Tag - digestive health

Potassium and It’s Many Functions in the Human Body

Wanna hear a joke about potassium?

 

K.

 

If this one doesn’t have you laughing, think back to chemistry class and the periodic table of elements. While the symbol for potassium is a “K”, it is not the same as vitamin K. Each are essential micronutrients but potassium is not a vitamin, it’s a mineral that is used for different functions in our bodies than vitamin K. Potassium is vital for good health and today we’ve got some great reasons you should make sure you’re getting enough in your diet and why we included the mineral in re:iimmune!

Image via periodictable.com

While it is classified as a mineral, it’s also an electrolyte. These conduct electrical impulses and are important for a range of essential functions of the body including regulating blood pressure, muscle contractions, digestion and heart rhythm. It’s not produced by the body so we must be sure to include potassium rich foods in our diet such as fruits like kiwi, bananas, apricots and pineapple and vegetables like leafy greens, potatoes and carrots. The mineral can also be found in lean meats, beans, nuts and whole grains.

 

There are negative effects associated with too much potassium (hyperkalemia) including upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, mental confusion and tingling sensations in the extremities. Some drugs can cause levels to rises such as ACE-inhibitors, blood thinning agents like heparin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A severe deficiency in potassium (hypokalemia) is often associated with use of antibiotics such as penicillin, magnesium deficiency, kidney disease and overusing diuretics.

 

Most potassium ions are stored in the muscle cells. Required for the regular contraction and relaxation of muscles, it also helps keep our reflexes sharp as it stimulates the neural connectivity between the muscles and the brain. If your levels are too low, it can cause muscle cramps, spasms and weakness. Studies also show that consuming foods that have high levels promote higher mineral density in bones as it assists the body in retaining and preserving calcium.
It also assists in metabolism, helping to process nutrients like fats and carbohydrates and the synthesis of proteins positively affecting tissue regeneration and cell growth. Lack of the mineral weakens the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract and can lead to abdominal pain, constipation and bloating. This is why the re:iimmune formula includes 11% of the daily value of potassium. Along with a prebiotic and probiotics for promoting healthy intestinal bacteria and L-Glutamine for repairing intestinal tissue, potassium helps to support intestinal health and optimal function!

Whole Foods Spotlight – Bananas

When talking about foods that are nutritional powerhouses, there are few better to wax poetic over than humble bananas. Not only does it come in its own packaging, making it ideal for busy folks on the run, inside that yellow peel is a treasure trove of nutrients and vitamins! Here are some of the top apPEELing (sorry, couldn’t resist) health benefits of eating  bananas. . .

 

  • Bananas are a significant source of potassium which plays a key role in cardiovascular health. Lack of potassium can also cause muscle cramping so if you are getting those charley horses in the middle of the night, it’s time to reach for a banana. You’ll be helping your bones as well since potassium plays a key role in retaining calcium in the body.

 

  • Tryptophan is also found in bananas. When consumed, tryptophan is converted into serotonin which elevates mood and relieves stress. It also helps to regulate sleep patterns, body temperature, memory and appetite.

 

  • For digestive health, bananas are a super hero of the fruit world. They are a natural antacid, giving relief from heartburn and acid reflux. Because they coat the lining of the stomach against acid, they are the only raw fruit recommended to people suffering from stomach ulcers. The pectin in bananas aids in digestion and removal of toxins and heavy metals from our system. They produce enzymes which assist in absorbing nutrients during digestion. They play the role of prebiotic, acting as a food source for friendly bacteria in the gut. A banana can also be a soother for two very opposite problems, soothing both constipation and diarrhea.

 

  • The high water content and levels of Vitamin A in bananas help to repair dry and damaged skin cells. By ingesting the fruit or using a banana face mask, you can help restore moisture to the skin and renew damaged cells. Many also swear by banana peels for treating acne and it’s also effective at neutralizing the itch from bug bites.

 

They are a perfect food all in their own cute yellow package but we’ve included a few tasty banana recipes below as well. Enjoy!

 

Brown Sugar Banana Overnight Oats

Banana Bread Scones

Dairy Free Banana Chocolate Ice Cream

#TBT – Anise Seed – 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 sweet anise seed! 

Anise is a delicate white flowering plant with feathery leaves closely related to star anise, fennel and licorice. Native to Egypt, Greece, Crete and Asia Minor, it was the Egyptians who first began cultivating the plant. The Romans often included the spice in baked goods served at the end of decadent meals as the seeds provide protection against indigestion and flatulence. It was given the nickname Solamen intestinorum or “the comforter of the bowels.”

In France, Spain, Italy and South America, the seeds are used primarily in the production of cordial liquers such as Anisette. In Germany of the 1800’s, the spice was so popular, they flavored their bread with whole aniseseed. It is a remarkably versatile herb, used in both sweet and savory dishes.

It’s uses for human and animal alike, abound!

  • The oil of anise has long been used to destroy lice and other biting insects and to treat skin irritations. The oil is also said to work well in combination with cheese on mousetraps!
  • Some beekeepers say that anise oil is the fastest way to attract bees if there are no flowers around and putting the oil on bee boxes will help attract and encourage their return.
  • In addition to providing relief from excess gas and indegestion, the essential oil has been used to eliminate intestinal worms. It also provides relief from aches, pains and menstrual cramps as it has antispasmodic properties.
  • Anise has also been traditionally used in the treatment of  clearing congestion in the lungs and respiratory tracts, bronchitis and asthma. Teas with anise are very soothing during cold and flu season!

German Spelt Bread

Cinnamon Anise Tea

Homemade Italian Sausage

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

10 Day re:iimmune Challenge

Happy New Year everyone! Are you up for a little challenge? We know you’ve been making all sorts of resolutions about being healthier in 2017 and we’d like to give you some reasons to take part in the 10 Day re:iimmune Challenge! We hope it serves as a  jump start for your entire wellness routine.

First of all, it’s the 10 Day re:iimmune Challenge because there are 10 packets of re:iimmune in each box and we are encouraging you to use it for 10 days in a row to get a real sense of it’s benefits. It’s a water-based solution for drinking which provides Clinical Strength Hydration® with a rich package of health-supporting ingredients. This unique combination has been specifically formulated to help you get better, better.

The formula combines the science of Clinical Strength Hydration® with the latest advances in nutritional therapy. It addresses some of the core reasons people struggle to recover from illness such as dehydration, malnutrition and poor physical and cognitive function. However, it’s not just for people who are or have been sick. The intestinal immune support and hydration support re:iimmune offers is beneficial to everyone! During the 10 Day re:iimmune Challenge, we’re confident you’ll start to see positive benefits

Re:iimmune is formulated with balancing electrolytes to help provide maximum rehydration, probiotics to help support the immune system. It also contains a prebiotic to help promote the growth of good gut bacteria, L-Glutamine to help repair tissue, ginger to assist in reducing nausea and zinc to promote immunity. This unique combination has been specifically formulated to help you get better, better. Whether you are starting from a relatively healthy place and just want the additional support or if you are struggling with recovery of illness we hope you’ll consider our 10 Day re:iimmune Challenge.

Drink your re:iimmune every day for 10 days. In forming a habit, it typically helps to pick a certain time of day for the task. So start off with it in the morning, make it part of your lunch routine or your after work snack; whatever time of day works best for you. Remember to mix the packet with 16 oz of water and it’s best cold, so add an ice cube or two if you like. Don’t chug but also don’t sip so slowly that you forget about finishing it. When your 10 Day re:iimmune Challenge is up, we’d love to hear from you about your experience! Email us at info@makepeoplebetter.com.

Find a store or buy online here: https://reiimmune.com/product/reiimmune/

Walgreens in Southwest MO

re:iimmune® Hydrobiotic - 3pack - 30 day supply

We have exciting news! Your road to recovery just got shorter as re:iimmune is now available at Walgreens here in southwest Missouri. You can find our Hydrobiotic Recovery Formula at Walgreens locations in Nixa, Ozark, Springfield, Branson, Hollister, Marshfield, Bolivar, Neosho, Republic, Carthage, and Branson West, Joplin, and Webb City.

This is especially good news as we are right in the thick of cold and flu season! Did you know that 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract?  Hydrobiotics addresses the core reasons people struggle to recover: poor hydration, poor immune system, and intestinal inflammation. re:iimmune gives water the super-power to help from the inside out. Cells need to be adequately hydrated to function, and immune boosting properties need to encompass protective intestinal barriers from unwanted bacteria. Dr. Kerri Miller created a Hydrobiotic recovery formula that has proven scientific results to improve the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, reduces inflammation and hydrates the body at a cellular level. You can read some great tips for staying well and boosting your immune system from Dr. Miller on livingbetter50.com.

At the same time you are helping yourself feel better, you are giving that gift to another person in need! Through the Get Well Make Well program, a serving of re:iimmune will be donated for every box purchased to organizations who work daily to improve the health of under-served populations and catastrophe relief. Every year a half million children under the age of 5 die from dehydration and millions more suffer from poor intestinal health and malnutrition. Your purchase of re:immune helps you to “get well” and simultaneously helps “make well” the life of another. To date we have donated 120,000 servings world-wide through Convoy of Hope.

We are thrilled our product will be available at the Walgreens locations mentioned above and that more people will be able to get better, better with re:iimmune!

Digestive Health – Why you need both probiotics and prebiotics

What are probiotics and prebiotics and how do they affect digestive health?

The human digestive system is full of both good and bad bacteria and when all is working well, the good bacteria help to keep the bad at bay! Inside the digestive tract there are trillions of microorganisms working to keep the balance and keep the entire body healthy. An imbalance doesn’t just cause gastrointestinal and digestive issues. Our gut health is connected to brain function and mood, skin health and our immune system.

Probiotics are living bacteria and yeast which live in the intestines and help balance out bad bacteria in the digestive system. We ingest probiotics through foods like yogurt, kefir and aged cheeses such as bleu, gouda and cheddar. You can also get probiotics through soybean products and brined and fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut.

However, all on their own probiotics can only have a limited effect because they are easily destroyed in our system. Probiotics must have particular sources of food in order to flourish and that’s where prebiotics lend a helping hand in digestive health! Prebiotics are not living bacteria, they are forms of fiber which act as food for probiotics. Legumes, beans, bananas, berries and vegetables like tomatoes, onions, asparagus, and greens are all good sources of prebiotics to add to your diet.

Often a good diet is not enough to keep a good balance of probiotics and prebiotics in our systems and a supplement can be of enormous benefit. Especially if one has been taking antibiotics which can kill off a number of good bacteria, if one has contracted food poisoning or is recovering from an illness. The latter was one of the driving forces in the creation of re:iimmune. We want to help people get better, better and two of the best things you can do for your digestive health when your system has been thrown out of whack for whatever reason is to stay hydrated and keep your gut in good health!  

Whole Foods Spotlight – Pumpkin

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well” – Virginia Woolf

It is in this spirit that we present re:iimmune’s new blog series “Whole Foods Spotlight” where we will focus in on a specific whole food, its nutritional benefits and provide you with a few links to some tasty recipes that may inspire you to add more of that particular food into your diet. After all, good health begins with good nutrition! With Halloween just around the corner, it’s a perfect time to talk pumpkins!

Pumpkin on white background.

 

 

Fall means pumpkin flavored everything and we’re totally on board! That said, lattes and pumpkin spice muffins do more for you spiritually than they do nutritionally speaking. Even though 90% of a pumpkin is water, that other 10% is packed with a wealth of nutritional benefits. We hope to inspire you to add more of this great gourd into your diet and reap the rewards!

The oldest pumpkin seeds found so far came from Mexico, dating somewhere between 7000 and 5500 BC, so it’s believed that the plant is indigenous to North America. However, pumpkins from that time are not the round orange varieties we carve into jack o’lanterns today. Rather they were a crooked neck variety which stored well during long winters. After maize (corn) was introduced, some Native Americans began a clever planting technique known as “The Three Sisters.”  Corn and beans were planted together so that the beans would twine their way up the corn stalks. Pumpkin and other gourds were planted at the base as the plant’s large leaves helped create shade and hold moisture to the roots of the companion plants.

Like carrots, pumpkins contain carotenoids which give it that orange hue and support healthy eyes and better night vision. Studies have shown that carotenoids also provide some protection from cataracts and age related macular degeneration. The pumpkin is also rich in beta carotene which has been shown to reduce cell damage and improve immune function.

They are also a great source of magnesium which is important for energy levels, a healthy nervous system and strong bones and muscles. Finally, one cup of pumpkin has a whopping 245% of recommended daily amount of Vitamin A!

We decided to skip over the zillions of pumpkin dessert options for our recipe suggestions since we know you’ll get your share of those lattes and slices of pumpkin pie this season. Instead we’ve opted to give you some links to more savory ways to get more pumpkin in your diet. Enjoy!

 

Caramelized Onion and Pumpkin Soup with Curry Yogurt Sauce

Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce and Pecans

Savory Pumpkin and Sage Scones

Lactobacillus Acidophilus – The Friendly Bacteria

At re:iimmune we want to help our customers feel better faster as they are recovering from illness, help restore hydration and assist in boosting immunity. When we don’t feel well, there’s sometimes a disconnect between our minds and our bodies and we feel powerless to do anything. But knowledge is power! When one understands how different elements in our product, like Lactobacillus, aid in digestion and overall wellness, it helps to create a connection. When we know how our bodies work, we gain a sense of control in being an active participant in our own health. 

Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a bacteria but it’s a friendly one! It normally lives in our digestive, urinary and genital systems without causing disease. In fact, the bacteria is a pretty good friend to have on our side. It assists in breaking down food, absorbing nutrients and fighting off organisms that cause very unfriendly problems such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome and yeast infections. Lactobacillus produces Vitamin K and lactase which is the enzyme that breaks down the lactose (sugar) in milk. Therefore, when it is included in foods such as yogurt, kefir and soy products it can help people who are lactose intolerant.The bacteria becomes the lactose intolerant person’s best buddy, doing much of the work in breaking down the lactose and making it easier to digest.

We include probiotics like Lactobacillus in re:iimmune to support our body’s natural immunity, 70% of which is our digestive tract. Think of your body as an ecosystem. When all things are in balance, the ecosystem flourishes. However when the ecosystem of your body is bombarded with pathogens like E. coli, Staphylococcus Aureus, Salmonella or Candida it compromises that natural immunity and throws your system off kilter. Probiotics help to restore order in the ecosystem and get our immunity back on track!

The Secret Powers of Ginger

But Wait…There’s More!

ginger.ninja

Just when you think we’ve covered all the bases, there’s more ingredients to our secret sauce and they really aren’t so secret after all! If you scroll through the ingredient list on the side of your box of re:iimmune®, your eyes will land on 275 mg of ginger extract listed right below L-Glutamine (which we covered in our last blog). Ginger is on the rise both in popularity and demand within the natural health community right now, but ginger has been highly respected and sought after as a powerful health aid for centuries among many different cultures. While it’s most commonly known for its ability to soothe nausea and aide in healthy digestion, ginger happens to be the sneaky ninja of health resources as it possesses many commonly overlooked benefits.

Although ginger has many more layers to it than simply acting as a nausea reduction, that was its main attraction to our formula. Often times when illness hits, nausea is a main event. Aside from the stomach flu itself, many more serious illnesses are treated with heavy medications that cause dehydration, gut imbalances, and almost always nausea. Chemotherapy, antibiotic use, pain medications and anesthesia, are all known to cause mild to severe cases of nausea and digestive complications, while the illnesses that require these medications are the epicenter of what initially led to the creation of re:iimmune®.  Not only is ginger effective in these extreme cases, but it’s also a completely natural and safe solution for even the most sensitive of situations, like pregnancy for instance.

The bio-active compound found in ginger that is responsible for much of its medicinal properties is called Gingerol, this compound acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplement. Anti-inflammatories are also a hot spot on the health scene at the moment. Treatments ranging from anti-inflammatory diets, to health supplements and topical creams- reducing inflammation is all the rage. It’s important to know that inflammation isn’t always a bad thing, in the case of a trauma to your skin and muscular tissue, inflammation is your body’s way of healing itself. However, inflammation of your intestinal tract is the result of irritation, therefore calming down the inflammation goes hand in hand with calming down the irritant while allowing your digestive system to heal properly.

closer_look

But that’s not all! When you take a closer look at how other cultures use ginger root, the possibilities are endless. According to Chinese medicine, there is a lengthy list of benefits associated with ginger. Here are a few just to give you an idea:

  • Analgesic- Topical Pain Reduction
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Antiemetic- Anti-Vomit
  • Anti-Parasitic- Fights Parasites
  • Anti-Pyretic- Fights Fever
  • Hepato-Protective- Ability to prevent damage to the liver
  • Hypotensive- Lowers Blood Pressure

The research on Ginger and all of its numerous benefits is still expanding and we’ve only just begun to learn all there is to know about this little game changing root we’ve all come to love, but one thing is for sure; we want it on our team!