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Over Half Of Americans Are Sick Because Of Lacking Vitamin D

Over Half Of Americans Are Sick Because Of Lacking Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies around the world. One study revealed that 36 percent of healthy adolescents and 57 percent of adults in U.S suffer from Vitamin D deficiency[1].

Most of us only associate vitamin D with the bone’s health, but it’s closely linked to our immune system, and that’s why widespread deficiency is concerning.

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Vitamin D and your immune system

Vitamin D acts as light switches in our body, turning on and off processes and genes that our bodies need to maintain health. It is sent to various parts of your body including immune cells, intestines, bones, the brain and the colon.

Sufficient levels of vitamin D strengthen your innate immune system, which reduces the risk of infectious diseases. It turns on key members in the immune system that trigger an anti-microbial response which allows your body to effectively and quickly fight off invading microbes before they can develop into severe infections.

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Researchers at the University of Copenhagen discovered that vitamin D plays a major role in activating the killer cells of the immune system [2] known as T cells. These cells are responsible for detecting and killing foreign pathogens such as viruses or bacteria, but they must first be triggered and transformed from a dormant and harmless status into killer cells ready to destroy any foreign pathogen. So if the T cells don’t find vitamin D, they won’t even mobilize, and this leaves your immune system unarmed.

For a long time, scientists have only associated vitamin D with calcium absorption, fighting diseases such as cancer and combating some heart disease. Identifying the role of vitamin D in the immune system was a breakthrough; not only to the immune system but also in addressing anti-immune reactions and rejection of transplanted organs.

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How to get more vitamin D

As we can see, vitamin D is clearly crucial in strengthening our immune system to fight against infectious and autoimmune diseases. Unfortunately, vitamin D is not naturally found in most foods that we consume, which could lead to dizziness, weak muscles, and other symptoms. Below are some of the foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin D that might just help you to increase your intake.

  • Vegetables and fruits: orange juices and beverages fortified with vitamin D, grain products.
  • Milk and alternatives: soy beverages, milk, yogurt
  • Meat and alternatives: egg, deli meat, beef liver
  • Fats and oils: margarine and cod liver oil

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Featured photo credit: Anelka via pixabay.com

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Reference

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Christopher Jan Benitez

Christopher is a passionate writer sharing about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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