune system and cuts the risk of heart disease.

You know you are getting a dose of A when you are eating foods with an orange hue, caused by the carotene pigment. Carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe are all packed with Vitamin A.

The recommended daily dosage is 2,300 IU. Be advised that it can be toxic in large doses so stick with the recommended amount.

B VITAMINS

The eight B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B12 and Folic acid. These are responsible for energy production, maintaining metabolism, muscle tone, iron absorption, immune function and memory.

These nutrients can be found in whole foods including potatoes, bananas, lentils, peppers, beans, whole grains, yeast and molasses. Recommended daily allowance is as follows. . .

  • B1: 2-10 mg/day
  • B2: 5-10mg/day
  • B3: 15-30mg/day
  • B5: 1-15mgs
  • B6: 6-12mg/day
  • B7 : 100-300 mcgs
  • B12: 12-100 mcg
  • Folic acid: 200-400 mcg/day

C

Known for boosting the immune system, Vitamin C is also hard at work giving skin elasticity, strengthening blood vessels, assisting in iron absorption, helping wounds heal faster and preventing heart disease.

Oranges, guava, bell peppers, kiwi, grapefruit, strawberries, Brussel sprouts and cantaloupe are all great sources for C. A single orange covers your recommended daily dosage, 75 mg.

D

Here’s one of the essential vitamins you may want to strongly consider supplementing. While milk, eggs, orange juice, fish and mushrooms provide Vitamin D, the amounts are not enough. The recommended daily dosage is 1,000 to 2,000 IU.

The best source of Vitamin D is spending time in the sun. However, with rising skin cancer rates we have to balance how much time we spend in the sun without sunscreen with our need for Vitamin D. It’s necessary for strong, healthy bones and optimum muscle function. It’s believed that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 50 percent!

E

Many cells of our body use vitamin E to carry out important functions. It gives a boost to the immune system, widen blood vessels, prevents clots and offers protection against free radicals.

Almonds are absolutely packed with Vitamin E and other nuts like peanuts and hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are also good sources. For adults, the recommended daily allowance is 15 mg or 22.4 IU.

K

Blood coagulation, the process by which blood clots is dependent upon K. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli and brussel sprouts are the best natural sources.

The recommended daily doses differ for men and women at 120 mcg for men and 90 mcg for women. Research is finding that vitamin K has been shown to help improve insulin resistance in older men.  

Investigated: Magnesium

 

The mineral magnesium is found all throughout the earth, sea and in plants, animals and humans. It’s the fourth most abundant mineral found in the human body and is actively involved in more than 600 functions of our systems. It helps to convert what we eat into energy, assists in the creation and repair of DNA and RNA, plays a part in muscle movement, works to create new proteins from amino acids and regulates neurotransmitters sending messages in the brain and nervous system.

During exercise, magnesium helps to transport blood sugar to the muscles. During a strenuous workout, lactic acid can build up in the muscles and cause cramping but increasing your intake of magnesium can help dispose of the lactic acid.

Recent studies indicate that nearly half of the citizens of the United States and Europe get less than the daily recommended amount. Lack of this essential mineral has been linked to migraines and muscle fatigue. It’s also been linked to insulin resistance, one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes. The muscles and liver cells cannot properly absorb sugar and magnesium plays such an important role in this process. Since high levels of insulin also results in loss of the nutrient through the urine, increasing intake is important.

Magnesium deficiency has also been studied as a contributing factor to depression and anxiety. One thought is that the tightening or cramping of muscles triggers the “fight or flight” response, releasing epinephrine and cortisol. It’s is also one of the few nutrients that can increase neuroplasicity, the ability to create and repair brain cells and make new neural connections.

Magnesium can be found in foods such as pumpkin seeds, fish like mackerel, salmon and halibut, black beans, avocados, dark chocolate, almonds, cashews, quinoa, swiss chard and spinach. Load more of these foods into your diet to reap the many benefits of magnesium.

#TBT – Dill – History and Benefits

Spices, herbs, tinctures and essential oils have been used for millennia to season our food, heal our bodies and boost our spirits. In our Throwback Thursday (#TBT) series, we at re:iimmune will take you back in history to learn how these gifts from Mother Nature have been used. We’ll focus on their use through the ages and beneficial purposes in regard to nutrition, natural health and household care. Today we focus on the wonders of dill!

These days, dill is known primarily as a pickling herb and though it is common in many gardens, it’s not widely used for medicinal properties. However, since ancient times and still today it’s been used by herbalists as a digestive aid to ease gas, infant colic, to induce sleep and treat kidney problems.

In the ancient Egyptian Ebers papyrus from around 1500 BCE, lists dill as an ingredient for a painkiller mixture. The Greeks are said to have used fronds of dill to cover their eyes to induce sleep and even it’s name is derived from a Norse word “dylla” which means “to lull” or soothe. Modern German studies have shown the herb to be an effective treatment against intestinal bacteria.

The seeds of the plant contain an oil which has antibacterial properties which help destroy the intestinal bacteria that lead to ulcers and other intestinal issues. The herb contains stimulating essential oils that activate digestive juices and is helpful in relieving constipation. It’s also very effective at combating halitosis and in India, the seeds are often chewed to treat bad breath.

It has also been commonly used throughout history by nursing mothers to increase milk production and deter colic in newborns. The essential oils of the herb can also help with the stimulation of hormones helping to keep menstrual cycles regular. The plant is also a good source of calcium, helping to reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women.

In addition to all of the above, dill is also a good source of fiber, manganese, magnesium and iron.

To store fresh dill, it’s a good idea to keep it wrapped in a damp towel or stems in a glass of water in the refrigerator. It is a fragile herb and therefore will only keep for a couple of days. You can also freeze it, whole or chopped in an airtight baggie or container. Dill seeds, if stored in a sealed container and kept in a cool, dry place, will stay fresh for about six months.

Cucumber Dill Greek Yogurt Salad

Creamy Cauliflower Dill Soup

Pickled Dill Green Beans

Preventing and Easing Constipation

Constipation, infrequent or difficult to pass bowel movements, can cause abdominal pain and bloating. It’s a pretty common complaint among those eating a low fiber diet. Foods such as eggs, red meat and cheese are low-fiber/high fat and slow down digestion. Balancing out your diet with plenty of high fiber foods help to rev up that sluggish digestive system and is one of the best ways of preventing and treating constipation.

There are other less well-known causes of constipation. Certain medications such as narcotic painkillers, antacids, blood pressure medications and allergy medicines containing antihistamines can be the culprit behind constipation. People suffering from hypothyroidism, where the thyroid gland is underactive, are dealing with a slowed metabolic process. This includes the digestive system.

Lack of exercise also plays a major role in constipation. Too much sitting can really slow down the system whereas activity and good muscle development helps to keep digestion running smoothly.

Back to those high fiber foods! The average American only consumes around 13 grams of fiber per day which doesn’t even come close to the recommended amount. Women ages 18 to 50 should be getting 25 grams per day and men in the same age bracket should have 38 grams. After age 50, the numbers go down slightly at 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men. The most fiber filled foods include fruits (pears, berries, apples and oranges), vegetables (carrots, potatoes, squash, broccoli and Brussels sprouts), beans, lentils, split peas, whole grain breads, brown rice, oatmeal, nuts and seeds.

Last but certainly not least is making sure you are fully hydrated. The digestive process slows down considerably when we aren’t taking in enough water and dehydration can lead to constipation. Using re:iimmune helps to optimize your digestive tract as it contains L-Glutamine which draws water over the intestinal wall and aids in absorption. We’ve also included probiotics, friendly bacteria, and a prebiotic food source to encourage healthy bacterial growth. Kick constipation to the curb with proper hydration, a high fiber diet and plenty of exercise!

Renew Your Energy – 5 Ways to Put the Spring Back in Your Step

The next time you reach that point in your day when you are feeling sluggish and need to renew your energy, step away from the sweets and the caffeine and try one or more of these five tips to put the spring back into your step!

Take a Nap

Obviously, this option isn’t always readily available to us in the middle of the day. However, if your schedule allows you to take a siesta, the ideal power nap time length to renew your energy level is 20 minutes. A nap in this time frame keeps you in the lightest stage on non-REM sleep and can improve alertness, performance and mood.

Have a Healthy Snack

Food is energy after all! The right kinds of foods can make all the difference. Foods like beans, lentils and spinach which are rich in iron are known to help energy levels. Foods that have a good mix of fats and protein, like nuts and yogurt, can also help with that mid-afternoon slump. Fresh fruit which contains natural sugars and fiber to keep blood sugar levels steady is another great choice.

Stretch It Out

Many of us spend too much time sitting during the workday and it’s important to get the blood circulating and stretch our muscles. Yoga15.com recommends these 8 yoga moves to help give you energy and help your back, hips and knees while your at it!

Scent Stimulation

The inhalation of certain essential oils has been used for thousands of years to enhance mood and boost energy levels. Lemon, ginger, rosemary, grapefruit, peppermint and eucalyptus are all known to help clear mental fatigue and lift the spirits.

Hydrate!

Dehydration is the main culprit for causing feelings of sluggishness! In fact, that tired feeling is often the first signal that our body gives us that we aren’t taking in enough water. Eight glasses a day or half of your body weight in ounces is the recommended daily intake. Add a packet of re:iimmune to that water for the added benefit of L-Glutamine, which assists the cells of the intestines in water absorption. We steered clear of sugar, sucralose and dextrose, opting for fructan derived from agave as the sweetener. This fiber helps to sweeten, boost energy and is a natural prebiotic to promote healthy bacteria in the gut.