Inflammation

Gut Health – Reset Your System!

Our gut health impacts nearly every other part of our bodies. When it’s functionality is disrupted due to poor diet, illness, bacteria, stress, etc. it can really take a toll on our system and quality of life. Here are a few tips to get your gut health back on track!

Remove Toxins From Your Diet

There are many things we consume that take a serious toll on our gut health. Limiting or completely eliminating the following can make a huge difference when you are struggling with intestinal issues.

  • Alcohol
  • Grains
  • Processed Foods
  • Refined Sugars

It’s also a good idea stay clear of conventionally raised meats. Due to what the animals are fed, their meat tends to be higher in omega-6 oils which raises risk of inflammatory disease. Opt for pastured or grass fed meat.

Include Fermented Foods and Bone Broth

Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt and kefir are probiotic rich foods which repopulate the intestines with helpful bacteria necessary for optimal gut health. Bone broth has also been found to have fantastic healing properties for our bodies. Just be aware that store bought, boxed or canned “stock” and “broth” are typically created with lab produced flavorings. So if you want real benefits, make your own stock at home!

De-Stress

We know it’s hard sometimes with busy lifestyles and the worries of the world but taking time to relax is crucial for good gut health. The brain and the gut have a symbiotic relationship and their health impacts one another. Soothing the worries of the mind can have a positive effect on gut health and in turn, taking care of your digestive system has a profound impact on your mindset and mood. Meditation, exercise, yoga, reconnecting with nature and spending quality time with loved ones are some of the ways to reduce the stress in your life.

Avoid Antibiotics Unless Absolutely Necessary

The opposite of probiotics, antibiotics are meant to kill off bacteria. However they don’t discern between good bacteria and bad, killing off all gut flora. If it is absolutely necessary for you to take an antibiotic, then you definitely want to utilize these tips to reset your system!

Reach for the re:iimmune

Developed to provide adequate hydration and promote healthy intestinal bacteria, re:iimmune contains a multi-strain probiotic blend along with a prebiotic which acts as a food source for the probiotics. This aids in restoring beneficial gut flora and offers protection to your digestive system. The amino acid L-Glutamine aids in hydration by assisting cells to absorb water quicker and helps to rebuild healthy tissue in your intestinal wall. All of which helps to get your gut health in optimum working order, thereby impacting your overall well being and vitality!

#TBT – Rosemary – 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 it’s the refreshing memory enhancer, Rosemary!

Native to the Mediterranean and Asia, rosemary or rosmarinus officinalis derives from the latin words for “dew” (ros) and “sea” (marinus) meaning “dew of the sea.”  Throughout time, this woody fragrant herb with evergreen like “needles” for leaves has been valued for its invigorating scent, for culinary enhancement and medicinal qualities. During the Middle Ages it was thought to be a love charm. Often, brides would wear a headpiece made of the herb. It has long been associated with improving memory and used as a symbol for remembrance for the dearly departed. Interestingly enough, modern studies are showing that the herb does positively enhance memory, speed and accuracy and helps keep one alert.

Rosemary has traditionally been used to improve circulation and is often used in massage to help decrease muscle cramps and soreness. Suffer from cold hands and feet? Mix a bit of rosemary oil into a carrier oil and use it to massage these areas regularly. It aids in circulation, so using it for massage is a wonderful. Even just inhaling the scent is ideal for helping to relieve migraines and headaches. If battling a cold, you might want to make yourself a rosemary tea. The eucalyptol within rosemary aids in loosening chest congestion and since it’s rich in anti-inflammatory tannins it also helps to soothe a sore throat.

If dandruff is an issue for you, try mixing a few drops of rosemary oil into your shampoo. However don’t apply the oil directly to your scalp as that could cause additional flaking. For centuries it’s been used, especially in the Mediterranean region, to stimulate hair growth.

In the garden, rosemary is a solid butterfly attractor and it helps ward off mosquitos! It likes very well drained soil and enough room to grow and can reach 4 feet high and spread out over 4 feet. Pruning it will help to keep it from getting lanky and it’s often used in topiary gardens as it holds beautiful shapes. It can also be grown in smaller containers both indoors and outdoors.

Last but not least, rosemary is a beautiful herb to cook with, perfectly pairing with meat, potatoes and other root vegetables, as well as enhancing many desserts. Along with the smell of pine trees, cinnamon and peppermint, rosemary is one of those scents closely associated with the holidays and all the comfort foods of the winter season.

Orange Upside Down Cake with Rosemary

DIY Mini Rosemary Wreath Garland

Lavender Rosemary Wax Melts

#TBT – Lavender – 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 sweet benefits of lavender!

One of the most popular herbs/flowers on the planet, lavender is believed to originate from the Meditteranean and parts of the Middle East and India. The name lavender has its roots in in the Roman word “lavare” which means “to wash” as it was used frequently to scent baths, hair and beds. The herb, which is a member of the mint family and contains high amounts of camphor, is known for deterring mice, fleas, mosquitos and other pests. Through the years, it gained quite  a reputation with ancient herbalists for its disinfecting and sanitizing abilities and it’s many healing qualities.

Here are some fun facts and uses for lavender . . .

  • In the language of flowers, lavender is associated with devotion, luck and success
  • High quality honey is often made from the nectar of the flowers
  • Most plants produce blue or purple flowers but there are some pink and yellow varieties
  • The herb is often used to promote sleepiness and calm relaxation
  • Lavender buds are covered in fine hairs which is where the oil comes from, extracted in a process called distillation
  • The plants do not produce seeds and are propagated by cutting or root divisions.
  • It is drought tolerant and can thrive even in very high temperatures
  • Lavender plants will attract bees and butterflies to your yard
  • A few whiffs of the oil are said to help with dizziness
  • According to some studies, in high doses it can destroy many common bacteria such as pneumococcus, streptococcus, diphtheria and typhoid
  • Highly beneficial in relieving muscle tension, aches, soreness and headaches
  • Used often in cooking meats and sweets, it’s part of the popular blend Herbes du Provence

 

DIY Lavender Sleep Balm

DIY Hand Sanitizer and Antiseptic Spray

Lavender Lemon Bars

Eczema – Natural Remedies and Link to Gut Health

Eczema is a chronic and irritating problem for many people. It’s a type of inflammation of the skin called dermatitis that causes redness, scaling, swelling, itching and bleeding. An estimated 35 million Americans suffer from one form or another of the condition. Seventy percent of cases develop in children prior to age five and over half of infants who have eczema will continue to have symptoms into adulthood. There are three forms; atopic, contact and seborrhoic dermatitis. The latter, seborrhoic dermatitis is also known as cradle crap or dandruff, causing dry or oily scaling of the scalp. Contact dermatitis is the result of contact with different types of allergens and irritants found in creams, foods, plants and some metals. Atopic dermatitis is the result of allergies like hay fever and typically makes itself known at an early age on the face, scalp, neck, inside elbows and behind the knees.

There are several triggers of eczema, including what’s happening in the digestive system. Infants who are bottle fed are more likely to develop eczema as they are not getting enough essential fatty acids that they would receive from breast milk. Other people have trouble converting linoleic acid to anti-inflammatory hormone-like substances called prostaglandins. Much research is now being done on the connection between gut health, emotions and skin. Emotional stress results in a depletion of digestive enzymes and digestive and skin issues emerge. Or in cases of “leaky gut syndrome” the intestines become porous allowing bits of undigested food to enter the bloodstream which can cause allergic reactions. Candida, a form of yeast is also linked to skin irritations such as eczema.

So what to do if you are suffering from a form of eczema? We’ve got some suggestions for you including things to avoid and foods to eat. . .

Re:iimmune

Hydration is extremely important when it comes to maintaining a healthy intestinal tract. The L-Glutamine in our intestinal support formula works to rebuild the delicate tissue of the intestinal lining, while ginger aids in decreasing inflammation and zinc which benefits the skin’s ability to heal. re:iimmune also combines a variety of probiotic strains as well as one essential prebiotic which acts as food for the probiotics to thrive. These probiotics allow the body to produce the beneficial bacteria your digestive system needs to function properly.

Get the right nutrients in your diet

A diet rich in essential fatty acids, zinc, Vitamins A and B6, and beta-carotene is key. Some good choices are bananas, bone broths, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green onions, buckwheat, rice milk and mung beans. 

Skin Soothers and Relievers

  • Calendula is considered one of the best topical treatments for eczema
  • Aloe Vera Gel – cooling and soothing
  • St. John’s Wort gel
  • Vitamin E and goldenseal are effective in relieving itching
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Honey
  • Coconut Oil
  • Oatmeal
  • Witch Hazel

The Importance of Getting More Good Fats Into Your Diet

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Good fats? Is that an oxymoron? Nope! There are excellent reasons to include fat, at least the right kinds of fat, into your diet. As a culture, we’ve been bombarded over the past few decades with every kind of low-fat, decreased fat, no fat food option the manufacturers of mostly processed foods could come up with. However, at the same time “low-fat” has been all the craze, obesity rates have skyrocketed. A healthy diet should include daily intake of good fats and avoidance of bad fats.

Of the bad fats, the baddest of the bad is trans fat. Trans fats are healthy oils that have been turned into solids to prevent them from becoming rancid through a process called hydrogenation. On a food label, you’d typically see it listed as “partially hydrogenated oil” and it is wise to steer clear. These types of fats increase levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream leading to heart disease, are a major cause of inflammation and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Saturated fats fall on the in-between scale of “avoid at all cost” bad fat and “get more of this into your diet” good fats. This type of fat is found in red meat, whole milk, cheese and coconut oil. These types of fats can drive up total cholesterol and should be eaten in moderation.

As for good fats, there’s monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, peanut oil, avocados, olives and most nuts. During the 1960’s a study called the Seven Countries Study showed that the people of the Mediterranean region had lower rates of heart disease despite the fact that their diets were rich in fat. However, they weren’t using saturated animal fats to cook with as was common in countries with high rates of heart disease.

Polyunsaturated fats are called “essential fats” because they are required for normal body function such as building cell membranes, blood clotting muscle movement and fighting off inflammation. However they aren’t produced within the body and so it is essential that we get them from food. Doing so, lowers triglycerides and even reduces levels of LDL cholesterol. Good sources include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, sesame seeds and walnuts.

Adding more good fats into your diet also helps you feel fuller longer, balance your mood, fight fatigue, sharpen your memory and decrease joint pain and stiffness!

Investigated: Inflammation and the Benefits of Ginger and Zinc

 

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Inflammation in and of itself is actually a natural and protective response by the body. White blood cells and the substances they produce help to fight against infection from bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately, there are instances when this natural defense system goes out of whack or in cases such as arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, inflammation is occurring even though there’s no bacterial or viral infection to fight against. Chronic inflammation is painful and it is extremely damaging to our bodies. Numerous studies are revealing that it is linked to diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.

re:iimmune was created with an understanding that dehydration exacerbates inflammation in the body. Our solution provides Clinical Strength Hydration® with a rich package of health-supporting ingredients including probiotics, prebiotic, electrolytes, L-Glutatmine, zinc and ginger. After testing re:iimmune’s capabilities, a recent study published by the Journal of Nutrition and Health shared that testing indicated that “five inflammatory markers were significantly altered as a result of incubation with the re:iimmune product.”

Ginger and zinc were added to our formula for a variety of reasons. Ginger is effective against nausea and zinc is known to help promote immunity. In addition, both ginger and zinc have anti-inflammatory qualities!

Ginger contains phtytonutrients called gingerols known for their potency in reducing inflammation, muscular pain and swelling. The Arthritis Foundation notes in their article “Health Benefits of Ginger for Arthritis” that a University of Miami study proposes that “ginger extract could one day be a substitute to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The study compared the effects of a highly concentrated ginger extract to placebo in 247 patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The ginger reduced pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40 percent over the placebo.”

A large percentage of the population is deficient in zinc, including an estimated 40% of older adults, which compromises our ability to fight off common infections. Research out of Ohio State University found that zinc “gently taps the breaks” on an over-response of the immune system and that  “a protein lures zinc into key cells that are first-responders against infection. The zinc then interacts with a process that is vital to the fight against infection and by doing so helps balance the immune response.” This process prevents excess and damaging inflammation in the body.