The 5 Best Vitamins for Your Joints if You’re an Active Senior

Often, I hear people say they’re surprised I’m so “active for my age.” I have to admit, there’s a big part of me that’s proud when I hear such things, and a small part of me that feels a little indignant. Why do people automatically expect the seniors in their lives to become fragile and immobile? I certainly don’t subscribe to that idea!

But I have to be honest. Within the past few years, I’ve noticed more joint pain than usual. So I decided to look into supplements (specifically vitamins) and learn which nutrients can help minimize my joint pain. I found out that these are the best vitamins for the active senior to take for joint support.

1. Vitamin D

I like to call Vitamin D the Captain America of the vitamin world. I mean, this guy is no lightweight! Vitamin D is touted to help all kinds of things, from general immunity to your mood. It turns out that taking a vitamin D supplement can also help relieve joint discomfort.

Vitamin D is great for bone health because it reduces inflammation in the joints and it helps your body absorb calcium (which is one of the most important components in your bones). If you’re not a fan of supplements, try getting more of this important vitamin from fish, whole milk (or fortified milk), cod liver oil, mushrooms, eggs and cheese.

2. Vitamin K

You’ve probably heard of vitamin D and how important it is for your health, but when’s the last time you heard someone say you should increase your consumption of vitamin K? Though it’s talked about much less than most other vitamins, vitamin K is essential for good bone formation.

This unassuming vitamin helps to make bones strong by activating proteins that help with bone mineralization and formation. It’s important to note that vitamin K deficiencies aren’t very common. Most people get enough vitamin K from their diets. Foods such as spinach, broccoli, eggs, liver, and strawberries are all high in vitamin K.

If you think your body could use a boost of this important bone-health ingredient, try supplementing with it. There are no known risks of taking too much vitamin K, but it is best to carefully follow the recommended daily intake instructions on your vitamin K supplement packaging.

3. Vitamin C

Scientists have done some research on vitamin C and its role in bone health, and the results are very interesting. It appears that vitamin C stimulates the cells responsible for building bone. It also enhances the effects of vitamin D on bone metabolism and aids calcium absorption. Who knew?

Vitamin C also plays a role in forming collagen (an important component of bones). Research also shows that this lovely vitamin may help prevent osteoporosis. So load up on these foods that are packed full of vitamin C: bell peppers, cruciferous vegetables, Guava fruit, kiwifruit, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and strawberries.

4. Vitamin E

You probably already know that vitamin E is really great for your skin, but did you know it can help reduce oxidative stress on joint cartilage as well? Some studies show that vitamin E helps reduce joint pain more than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs!

Foods high in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, nuts, avocado, salmon, mango, kiwifruit, and wheat germ oil. Add these foods to your diet or supplement with vitamin E to boost joint comfort and health.

5. B Vitamins

B vitamins are great for energy, and they can also help reduce joint pain. Vitamin B12, in particular, reduces the amino acid homocysteine (which is usually high in people with rheumatoid arthritis). You can get vitamin B12 from organ meats, fortified cereal, beef, and tuna.

So there you have it! A list of delicious, natural foods that are packed full of joint-healthy vitamins. Try to incorporate these foods into your diet and consider supplementing with the above-mentioned vitamins if you think you’re deficient.

Are “Teatoxes” a Good Idea?

There are so many new diet fads and discoveries coming out all the time that it seem nearly impossible to keep up with them all. One of the most recent fads I’ve heard about is the “teatox.” I like a nice, refreshing cup of tea now and then, but I’d never considered that tea could potentially be used as a cleanse to detoxify the body.

Luckily, I have friends who hear about and try different cleanses and diets before I do, so I get to rely on their experience a bit. One of my friends tried a teatox recently and told me that although she felt very fatigued while she was doing it, she felt much more refreshed and healthy afterward. So I decided to look into the practice a bit before trying it myself. Here’s what I found out.

What Is a Teatox?

A teatox is the practice of drinking teas infused with various things (such as stimulants, laxatives and diuretics for as much as 30 days (or even more!) For optimum results, you’re supposed to exercise eat lightly throughout the process (so it’s not a tea-only detox).

Consumers are showing a lot of interest in this practice, according to the energetic response to this new diet and detoxing fad. But are teatoxes safe, or should we be worried about them? That’s what I set out to learn, and the answer is a little bit fuzzy. But first, let’s dive into what a teatox is purported to do.

What Can a Teatox Do?

When done correctly, a teatox is purported to do the following:

  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Boost energy
  • Reduce bloat
  • Speed weight loss

It’s the last benefit in the above list that has people flocking to this new practice. This doesn’t really surprise me, though, considering that many of us have such a difficult time losing weight (myself included!) If there’s a practice that can help boost our efforts, many of us will give it a try!

What’s in a Teatox?

There are a variety of teatox products out there, and the type you choose depends on your primary goals. Whether you go with the Skinny Fit Tea, Flat Tummy Tea or any of the other cleverly-named teatox products out there, you’ll probably find the following ingredients in common between them:

  • Laxatives (such as senna leaf or senna)
  • Guarana (a stimulant)
  • Caffeine (in some cases, up to four times the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee!)

Different teas may contain additional ingredients, such as cinnamon, licorice, burdock root, milk thistle and other herbs. It’s not the herbs that are of concern, though. Herbs tend to be good for physical health. It’s the high amount of stimulants and laxatives in these products that should be looked at with a wary eye. Of course you’ll lose weight if the small amount of food you’re eating while on the teatox diet is very quickly eliminated from your body in the form of urine or diarrhea.

Is a Teatox Appropriate for Everyone?

So, it seems like Teatoxing can help you lose weight more quickly. But at what cost are you getting off those extra pounds? When you take laxatives over long periods, your body may not have adequate time to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. This could eventually lead to nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, overuse of laxatives has been linked to liver damage according to LiverTox website.

Finally, too much caffeine and other stimulants can potentially cause nausea, vomiting and rapid heartbeat. For these reasons, I don’t particularly recommend using a teatox to help you lose weight. There are just too many negative side effects that might come along with these popular new weight-loss products.

Is It Good or Bad To Eat Something Before Bedtime?

It’s amazing how many different opinions people have about eating before bed. Some people say it’s great for dealing with insomnia and others warn that it’s the reason you have trouble sleeping in the first place. What’s the truth?

Does Eating Before Bed Affect Your Sleep Quality?

If you have trouble sleeping at night, eating a lot of food before bedtime may be the reason why. Men are affected by this, but women are affected even more:

  • Making it harder to fall asleep
  • Waking you up in the middle of the night
  • Interrupting normal sleep cycles
  • Decreasing the amount of time you spend in restful sleep

It's important to emphasize that sleep issues are mainly caused by foods that are high in fat, sugar or calories. Snacking on potato chips, ice cream, nachos, pizza or pie — or eating a big meal right before bed — can definitely affect sleep quality.

Do Certain Foods Make You Sleepy?

The good news is that not all foods are bad for bedtime. In fact, some are great for falling asleep. Foods containing tryptophan, serotonin or melatonin can help you unwind, feel calm, and sleep better. Here are my favorite nighttime superstars:

  • Kiwi slices
  • Tart cherries/tart cherry juice
  • Almonds
  • Milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Chamomile tea
  • Passionflower tea
  • Valerian root tea

I'm serious. Eat a kiwi before bed for a week and let me know how it goes. I didn’t believe it either, but it works wonders!

Does Nighttime Snacking Make You Gain Weight?

Some people gain a LOT of weight when they eat at night. Others actually lose weight! Why the difference?

It all comes down to portion control and calories. If you know you get hungry around bedtime, making yourself a healthy turkey sandwich an hour or so before bed won’t add to your waistline. In fact, it may help you eat more balanced meals the next day.

Some people like to eat a bowl of cereal, some fruit, or Greek yogurt. I prefer grabbing a portion of mozzarella cheese or some nuts.

Does a Healthy Diet Help You Sleep Better?

Do you remember how amazing you felt the last time you woke up completely refreshed? That’s how sleep is supposed to be all the time, but stress and health problems get in the way.

A healthy diet supports good sleep by giving the body has enough nutrients to produce lots of sleep hormones. Fiber, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and antioxidants are all needed. Omega-3 fatty acids increase production of melatonin, the brain chemical that controls your sleep cycle.

To get plenty of omega-3s, add fresh fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc.) to your diet a couple of times a week, or take a supplement. Eating a Mediterranean diet with lots of fresh veggies, fruit, olive oil and lean meats can be a great help, too.

Do You Really Need To Worry About Sleep Quality?

Your body doesn't start to repair itself at night until stage three of sleep (deep sleep). Stage four (REM sleep) is essential for brain health and memory. What this means is that waking up at night makes you miss out on health benefits.

That’s why you feel exhausted, sore or irritable. It’s why you have trouble concentrating or remembering. Your immune system suffers, too.

Falling and staying asleep is no joke. This is a pillow fight you need to win!

When Was the Last Time You Pampered Your Scalp?

Your hair probably gets a lot of tender, loving care, and you may spend time every night moisturizing your hands or face. When was the last time you pampered your scalp? You won’t believe the difference it makes!

The Benefits of a Healthy Scalp

The scalp has approximately 100,000 hair follicles, each one responsible for a single luxurious strand. When your scalp is healthy, so is your hair.

You can see the results in the mirror. Taking great care of your scalp makes your hair stronger, longer, shinier and brighter. The way it looks and bounces practically shouts to the world “I feel amazing!”

Tips for Great Scalp Care

1. Know Your Scalp

Every woman’s scalp is unique, just like her skin. Pay attention to the specific needs of your scalp. Does it tend to feel oily or dry? Even hormonal changes can make your scalp more sensitive to ingredients at certain times of month.

If you notice dandruff after using certain shampoos or hair coloring products, try avoiding them. There’s nothing embarrassing about using products designed for sensitive skin. It’s just part of listening to your body.

2. Exfoliate At Least Once a Month

You may not think of exfoliation as something important for your scalp, but it’s one of the most vital steps. Even if you don’t have oily hair, you still need to cleanse your pores of dead skin cells and bacteria. I promise your scalp will love this revitalizing care. Here are my favorite options:

  • Scalp mask: These gentle options remove dead skin cells, grease and grime. If your scalp is on the oilier side, try a clay mask.

  • Olive oil and baking soda: This blend exfoliates and moisturizes at the same time, perfect for dandruff relief. Mix equal parts olive oil and baking soda, then massage into your scalp and let sit for five minutes before rinsing.

  • Apple cider vinegar: This natural ingredient is antimicrobial, so it can calm itchiness, irritation and inflammation. Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water. Use your fingers to apply it directly to the scalp.

3. Shampoo Your Scalp, Too

Don’t ignore your scalp when you’re shampooing and conditioning your hair. Ideally, most of your time should be spent massaging your scalp, moving your fingers in a circular motion.

4. Moisturize

You know how important moisture is for your skin. It’s just as important for your scalp. That’s why using conditioner after shampooing is a great idea. You get the cleansing you need, but you also ensure your scalp stays hydrated.

Personally, I like to use a few drops of essential oils at bedtime. Rosemary, tea tree and lavender smell amazing and help keep your skin moist and healthy. Just massage them gently into the scalp. As an added benefit, I’ve noticed this routine helps me fall asleep more quickly.

5. Pamper Yourself

Pamper yourself. Enjoy a soothing massage. Take a bubble bath. Watch a romantic movie with someone special. Less stress translates into a healthier scalp, too.

Scalp health is also related to good nutrition. Your skip needs the right “ingredients” to repair, nourish and rejuvenate itself. If your hair and scalp don’t look as vibrant as you want them to be, add more omega-3 fatty acids to your diet with fresh fish or supplements. Probiotics also make a huge difference.

Fish Oil and Its Fascinating Effects on Brain Health

It seems that every day there is some new research telling people about a new brain enhancing supplement or food. While most information floating around is spouted from the mouths of charlatans, there is reason to believe some information, especially when obtained through credible research and studies. 

Fish oil is not exactly new. For decades, nutritionists and scientific researchers have been touting the need to include fatty fish in human diets. The reason for the inherent need is the nutrients that are only found in fish and that are essential to healthy brain development and possible memory retention. The remainder of this article will identify the specific nutrients found in fish oil and explain how recent studies suggest memory and mental health benefits to consuming fatty fish or fish oil supplements.

Understanding Fish Oil Omega-3s

In an overwhelmingly meat-and-potatoes society, it should come as no surprise that most people do not meet the dietary guidelines for fish intake, specifically fatty fish. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, or anchovies, contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. EPA and DHA are necessary for development and health, but they are not found in most food sources, primarily fish.

While the human body can convert another omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid, it cannot do so efficiently. Even if the body could convert more than 10% of ALA into EPA and DHA, which it can't, people tend to neglect foods with the nutrient, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, soybeans, chia seeds, soybean oil, and canola oil. Leaving the most evident way of consuming necessary omega-3s to supplement form.

The Role of Omega-3s in Development

EPA and DHA are crucial to cardiovascular development, disease prevention, weight management, and cognitive function. While more research is needed to determine the level of the contribution these omega-3s have to the brain, early indicators suggest a connection to intake and improved memory in people experiencing minor cognitive decline. These chemicals also contribute to several developmental stages of adolescents. Unfortunately, even when consuming fish, the human body has trouble producing some omega-3s, meaning a supplement is useful.

Fish Oil Can Combat Minor Cognitive Decline and Improve Mental Health

Research shows that low levels of omega-3s, specifically EPA and DHA, can lead to accelerated brain aging, contributing to functional deficits. Fortunately, studies also show that consuming appropriate doses of these omega-3s, through a combination of supplements and dietary choices, can improve brain function in those experiencing a minor decline.

Better still, people suffering from depression might experience reduced symptoms if they add a fish oil supplement to their diet. However, the supplement formula should contain higher levels of EPA, and for the best effect, should be taken with anxiety medication.

Is Fish Oil Right for You?

In a healthy adult, the consumption of fish oil does not show any significant effect on the subject's brain, but that does not mean it is worthless. Every person needs omega-3s, specifically EPA and DHA, which you can obtain through the consumption of fatty fish or supplements. However, keep in mind that fish oil supplements can affect blood clotting, so speak with your doctor first.

Do you eat enough fatty fish or take fish oil supplements? Please leave a comment below explaining why or why not.

Which Supplement is Better for Sleep: Melatonin or CBD

According to the CDC, one in three adults does not get enough sleep. The standard requirement for adults is between six and nine hours, with seven and a half being the average. How much sleep do you get every night?

With the stresses of every day, many people find it challenging to fall asleep. That difficulty often leads to the inclusion of dietary supplements or sleep aids. However, some aids are less effective than others, and others can be addictive or dangerous.

Two potential sleep aids that have proven effective and safe are melatonin and CBD. To learn which is a possible solution for you, consider the pros and cons of each.

Providing a Natural Boost To Biological Production: Melatonin Advantages and Disadvantages

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland. It is a chemical that helps your body regulate its sleep-wake cycles by telling your brain and system when it is time to rest. Melatonin supplements, then, help to boost your body’s natural production to help tell your brain it is time for bed.

While the sleep hormone is advantageous for travelers and people experiencing jet lag, it might not be the best option for everyone. There is evidence to suggest that some OTC supplements can have adverse interactions with prescriptions, so always talk to your primary care physician before adding melatonin to your nightly routine.

If you want to experience the most benefit from taking a melatonin supplement, you need to take it a few hours before bed. The supplement takes time to work, but unfortunately, once you take it, you will experience drowsiness after a couple of hours, which means you don’t want to get the urge to go out partying. Stay home and sleep.

The Versatility and Quickness of CBD: Pros and Cons

If the slow build and restrictions of melatonin bother you, you might want to consider CBD. The natural supplement is still in its infancy as far as learning about adverse reactions, but there aren’t any disturbing or profound findings yet. Nevertheless, to be safe, consult your doctor before using.

One of the significant advantages of CBD over melatonin is that CBD works quickly, typically within 10 minutes. Additionally, the supplement is known to help alleviate anxiety and minor aches and pains.

Because CBD does not contain THC, you can find it at grocery stores and other locations. You can also purchase it online and have it delivered legally. Additionally, you can find it in pills, vapes, gummies, and more, meaning there is an option for everyone.

Which is Right for You

The decision between a melatonin supplement or CBD is a personal choice. While CBD works faster with limited adverse side effects, some people might feel uncomfortable taking it. While a natural hormone produced in the body, Melatonin can interact with prescriptions when found in specific formulations. Before opting for any sleep aid, it is best to consult your doctor and ask their opinion.

Do you have experience with melatonin or CBD supplements? Have you experienced any adverse reactions? Leave a comment below and help keep the conversation going. While this article only addressed these two sleep supplements, do you have any other healthy tips and tricks for people suffering from poor sleep?

These Are the Common Foods That Are Giving You Gas

Why do some people have lots of problems with gas while others can eat broccoli like there’s no tomorrow? The basic answer is that everyone’s body is different. Some people have plenty of enzymes to break down certain foods and other people don’t. If you’re having trouble with gas, one of these foods may be the reason:

1. Carbonated Beverages

With so much fizz, it’s not really surprising that soda has a high spot on our list of gas causers. Carbonation mostly affects your stomach (making you burp), but it can contribute to intestinal bloating, too.

2. Beans

Famous for causing embarrassing “tooting,” beans are filled with healthy protein, but they also have a type of sugar that the body has trouble processing. It takes the good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract a lot longer to digest beans, peas, lentils and other legumes, which releases more gas.

3. Leafy Greens

Vitamin-rich veggies such as broccoli, cabbage, asparagus and cauliflower have tons of fiber, which is great for your digestive system. Unfortunately, they also have the same complex sugar as beans. Overdoing it with the broccoli is practically guaranteed to make you gassy.

4. Fruits

Fruit is one of the best things you can eat to boost your immune system, metabolism and energy levels. At the same time, most fruits have several gas-causing sugars, including sorbitol and fructose. Apples, bananas, pears, apricots, peaches, grapes and mangoes are the worst of the best. Dried fruit such as raisins and prunes concentrate these sugar even more, so they can definitely lead to the need to unbutton your jeans.

5. Grains

Most whole grains contain starch and gassy sugars. At the same time, wheat, oats, corn, barley and quinoa are amazing sources of fiber for smooth bowel movements and excellent gut health. This is ironic, because it means that the same grains that help your tummy feel slimmer can also trigger bloating in some people.

6. Dairy Foods

Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream are tough for most people (about 65% of Americans) to digest properly. This is because of a sugar called lactose. If you’re lactose intolerant, you have even more problems with dairy. Eating these foods can trigger stomach cramps, bloating, nausea and other digestive problems almost immediately.

Which Foods Should You Avoid?

Fruit, veggies and whole grains are all important for a healthy digestive system. You need fiber, even though fiber also causes gas. Don’t get rid of major food groups unless your doctor says so. Of course, if a specific food causes a lot of gas, you can choose alternatives. If broccoli is giving you trouble, try romaine lettuce or spinach instead.

What Can You Do About Gas and Bloating?

This is the tricky part. Finding the best solution to gas and bloating requires a little trial and error on your part. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Keep track of what you eat to figure out the worst gas-causing foods for you

  • Eat smaller portions of foods that give you problems

  • Take your time when you eat

  • Take supplements with digestive enzymes

Instead of avoiding fruit completely, try eating half portions. This makes it easier for the good bacteria in your digestive tract to work and you still get valuable antioxidants. Probiotics and digestive enzymes can help with gas by taking great care of your gut microbiome.

Unique Ingredients That Are Good for Your Health

Are you trying to eat healthier but running out of creative ideas for nutritious meals that actually taste good? You’re not alone. It seems like I make a resolution every year to eat healthily, but I get bored of my options about a month in and give up. This year, however, I’ve decided to make sure I don’t fall for this same mistake. Since I know that eating healthy is so important if I want to maintain a good weight, avoid illnesses and just feel better about myself, I figured out a way to stick with my resolution this year.

To help me keep my meals exciting and interesting, I decided to make a game of healthy eating. Instead of eating broccoli and chicken every night, I am challenging myself to use a variety of ingredients in my meals each week. Here are some unique ingredients I decided to try. They’re very healthy, and they might just make things interesting enough that I’ll meet my goal of eating healthy all year. You should try it with me!  At the very least, it will be an educational adventure, right?

Spirulina

OK, I have to be honest here. I’ve heard about the incredible benefits of spirulina for a while, but I tasted a tiny bit of it plain once and I never wanted to eat the stuff again. But then I found out that it’s best to mask the flavor of spirulina (which is slightly fishy because it’s a seaweed) with other ingredients. It’s especially helpful to throw a teaspoon of spirulina into fruit smoothies. You won’t even taste it, but you’ll benefit from it.

Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense superfoods in existence. It’s full of things like protein, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, copper and iron. It’s also quite an energy booster (as I can attest to!)

Kudzu

No, I didn’t just sneeze. Kudzu is a root that’s native to Japan and is also commonly called kuzu. It has a thick consistency, which makes it a great thickener for sauces or soups. Kudzu tastes a little bit like spinach, but it’s easy to mask the flavor with other ingredients.

Kudzu is thought to strengthen the circulatory and digestive systems. It may also help relieve hangovers and minimize headaches while having a general calming effect on the mind and body. Kudzu has long been used in Chinese medicine for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I’m planning to make a Kudzu pudding this week and experience the benefits for myself.

Maca

Maca is a well-known superfood from Peru. It’s a cruciferous root vegetable that’s often made into a powder that can be sprinkled in oatmeal, smoothies or lattes. It has an earthy taste that lends itself well to many different dishes.

Maca provides caffeine-free energy that can help you get through your day without the typical afternoon energy crash. It may also balance hormones and enhance fertility (which is not something I need, but may be great for you younger ladies!)

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is a type of nutritional mushroom that has a wide variety of health benefits. It’s easy to add it to stir-fries, stews and salads. It also comes in powder form that makes it easier to add to smoothies and lattes.

Some studies show that cordyceps can lower inflammation and support heart health. There is even research that suggests it can help slow down cancer growth! It’s also thought to reduce fatigue and help improve sex drive. Heaven knows I could use that last benefit!

Get Healthy With Me!

These are just a few of the unusual but incredibly healthy ingredients I plan to rotate into my regular meals this year. Why not join me? Let’s experience firsthand how fun and energizing healthy eating can really be.

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Turmeric

I’m a big believer in the healing power of turmeric, mainly because I’ve experienced its effects for myself. Turmeric delivers natural pain relief that’s just as powerful as extra-strength Tylenol or Advil, but without any dangerous side effects. So, what’s the problem?

Well, with all the hype going around, most people don’t actually understand how turmeric works, so they end up using it wrong. This cancels out pretty much all of the benefits you should be getting, so it ends up being a complete waste. If you follow the instructions I’m going to tell you, I promise you will see a night and day difference.

The Real Power Behind Turmeric

When you see fantastic news articles and TV shows raving about the power of turmeric, they’re not wrong. What they don’t often explain, however, it that it’s not the yellow powder on its own that has such a huge effect. The real secret is actually a tiny antioxidant in turmeric called curcumin. This medicinal compound only makes up about 3% of turmeric.

Curcumin is the real powerhouse that shines when it comes to relieving pain. This tiny antioxidant packs a huge punch, fighting inflammation in every part of your body, from joints and muscles to veins and nerves. There are a lot of scientific studies that back up the great effects of turmeric, but most of them focus specifically on curcumin.

The Idea Most People Have

Most people think that it’s enough to add a little turmeric to meals and they’re going to magically get all of the benefits that curcumin offers. They may find a spicy banana smoothie recipe that calls for sprinkling some turmeric on top and think they’re good for the day. Unfortunately, that’s not even close to true.

To enjoy the phenomenal anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric, you need around 500–1,000 mg of curcumin a day. So, how much curcumin is in 1/2 teaspoon (1,000 mg) of turmeric? Just 50–100 mg. That banana smoothie suddenly needs a LOT more turmeric to give you any anti-inflammatory benefits.

The Right Way To Take Turmeric

Don’t get me wrong, if you want to add turmeric to curry, or drink golden tea, or stir some turmeric into a smoothie, there’s nothing bad about it. Your food will have some extra flavor and you’ll get a small amount of antioxidants, which is better than nothing.

To really experience the benefits of this amazing Indian spice, however, you need to take a supplement. Before you buy, look at the amount of curcumin on the supplement’s label. It should have concentrated turmeric with at least 95% curcuminoids added.


One More Thing

The final thing that most people don’t know is that the body isn’t very good at absorbing turmeric on its own. Most of its antioxidants and vitamins get lost. Adios curcumin and pain relief.

I told you I was going to share all of my secrets, though, so here’s a great one that makes a huge difference: use black pepper extract, or piperine. When you pair turmeric with piperine, suddenly your body can absorb 2,000% times more nutrients! High-quality turmeric supplements should have piperine or BioPerine.

Trust me, just take a supplement. It’s so much easier than trying to think up ways to add a teaspoon of turmeric to everything. And it works!

Are You Eating the 4 Best Foods for a Healthy Immune System?

One of the most import factors in a healthy immune system is your diet. Eating plenty of vitamin-rich foods can strengthen your defenses against germs. Try these four natural-health superstars:

1. Citrus Fruits

Tangy oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons and limes are a delicious way to make meals more exciting. They also give your immune system a lot of vitamin C, one of the most important vitamins for staying healthy. Vitamin C increases production of white blood cells, giving you a tiny army that searches for and destroys viruses.

Easy Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette Recipe

The next time you make a salad, instead of pouring ranch dressing on it, make your own refreshing citrus vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (lemon juice works also)

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

All you have to do is stir these ingredients together and pour them on your favorite salad.

2. Oysters

Low on zinc? Oysters and other shellfish are a great source of this immune-boosting mineral. Zinc helps the immune system function correctly.

3. Red and Green Bell Peppers

Did you know that bell peppers have even more vitamin C than oranges? They also give your immune system extra vitamin A, an antioxidant. Vitamin A helps build your immune system and makes it react more quickly to infections.

Tip: To get the most nutrients possible, keep these colorful veggies tender and crisp. Enjoy them fresh in salads, sauté them in stir fries or char them lightly on the grill.

4. Ginger and Garlic

Garlic and ginger are a dynamic duo for enhancing your immune response. Garlic has powerful medicinal properties. Adding fresh garlic to your meals won’t prevent you from getting sick, but it may speed up your recovery.

Ginger is an herb that can neutralize microbes. It increases some of the main lines of defense your body has against infections. This spicy root is packed with nutrients and antioxidants, so it’s not surprising that ginger is so good for you.

Zesty Garlic-Ginger Chicken Soup Recipe

Remember the chicken soup your mother used to make when you were sick with a cold? This is the same thing only even better for your immune system:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger

  • 1 large red onion, chopped

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts (or thighs), cut into pieces

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup mushrooms

  • 4 cups organic chicken broth

  • 6 cups water

Sauté fresh garlic, ginger and onion in a large pan with olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the chicken, water, chicken broth, mushrooms and carrots. After bringing the liquid to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30–60 minutes. Add salt to taste, along with extra garlic and ginger if you want additional zing.

Enjoy a bowl of soup while it’s pleasantly warm.

The Importance of Good Nutrition for a Healthy Immune System

According to Harvard Medical School, senior adults have a higher chance of getting sick than younger people. This may be because the body produces fewer immune cells. It may also be from vitamin deficiencies. Whatever the cause, as you age, you need to stay focused on eating nutritious superfoods. Healthy foods enhance your immune system and take care of the rest of your body, too.