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stock your “stay well” medicine cabinet page 14 compliments of
sidestep cold & flu season
The truth about antibiotics
secrets to 6 to healthier travel
Amazing Wellness is part of the Healthy Living Group family of publications produced by Active Interest Media. For more information, visit aimmedia.com.
All rights reserved. No part of this booklet may be reproduced, stored in an electronic retrieval system, or transcribed in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except for the inclusion of quotations in a review.
The statements in this publication have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained herein is provided for educational purposes only under Section 5 of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with a licensed physician or other qualified health-care professional for more in-depth information or prior to taking any dietary supplements.
As the weather cools and the kids head back to school, you may find yourself worrying that you and your family will become victims of cold and flu season. The good news is that you don’t need to let a runny nose or sore throat put you on the sidelines. The tips found in the following pages can decrease your odds of getting sick. And if you do find yourself under the weather, you’ll learn lots of ways to speed your recovery.
You’ll also discover ways to bolster your overall immunity with nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, and immune-specific supplements. Many of these natural strategies are clinically shown to strengthen your defenses against both everyday ailments and more serious chronic illnesses. You’ll also find easy- to-implement ideas for staying healthy while traveling and for stocking your medicine cabinet so you’re ready for whatever bug lands at your doorstep.
Taking a proactive approach to your immune system doesn’t just pay dividends during cold and flu season. Creating and maintaining a strong immune system also protects against viral, fungal, and bacterial invaders 365 days a year. So if you’re ready for your healthiest year ever, turn the page for the best ways to get well and stay well!
Kim erickson Managing editor
Check out the latest issue of Amazing Wellness magazine at your local Vitamin Shoppe or at www.amazingwellnessmag.com
Publisher Joanna Shaw
Managing Editor Kim Erickson
Copy Editor Brandon DuVall
Creative Director Karen Sperry
Copyright © 2013 by Kim Erickson and Active Interest Media, Inc.
HEALTHY LIVING GROUP
Chairman & CEO Efrem Zimbalist III President & COO Andrew W. Clurman Senior VP & CFO Brian Sellstrom General Manager Patricia B. Fox Business & Editorial Offices 300 N. Continental Blvd., Suite 650 El Segundo, CA 90245
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granting Immunity Your body’s immune system is a complex network of specialized tissues, organs, cells, and chemicals that provide vigilant protection against threats from the outside world. Lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, the thymus gland, and tonsils all play a role in fighting off a constant barrage of viruses, bacteria, and environmental contaminants. When the immune system is run- ning well, it identifies harmful pathogens and works to neutralize them before an infection develops. A strong immune system also looks for damaged cells in the body that might morph into cancerous cells and tries to eradicate them.
Accomplishing this search and destroy mission requires 24/7 vigilance. This is why the body is equipped with not one, but three distinct types of immunity. The first is the natural or innate immunity you were born with. It’s the immunity that has been genetically passed down from your parents. The second is adaptive immunity, which develops over time as we are exposed to pathogens or immunized against certain diseases. The third is passive immunity. This type of immunity is acquired by the transfer of antibodies from another individual, usually from mother to child. Passive immunity lasts only a short time. Together, these three forms of immunity contribute to a strong immune system which ideally protects against a con- stant and varied assault from bacteria, viruses, and other threats.
Unfortunately, there are many things that can compromise your immunity, leaving the door open to a host of ailments. Some of these factors are things you can change. Others, like aging or family history, are beyond your control. But taking steps today to protect your overall immune system can help to overcome a family history of dis- ease, and even help support your defenses well into old age.
Cellular superheroes Your immune system is made up of specialized white blood cells that search out disease-causing organisms and destroy them. Here’s what each type of these disease-fighting cells do: • B-Cells identify harmful microbes and produce proteins known as antibodies that lock onto the invader
and disable it so it can be eliminated from the body by T-cells. • t-Cells are the foot soldiers of the immune system. They destroy the harmful microbes that have been
identified by the B-cells. • Macrophages act like a cellular Pac-Man game, gobbling up foreign organisms and cellular debris.
They also produce Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), a protein that kills some tumor cells, regulates inflam- mation, and triggers the creation of new blood vessels.
• Natural Killer (NK) Cells are a type of T-cell that can bind to and eradicate certain tumor cells and virus-infected cells.
• Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that are produced in bone marrow and that specifically target bacteria. They are one of the first responders to the site of inflammation caused by a bacterial infection.
g e t w e l l , s t a y w e l l 5
6 Ways You’re Undermining Your Immunity
➊ YoU skImp on sleep. Shortchanging your zzzz’s lowers immune function and reduces the number of natural killer (NK) cells that fight germs. Make it a priority to log 7 to 9 hours nightly. Trouble getting to sleep? Try taking melatonin, a natural hormone that induces sleep and boosts immunity.
➋ YoU lIve on jUnk food. A poor diet filled with sugar and refined carbohydrates triggers chronic inflammation and promotes chronically elevated cortisol levels. This can increase your susceptibility to colds and other illnesses, boost your chances of developing food allergies, amplify gastrointestinal issues, and possibly increase the risk of autoim- mune disease. Check out page 6 for tips on eating for better immunity.
➌ YoU’re ConstantlY stressed oUt. Chronic stress lowers your NK cell count and diminishes the activity of other immune cells like macrophages and T-cells. This is why it’s not uncommon to come down with a virus after a period of prolonged stress. Manage stress by adopting relaxing activities like yoga or meditation.
➍ YoU take lIfe too serIoUslY. Clinical trials have found that laughter really is the best medicine. A good chuckle reduces stress hormones while increasing the activity of immune
cells. Watch a funny movie or troll the Internet for humorous videos and silly stories.
➎ YoU’re a loner. Research shows that the less we interact with others, the more prone we are to getting sick. Take time to visit a co-worker’s cubicle, call a valued friend or family
member, or schedule a lunch or dinner date with your mate.
➏ YoU thInk the glass Is half emptY. Studies suggest that taking a pessimistic view of life can result in a weaker immune response and may even reduce your lifespan. Try
looking for the bright side of situations and find at least one good thing to be grateful for every day.
skip the antibiotics! antibiotics can be a great tool if you’re suffering from a bacterial disease like bronchitis or strep throat. But they won’t do a thing for viral illnesses like a cold or the flu, and will indiscriminately kill off the beneficial bacteria your body needs to stay healthy. worse yet, taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can increase the risk of antibiotic resistance—which means that antibiotics may not work when you really do need them.
Got a cold?
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eat Yourself well a strong immune system starts in the kitchen. What you eat can either bolster your defenses or undermine them. For instance, a diet rich in minimally- processed fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats provides a natural abundance of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that work together to keep your immune functions running smoothly. On the other hand, a diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats could lead to nutritional deficiencies that may reduce the number and function of immune cells—especially T-cells. Here are some simple strategies to ensure that you’re getting all the immune-boosting nutrients you need