3 Ways The Immune System Protects You

You may have heard that it is important to boost your immune system, but have you ever wondered what your immune system actually does to protect you? Let’s dive into what the immune system does and how it actually does it, in order to get a clear understanding of precisely how the immune system protects us from viruses.

Immune System: The Fever Giver

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Often your immune system will protect you by giving you a fever. You may think that having a fever is a bad thing, but the truth is that your immune system giving you a minor fever can help you a lot.

The first thing that your body does is to raise its temperature to try and eliminate the virus; this is because the virus will be unable to survive at high temperatures. If a fever gets too high, it can be quite a dangerous process. So it is important that you keep track of your temperature to ensure that it does not get too high. High-grade fevers in adults range from about 103 F-104 F. Dangerous temperatures are high-grade fevers that range from over 104 F-107 F or higher. If a fever gets above 103 F, seek medical attention.

White Blood Cells: The Special Forces

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When your immune system detects the presence of foreign bodies in your system it will respond by using white blood cells. Think about white blood cells as elite special forces – their job is to eliminate any harmful micro organisms that they discover.

Some of your white blood cells will become attached to these harmful organisms in an attempt to make them weaker. Others will mount a direct attack on the harmful organisms to try and kill them. The best part is that the white blood cells will learn about the organisms they got rid of enabling you to develop immunity to them in the future.

Inflammation: Immune System Action

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When people are sick they will often find that certain areas of their body become inflamed which is obviously uncomfortable. We all know that inflammation is not a great experience but it could be a sign that you have an infection as it is an important part of your immune system.

Once bad bacteria get into your system it will use your blood vessels to travel around and spread all over. Your immune system can make certain areas of your body inflamed so that it constricts the blood vessels located in that area and making it harder for the bacteria to spread throughout your body.

When your white blood cells notice this inflammation they will respond immediately to try and eliminate the bad bacteria. You probably think that a lot of the ways your body reacts to sickness are uncomfortable, annoying and even gross, but this is all part of your immune system protecting you and making you feel better as fast as it can.

So it is vital that you do everything that you can to take care of your immune system so that it will continue to protect you at all times. Your immune system’s components work together to provide a level of immunity to illnesses and diseases to the different parts of your body, so be sure that it is at its strongest.

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Prebiotics Decoded!

Prebiotics? You’ve heard of probiotics, but what are prebiotics? And what’s the difference?

Probiotics are bacteria that you definitely want in your gut for the health benefits they offer. They are contained in foods like yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut (the refrigerated versions), olives, some cheeses and a number of exotic foods such as miso and kimchi, as well as food additives. These bacteria help the digestive system to function at its best, as well as treating problems like diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome and supporting general colon health.

But probiotics need food to survive. The cells that line the colon (colonocytes) and the good bacteria work together to protect you from invasion of harmful germs into your body, thereby preventing disease. They depend on the nourishment gleaned from food that is not digested in the stomach and small intestine. That’s where prebiotics come in.

Prebiotic Foods

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Those indigestible foods are the prebiotics, foods that serve as energy sources for the probiotics and good bacteria in the colon. Prebiotics contain indigestible starches and polysaccharides that ferment in the upper gut. The products of this fermentation are the food sources for the probiotics.

Prebiotics Foods
Onions – Both raw and cooked
Bananas – Try to get them slightly unripe
Asparagus – Tasty and good for you
Oats – Whole oats are available in cereals
Apples – They also reduce cholesterol
Wheat bran – Also available in cereals
Chicory root – Sometimes used as a coffee substitute
Leeks – Also an excellent source for vitamin K
Dandelion greens – They make a great salad
Jerusalem artichoke – Either raw or cooked
Radishes – Great in salads
Cabbage – Preferably raw, but also as sauerkraut.

Health Benefits from Prebiotics

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Prebiotics offer many health and promote healing benefits such as relief from intestinal distress, both caused by bacteria and by antibiotics. They also reduce symptoms of both diarrhea and constipation in irritable bowel syndrome, promote improvement in the symptoms and decreased inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. By keeping the colonocytes healthy, prebiotics offer protection against cancer of the colon.

Not only do prebiotics support intestinal health, but they also aid in lowering cholesterol levels in the blood and help absorption of minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Your health depends a lot on what you eat. Even if you are young and healthy, consuming a diet of healthy foods will help to keep your body strong and vigorous. If you have any type of chronic disease, or if you are getting older, your diet becomes even more important.

They say laughter is wonderful medicine but so is food. Enjoy the amazing benefits of treating your body to the foods it needs and deserves to be at its best!

5 Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain

If you are someone who suffers from chronic pain, you are well aware of how devastating it can be. Unlike acute pain where you might get an occasional headache or knee pain, chronic pain is almost constant, and continues over a long period of time. Before looking for harsh medications and drugs to relieve your pain, try some of these natural remedies.

Stress Reducing Essential Oil

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Suffering from chronic pain is not only difficult physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. One natural remedy that combats both issues at the same time is by using essential oils. There are many essential oils that can be great for chronic pain, but one of the most popular is lavender. It has a light, pleasing scent and in addition to relieving chronic pain, lavender can help with relaxing, stress reducing, and helping with anxiety. It is also great if chronic pain is keeping you from getting good nights’ sleep.

Willowbark

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Willowbark is another natural remedy that has shown some great success in people with chronic pain, particularly if you have inflammation. Willow bark has been used to help reduce inflammation for hundreds of years, as it contains an element called salicin, which is similar to the effects of aspirin. Not only can you use it to help with chronic pain, but it can also be used to help reduce a fever. You can find willowbark in different forms, including capsules, liquids, and as a dried herb for tea.

Turmeric

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Turmeric has become very popular over the last few years, and among its many benefits is the ability to help you with certain types of chronic pain. As many other remedies for chronic pain, turmeric helps by reducing swelling and inflammation. A lot of pain comes from inflammation in the body, including with osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis. <a href="http://<a target="_blank" href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N1ICSSI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01N1ICSSI&linkCode=as2&tag=healthgurug0b-20&linkId=c9284eed40a0b540af2f6aba3b22a1be">Turmeric Curcumin with BioPerine 95% Curcuminoids 1950mg with Black Pepper for Best Absorption, Made in USA, Most Powerful Joint Support, Turmeric Supplement by Natures Nutrition – 180 CapsulesTurmeric can be found in powder or capsule form, so it is really easy to get your hands on. It is best when there is also black pepper included, as it increases the absorption of nutrients.

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Fish Oil

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Have you thought about taking a fish oil supplement, but haven’t tried it yet? It has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help tremendously with your daily chronic pain. Fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory supplement that many people use to help with their various types of chronic pain. There are many different types of fish oil available. According to omegaquant.com, If you don’t know the oxidation values of your omega-3 supplement, break open your capsules to taste and smell what’s inside. Truly fresh fish oil should taste and smell like fresh fish — meaning, not fishy at all. Foul-tasting fish oil burps are a typical symptom of rancid fish oil.

Exercise

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You may not want to hear this, but exercise can actually help a great deal if you suffer from chronic pain. You don’t want to do strenuous exercise if you have back or knee pain, but gentle exercise like stretching and walking can do wonders for you. Start with just a few minutes a couple time per week. Try walking, mild yoga, or swimming which are all low impact exercises. If that feels good, then slowly increase your movement. If you have concerns, consult with your doctor for exercising protocol for chronic pain.

4 Sure-fire Ways To Reduce Stress…Holistically

Have you been looking for more holistic ways to reduce stress? If you want to live naturally and incorporate a holistic mind-set into your lifestyle, then you might want to take a look at the following mind-body stress reduction techniques. When you have high amounts of stress, it is easy to fall toward easy and possibly unhealthy solutions. However, if you have natural remedies in place, then you will be ready for when the stress-bombs drop. 

Use Stress-Relieving Essential Oils

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An easy way to naturally reduce stress is to use healing essential oils. Essential oils are extracted from the petals, leaves, and stems from various plants, herbs, and flowers. Some of the best essential oils for relieving stress are lavender, chamomile, lemon, orange, and bergamot. To relieve stress, you can put a few drops of them in an essential oil diffuser, add them to your bath water, or use them diluted for a body or massage oil.

Practice Daily Habits That Help Relieve Stress

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Placing health habits into your day can help to relieve stress before it reaches maximum capacity. As you approach a holistic path for stress reduction, take a look at your daily movement or exercise. Find some type of movement that fits into your life easily, without disruption (because that can add to stress). Try exercising 3 times per week to start and then try to increase to 4 or 5 days with varying types of movement. You might try alternating mindful exercises like yoga, tai chi, or morning stretching, with cardio exercises like walking, cycling, or swimming.

Some other daily habits that can help a lot with stress include writing in a journal, reading, unplugging from technology, meditating, practicing mindfulness, and starting your day with a healthy morning routine.

Avoid Stress Pitfalls

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Some habits that some might call “stress-relieving”, might actually be harming your health more than helping. These can often seem harmless, but really take a toll on your stress levels. For example, if you use social media a lot, especially with notifications on your phone, it is giving you constant sources of energy, which may turn into stress. Comparing yourself to others, reading the news, seeing negative or toxic updates, even just reading negativity in the comments can be hard on your mental state. Obviously, we all want to stay connected, but maybe try an hour or two to “fall off the grid” and put your phone on “do not disturb” in order to give yourself some peace.

Some habits that may evolve without even realizing it, include emotional or stress eating, talking to toxic or dramatic people, not getting a ‘brain break’, and turning to stimulants instead of trying to relieve your stress in natural ways.

Try to notice and observe your daily life and see if there are any actions that you might adjust that could reduce your stress and promote your mental health.

Try Beneficial Adaptogens That Make A Difference

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If you have a large amount of stress in your life, one natural remedy that may help you live a more holistic life is using adaptogens. These are a type of herbal supplement that actually help you to adapt better to stress. It can be difficult to reduce certain sources of stress in your life, but you can definitely help support your adrenal glands to help your better deal with it a little better.

A popular type of adaptogen for stress is Ashwagandha. Natural Ashwagandha can boost brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, and help fight symptoms of anxiety and depression. According to Healthline.com, Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine based on Indian principles of natural healing.It has been used for over 3,000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels, and improve concentration.

Another adaptogen is Holy Basil. According to Gaiaherbs.com, Holy Basil, is known as Tulsi or the incomparable one, which translates to balance This is symbolic of its most common modern use. Holy Basil can help you respond to stress in a healthy way while nourishing your mind and elevating your spirit.

3 Food Additives You Want To Avoid

Have you wanted to know more living a more natural and holistic life but didn’t know where to start? One step towards a holistic mind-set is being more aware of what you put into your body. So many foods are heavily processed and contain chemicals, additives, MSG, and so many more ingredients that do not contribute to good health.

It helps to first understand what food additives are commonly put into processed food, which can help you decipher food labels. It is good to get in the habit of looking closely at the ingredients of any processed food you might buy, specifically for some of the following ingredients.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup

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There are multiple reasons to avoid food with high fructose corn syrup. The foods that contain this sweetener tend to be highly processed, so high fructose is probably just the beginning of unhealthy issues that the food product might have.

High Fructose is a type of additive that makes food sweeter, and can be hidden in foods that often do not need additional sweeteners. For example, some store-bought pre-made chicken salad that is used in chicken salad sandwiches contains high fructose corn syrup, even though it should be naturally sweet with cranberries and apples. Keep an eye out for hidden high fructose within foods. You might be surprised how often it is added into packaged foods today.

Sodium Nitrate

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Sodium Nitrate is most often found in deli meat and other processed meats. It is a type of preservative that helps to keep food fresher longer, as well as giving it the salty flavor that some people crave. According to the Mayo Clinic, sodium nitrate, a preservative that’s used in some processed meats, such as bacon, jerky and luncheon meats, could cause an increase your heart disease risk. It’s thought that sodium nitrate may damage your blood vessels. This could make arteries more likely to harden and narrow, leading to heart disease. Sodium Nitrate has been linked to a higher risk of certain cancers, higher cholesterol, and various levels of heart disease.

Food Coloring

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Lastly, look out for artificial food coloring in your food. If the color doesn’t exist naturally in the type of food you are considering, then it is an unnecessary ingredient. For example, the natural color of raw sugar is light tan. Any sugary food that has any bright color, is using an artificial color. Food coloring changes the color and brightness of food to make it look more appealing, but does not add any health benefits.

According to NPR.org: “Artificial food dyes are made from petroleum and approved for use by the FDA to enhance the color of processed foods.” The same base ingredient used to make gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt, and tar is the same base ingredient to make food coloring.

Try to look for products that use natural ingredients for added color, or present themselves in a neutral color without dyes. Remember to make your best decisions and be at peace with your choices. If you don’t have peace, then choose differently next time. Life is all about choices.

3 Reasons Why Basking In The Sun IS Good For You

Do you love the sun, but think that it is bad for you? Whereas sunbathing for hours and getting burned can be detrimental, basking in the sun daily can actually increase your health significantly.

When you were a child you may have been told by your mother or father to “go out into the sun more because its good for you”. They may have been saying that just to get you out of the house, but there is actually a lot of health wisdom in that statement. Being in sunlight on a daily basis offers you a wide range of physical and mental health benefits.

Studies show that people who are often in the sunlight tend to be happier and healthier.

Sunlight Boosts The Immune System With Vit-D

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There are Vitamin D receptors on every single cell in your body and you can get vitamin D easily from the sun! There is a big connection between vitamin D and immune strength and may protect against COVID-19. According to Harvard Health, Vitamin D may protect against COVID-19 in two ways. First, it has been shown to help boost the bodies’ natural defense against viruses and bacteria. Second, it may help prevent an exaggerated inflammatory response, which has been shown to contribute to severe illness in some people with COVID-19.

Being exposed to sunlight will encourage your body to produce more vitamin D which is also vital for healthy bones. When your bones are healthier they produce higher quality bone marrow which is a critical component of your immune system.

Mental Health and Sunlight

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We’ve all heard someone say, “Stay positive!” Did you know that basking in the sun for 10 minutes a day can actually help you do just that by increasing serotonin levels? According to healthline.com, decreased sun exposure has been associated with a drop in your serotonin levels, which can lead to major depression with seasonal pattern. The light-induced effects of serotonin are triggered by sunlight that goes in through the eye.

Increased serotonin levels can generate an increased positive mental state. It has been proven that there is a strong link between your physical health and your mental health and that this has a direct impact on your immune system.

If you are depressed or stressed, you may be more susceptible to getting sick quicker than if you are content and happy. A good dose of sunlight will also help to give your mood a boost and relieve some stress that you have. In addition, reduced stress on your immune system allows it to use its resources to fend off any disease-causing element that you may be exposed to.

Sunlight’s Natural Rays Matter

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No matter what you may have heard it is not possible to totally replicate direct sunlight. Sitting in front of a window with the sunlight coming in is not quite the same as being out in the direct sun. The natural UV rays associated with real sunlight trigger the production of vitamin D in your body and some of these rays get filtered out if you are sitting inside by a window. However, if this is the only way that you can get sunlight, then do it! It is better to get filtered sun rays than none at all.

There are also interior lights available that claim “full spectrum” and state that they use the identical wavelength as sunlight does. Although these offer much better quality of light than a non-full spectrum bulb, these cannot completely match the sun’s full spectrum. However, it is better to have some full spectrum light, than not. If you are not able to go outside to get access to the sun, then these options are worthwhile and still offer valuable light effects.

So, go ahead and get on out there to soak up some sun. Even in cold environments, the sun’s rays still give you the benefits without the heat. In order to help your immune system harness the power of sunlight you have to go outside and expose yourself directly to it. Try taking 10-15 minutes to bask in the sun on a regular basis and absorb some free vitamin D.

Why You Should Know The Difference Between Innate And Adaptive Immunity

Did you know that your immune system has two distinct elements that make it up? Each one of these elements has its own purpose and its own way of working. It is important to understand these differences to be aware of how the immune system functions.

Essential Disease Fighting Systems

The two categories of your immune system are called the “innate immunity” and “adaptive immunity”. They are both essential for fighting off potential diseases and also for preventing them from getting a foothold. It is very important that you understand how they function so that you are aware of how your immune system protects you from disease.

Innate Immunity

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Your first line of defense is your innate immunity. It stops pathogens making their way you’re your body in the first place. Your innate immunity does not go after any particular type of pathogen. Often the innate immunity is non-specific in nature because it will target anything that it discovers in your body that should not be there rather than chase after a specific type of pathogen.

Two significant parts of your innate immunity are your skin and your hair. Your skin is vital as it provides a barrier for your body to the outside world. The skin does a great job in keeping out things that want to get in.

Your hair also performs a vital role as it will trap different types of micro-organisms. It is essential that you wash it regularly so that you flush the unwanted micro-organisms. It is recommended to use a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate-free. Sulfate-free shampoos help retain the natural moisture of the hair so that your hair does not lose its natural shine and softness, while keeping your hair clean.

Adaptive Immunity

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You have a number of cells that will try to eliminate any foreign body that they believe should not be there. Your adaptive immunity works in a different way in that it responds with the discovery of a threat and goes to work to combat the invader.

This element of your immune system will specialize in eliminating sickness using a variety of methods. This could be opening up a membrane or simply taking it and flushing it out of your system.

The most common examples of your adaptive immunity are T cells and B cells. These cells have memories and will recognize foreign bodies that they have fought in the past. This is great because they will know how they will need to fight against them if they appear again.

The T cells are like soldiers who search out and destroy the targeted invaders. When these cells see a threat they try to identify it so they know what to do to eliminate it. B-cells fight bacteria and viruses by making antibodies. They are able to lock onto the surface of an invading cell and mark it for destruction by other immune cells.

Boosting your immune system with super-foods, immune supporting vitamins, exercise, restorative sleep, and good hydration, will elevate your adaptive immune response and help keep your immune health at its best.

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Insiders Guide to Overcome Obstacles and Get Unstuck

Obstacles in Life can come in many forms and types. They can range from small inconveniences to ones that shake your world and change your life’s path. Every person deals with obstacles everyday. How we view our obstacles and determine how to use them, will depend on whether it gets us stuck, or actually helps moves us forward.

Define The Obstacle

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The overwhelmed feeling that can sometimes come with an obstacle can magnify it. When faced with an obstacle, whether large or small, it is important to define it. Actually take a moment, quiet the noise in your head and name it or define what it is. Once it has a name or definition, it becomes something to work on and solve.

Look At The Obstacle Objectively

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Many times, emotions can be heavily attached to an obstacle. Usually obstacles are not expected and can take you by surprise. With this can come an surge of emotions, which may include frustration, helplessness, out-of-control feelings, anger, sadness, or disparity. When emotions take over, it can be difficult to see a problem or obstacle with clarity.

One way to help activate logical thinking, is try to picture the obstacle as part of someones story, other than yours. What type of advice would you give someone in that situation? If you can mentally take yourself out of the situation for a moment, you may be able to see the obstacle in a different light.

Another way to help with clear thinking is to go do something physical. The mind is able to open up when you get outside of your immediate space or circumstance. Going for a walk to give your brain some freedom of thought, which can be more beneficial than most people realize.

Figure Out One Solution To Start Moving Forward

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When hit with an obstacle, sometimes the initial overwhelming feelings caused by the obstacle can be debilitating. Often times, the primal brain can take over and a “fight, flight, or fear” response can paralyze rational thinking. In order to start finding solutions to the problem of the obstacle, the brain needs to get into a logical state to allow forward movement.

One way to prevent getting stuck is finding just one tiny solution to the immediate problem caused by the obstacle. This might be a small action that you need to take, a conversation that you need to have, or a shift in your mind-set and approach. One small movement toward a solution can be liberating and can kick-start you into a problem solving mind-set.

Obstacles can be life changing or just an inconvenience in your day. No matter what the dimensions of your obstacle, approaching it as logical as possible, without strong emotions, can help you figure out the solutions that you need in order to overcome the obstacle and make steps in your journey forward.

2 Types Of Health Boosting Bacteria

Have you ever wanted to go beyond your current health level? Most women are aware of the types of things that they need to do in daily life to maintain a status quo of wellness, such as eating right, exercising, sleeping regularly, and not over-indulging too often. However, what if there was more you could do? There is a tiny yet expansive world inside each person populated by bacteria that have a powerful impact on human health, vitality, and longevity. These tiny organisms help us to live by making processes inside our bodies possible, and they are often divided into two main groups. If you know about these groups of bacteria, you can make proactive choices to boost your health!

Lactobacillus

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These bacteria are generally helpful because they are responsible for many of the processing functions. These are “friendly” bacteria that normally live in our digestive, urinary, and genital systems without causing disease.

When children are made, they receive them from their mother. Some of these bacteria such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, are related to breaking down sugars into lactic acid. Lactic acid is one substance made in the body that is helpful in the fight against harmful strains of bacteria. There is also evidence that suggests that there are a few disorders that can be caused by a lack of these bacterial populations.

Modern advances have brought us the marvelous advancements in medicine with antibiotics, but studies have shown that antibiotics tend to have a harmful effect on the good or helpful populations of gut flora, so it might be necessary to supplement the bacteria by ingesting alternate sources of Lactobacillus.

What can you do to combat these losses? Many of these helpful strains can be found in foods such as yogurt, kefir and other fermented food types, such as sauerkraut. There are also a number of supplement based probiotic solutions available.

Bifidobacteria

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According to Healthline.com, Bifidobacteria are a group of bacteria called probiotics that normally live in your intestines and stomach. They help your body perform essential functions such as digestion and staving off harmful bacteria. These bacteria play a heavy role in controlling elimination, aiding in digestion, and even have the ability to repair damage from carcinogenic sources in the body.

Scientists now believe that over 3/4 of our immune system is kept in our intestinal tract, with over 500 species of bacteria in the mix. With such a large population of bacteria living in us, it should be of little surprise that we depend on them so heavily for the various functions they serve on a daily basis. Many Bifidobacteria reside within the colon and large intestine.

Foods that help to promote Bifidobacteria are:
yogurt with added cultures
kefir, a fermented milk drink
buttermilk
fermented foods including kimchi, tempeh, miso, and pickles
cured meats
certain wines
sauerkraut
sourdough bread

So next time you need to grab a snack, consider building up your healthy gut bacteria, with one of the above foods or beverages. As you build your healthy gut bacteria, you will notice better digestion, more energy, and a healthier immune system.

4 Canning Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

When you get into canning, it can be a little overwhelming. There are many health-minded benefits of using up your produce and having unprocessed foods at the ready, but there is a lot to be considered in the beginning of your canning journey. Before you get started, here are some common canning mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1 – Filling the Jars Too Much

This is probably one of the most common mistakes people tend to make when they first get into canning. It looks like you have enough space in your jars, so you fill them to the top, but then later find out it didn’t seal properly because you filled the jars too much.

Read the canning instructions carefully and you will see that it asks you to leave about ½-1 inch of space at the top of the jar before putting the lid on. This is going to help you seal the jar properly, allowing it to be stored for a longer period of time and still remain fresh.

Mistake #2 – Using Incorrect Jars or Lids

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Reading instructions carefully when you first start canning is crucial. This starts with the supplies you intend to use. You cannot just use any jar you find when it comes to canning. You need to use glass jars that are made to handle a water bath, which gets to high temperatures. Don’t reuse your pasta sauce jars for canning, as they my not be able to handle the canning process and they may hold bacteria.

The same goes for lids. You do not want to reuse lids along with your reusable jars. Get the proper canning jars WITH the proper canning lids. These are going to help with the high temperatures, and guarantee your jars will seal.

Lastly, make sure you are using high-quality canning jars. They shouldn’t be chipped or cracked, neither on the jar itself or on the lid.

Mistake #3 – Deviating From The Recipe

While you may tweak recipes over time the more you get into canning, you will want to start with a specific recipe. Canning is all about science, so you should follow the experts when you first start. From supplies to use to what you add to your foods and how it is heated up before being sealed is all equally important.

The instructions are often different depending on what you are canning as well, so that is something else to consider. The more you can and preserve foods, the more you will understand just how much attention to detail makes a difference. Canning can be an enjoyable and rewarding action to take in your journey of health.

Mistake #4 – Insufficient Sterilizing Of Jars

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A big part of home canning success is starting with jars that are sufficiently sterilized. According to PressureCanners.com, if canning jars are not sterilized, mold spores can sneak into the jar and grow on the produce. Even a little amount of mold can cause the whole jar to go bad.

Canning jars can be sterilized in the oven, or by boiling in water. Sterilizing eliminates the bacteria and micro-organisms that may be on the surface of the jar. Even newly purchased canning jars need to be sterilized to be sure they are completely clean.

Taking these measures will ensure that you will enjoy all the benefits of home canning and the satisfaction that you know exactly what is in your jar.