Kick-Start a Healthy Season—the Natural Way
As the seasons change, so do our bodies’ responses to them. That’s why it’s important to consider optimizing your diet and overall health regimen on a seasonal basis. With the approach of winter, it’s an especially good time to check in with yourself and make sure you’re getting the optimal vitamins and nutrients that your immune system needs to fight off colds, flus, and stomach viruses. It’s also a time of year when we crave vitamin D more than ever—particularly here in the gloomy, sun-challenged Pacific Northwest.
Increasing immune system function starts with some simple healthy living basics, like exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, washing hands frequently, and getting a flu shot. Diet is important too, and Harvard Medical School’s Health Publishing recommends upping your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while decreasing saturated fats. But sometimes food alone doesn’t cut it. According to the Mayo Clinic, omega-3 fatty acids “are vital for your cells to function properly.” While these healthy fats are present in “oily” fish like salmon, tuna, and trout, they say that “most people don’t consume enough of the right kinds of fish to provide their bodies with the necessary amount” to promote a healthy immune system.
Enter supplements. The recommendation from the Mayo Clinic is, in most cases, 3 to 4 grams (3,000-4,000 milligrams) of a daily dietary supplement of an omega-3 fatty acid. When looking for a supplement, consider products with a fish oil base that have high concentrations of both DHA and EHA—the two compounds found in oily fish. Nordic Naturals’ line of omega-3s offer a variety of options, from a basic supplement to supplements for people who seek higher-intensity support, as well as those that combine other vitamins and nutrients such as glucosamine, borage, and evening primrose oil. What’s even better is that you can get a formula that combines omega-3s with vitamin D3, which naturally comes from the sun but is present in very few foods.
According to WebMD, an estimated 40-75 percent of people are deficient in vitamin D, which not only helps support bone health, but has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.* Though fortified dairy products and some cereals contain the vitamin, it’s usually not enough to meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended minimum dosages, which were raised to 600 IUs for adults and 800 for those 70 and older—which is more than 200 IUs beyond what the FDA recommends. Nordic Naturals’ formulas combine industry-leading fish oil formulas with 1,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per serving, ensuring that you get both boosts in one simple dose.
Covering those two bases—omega-3s and vitamin D—may help set you up for a healthier winter season. But while you’re at it, consider adding a probiotic to your family’s diet. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be found in cultured foods such as yogurt, but also in dietary supplements. They are typically described as “good bacteria” and research increasingly links them to gastrointestinal health. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “the best case for probiotic therapy has been in the treatment of diarrhea,” and they cite controlled trials that show that Lactobacillus GG (one of many microorganisms) can shorten the course of infectious diarrhea in infants and children.* Additionally, they say “two large reviews, taken together, suggest that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60 percent.”* Many doctors now prescribe a probiotic for general gut health, so talk to yours about whether one is right for you. Health benefits may be strain-specific and not all probiotics are the same. Nordic Naturals’ research-supported formulations are tailored to the digestive health of both adults and children and are vegan, dairy-free, and non-GMO verified.
Being armed with an exercise regimen, good sleep, and a healthy, supplement-boosted diet may go a long way in keeping you and your family at your physical best this winter—which can result in fewer missed days from work and school and fewer trips to the doctor for the entire family.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease