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Drinking Habits Experts Say Boost Your Immunity — Eat This Not That – Eat This, Not That

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This content references scientific studies and academic research, and is fact-checked to ensure accuracy.
Our team of licensed nutritionists and dietitians strives to be objective, unbiased, and honest.
We are committed to bringing you researched, expert-driven content to help you make more informed decisions around food, health, and wellness. We know how important making choices about your overall health is, and we strive to provide you with the best information possible.
The immune system is a highly complex network of cells and molecules that work in concert with all parts of the body to respond to viruses, other pathogens, and various other chemical insults by producing antibodies and defensive cells. It’s not easy to pinpoint definitively what to eat or drink to make it stronger, which is why a well-rounded whole-food diet full of fresh vegetables, fruits, and grains is your best insurance.
In addition to a balanced diet, to support your immune system, it’s also important to avoid immune-damaging drinking habits while implementing healthy drinking habits. Here are some fluids to try to help your immune system stay robust. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Drinking enough water every day is so critical to maintaining a healthy immune system. Every expert we contacted for this article on the best immune-boosting drinking habits said being well hydrated with plain water is the easiest and most important step you can take every day to protect yourself from illness. It’s right up there with getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
“Water supports the body’s detoxification process and oxygenating blood,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Isa Kujawski, RDN, MPH, founder of Mea Nutrition. “Water is necessary to produce lymph, the vehicle by which white blood cells and immune cells are transported throughout the body to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other foreign invaders. It’s also crucial for proper digestion, which allows the body to absorb key immune-supporting nutrients like vitamin C.”
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You can’t go wrong with making a habit of drinking hot herbal teas. Herbal teas strengthen your immune system while lowering inflammation caused by an overreactive immune response thanks to their vitamin C, D-limonene, vitamin A, catechins, and quercetins, says Carrie Lam, MD, a regenerative medicine specialist with Dr. Lam Coaching. Some of the best herbal teas include dandelion and rosehip teas.
Dandelion Tea: “Some research indicates that dandelion tea helps rid your body of toxins, thereby helping your immune system deal with infections,” says Dr. Lam. But make sure to consult your doctor before using it since dandelion is a strong diuretic that may interact with other medications, she warns.
Rosehip Tea: Rosehip tea contains vitamin C, quercetin, catechins, and ellagic acid, substances known to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. To get the most benefit from your beverage, steep rosehips for 6 to 8 minutes, suggests a study in the Journal of Food Science Technology.
Lemon juice is high in famed antioxidant and immune-supporting nutrient vitamin C, and ginger is thought to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to strengthen immune defenses, says registered dietitian nutritionist Rachel Dykeman, MS, RDN, CDN. Vitamin C is famous for defending against illness because it enhances many cellular functions of the immune system and has been shown to prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections.
Both lemon and ginger support the two parts of your immune system: your innate immunity, which is already in your body and responds immediately, and adaptive immunity, a long-lasting immune function created in response to exposure to a foreign substance like an invading pathogen.
RELATED: One Major Side Effect of Drinking Lemon Water, Says Dietitian
A big part of your immune system actually resides in your gastrointestinal tract, which is where the microbiome is located. One of the best ways to keep your microbiome healthy is by drinking kefir, a fermented beverage that’s like yogurt and contains live probiotics.
“A recent study in the journal Cell demonstrated that consuming probiotic-containing fermented foods and beverages, such as kefir, improves the diversity of microbes inhabiting our gut, in turn, impacting our immune system,” says Dyckman. “Other research suggests kefir may have anti-viral properties.”
Dyckman recommends choosing plain kefir to avoid the added sugars found in flavored varieties and says many commercially available brands are fortified with vitamin D, an immune regulating nutrient.
READ MORE: The Verdict on Taking Vitamin D Supplements for Your Immunity
Another powerful immune-boosting tea is turmeric tea, which contains a strong anti-inflammatory compound called curcumin. Dyckman recommends adding cracked black pepper to your turmeric tea because the compound piperine improves your body’s absorption of curcumin for a stronger anti-inflammatory effect.
Research shows that compounds in green tea increase the number of regulatory T cells that prevent autoimmune diseases as well as improve immune function. For “an unbeatable immune-boosting combination,” add lemon and a small amount of raw honey to your green tea, suggests Heather Hanks, MS, a nutritionist with USARX. “The vitamin C in lemon helps make the beneficial compound in the green tea move bioavailable and the honey contains antibacterial enzymes and prebiotic compounds to further boost immune health,” she says.
Jeff Hong, RD, a registered dietitian nutritionist with Yanre Strength advocates for orange juice, which is high in vitamin C, or warm apple cider mixed with a teaspoon of honey. “Apple cider is known to be antimicrobial; it can fight off bacteria, yeasts, and fungal infections,” Hong says. “The combo of cider and honey is an ancient remedy for fighting colds and flu and to boost the immune system.”
Two more fruits that are super high in vitamin C are strawberries and kiwifruit, which are perfect in “a smoothie to get a shot of immune-boosting vitamin C,” says Jamie Dickie, a nutritionist, and trainer with Truism Fitness. By making the smoothie with milk fortified with vitamin D, you get an extra immune (and protein) boost. “Many people are deficient in vitamin D, which you get mostly from sunlight; healthy levels minimize the risk of pneumonia and flu,” he says.
In a recent study in The BMJ, British researchers found that daily or weekly supplementation with vitamin D cut the risk of respiratory infection in half for people with the most significant deficiencies in vitamin D in their blood.
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12 New Probiotic-Rich Products Guaranteed To Bring Harmony to Your Gut Microbiome – Well+Good

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Allie Flinn
But with so many options, it can be difficult to figure out which gut health foods are actually worth shelling out for. To get insight into the gut-healthiness of 12 new foods and beverages, we tapped registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD, the host of Well+Good’s You Versus Food series. A word to the wise before we jump in: Be careful not to use any of these products as a cure for digestive issues rather than seeing an actual doctor, and consult with an RD or MD before trying any new form of gut-boosting food or beverage. “Some products claim to have gut-healing superpowers, so be weary if you are really trying to heal a GI condition with these without doing some research and talking to your doctor,” Lockwood-Beckerman cautions.
Ready to get gut-friendly? Read the RD’s thoughts and shop the microbiome-boosting products below.

GoodBelly To Go Fast Melts — $20.00

These are basically the probiotic version of pixie sticks—only with zero sugar and plenty of gut-boosting potential. Lockwood-Beckerman says these are a smart addition for people on-the-go. “These also helpful because GoodBelly added two scientifically-backed strains that help to reduce the severity of cold symptoms, which is especially key during travel,” says Lockwood-Beckerman. “That definitely can’t hurt!”

Olipop (12 Pack) — $36.00

This better-for-you soda brand recently added a new flavor, Classic Grape, to its lineup of flavors like Vintage Cola, Orange Squeeze, and Classic Root Beer. “Olipop is made with no artificial sweeteners and contains unique roots and botanicals that give this drink a whopping nine grams of fiber per can. Those nutritionals are pretty impressive,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

Wildwonder Sparkling Prebiotic + Probiotic Water (12 Pack) — $42.00

“With plenty of fiber and immune enhancing ingredients like turmeric, elderberry, and ginger, Wildwonder has a unique combo of both beneficial prebiotics and probiotics. It also has functional herbs and real fruit, hammering home its holistic angle,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

Poppi Sparking Prebiotic Soda (12 Pack) — $30.00

“Touted for its prebiotic powers, Poppi has made a splash in the good-for-you beverage world. It contains the ever-popular apple cider vinegar, which does contain healthy prebiotics, but the verdict is still out for its so-called ‘healing’ properties when it comes to cholesterol or metabolism management,” Lockwood-Beckerman explains. This writer is personally a fan of the Strawberry Lemon flavor.

Chi Kitchen Napa Kimchi — $10.00

“This delicious kimchi is fermented, which means it harbors gut-supporting probiotics such as lactic acid. Chi’s kimchi is also free of preservatives and focuses on the nature of eating more cabbage and wholesome vegetables, which is something we can all stand behind,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. Chi also offers a vegan version, along with fermented sesame slaw and kimchi pickles.

SMPL Immunity Bar (12 Pack) — $24.00

“Another vehicle to get in your daily dose of probiotics, this bar gets you 1 billion CFUs per bar. Its ingredients are pretty simple—clearly stated by the product’s name, SMPL—with almonds, quinoa and flax meal being its primary make up,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “SMPL’s super berry bars are doubly functional because they contains 100 percent of your vitamin C requirements from the addition of acerola cherries.”

Lifeway Cultured Oat — $6.00

The newest addition to Lifeway’s gut-friendly offerings is dairy-free and available in a plain flavor, as well as flavors like blueberry maple oat and berries and cream oat. “Serving up both dairy-free and gluten-free oats and ten live and active vegan cultures, this alt milk is as functional as it gets. Plus, with a pretty short and simple ingredient list, it’s bound to be a household favorite,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

Lavva Dairy-Free Yogurt — $3.00

“Cornering the market as one of the lowest sugar yogurts thanks to the use of the pili nut, this yogurt also contains both pre and probiotics,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. 50 billion strains at that. “Without any added sugar, gums, added flavors, or dairy, it’s a great gut-friendly food for those following a vegan or plant-based diet. You may want to add some fruit or flavorful spices to make it an even more scrumptious situation for your tastebuds.”

DAH! Yogurt Smoothie (6 Pack) — $65.00

“Slow-cultured yogurt is busting into the yogurt scene, and I’m here for it,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “The slower processing yogurt lends itself to a naturally more nutritious option with a higher probiotic count and lower sugar. There’s a variety of yogurts and yogurt-based smoothies to choose from depending on your dietary needs like lassi, almond, and dahi yogurt. For context, their oat, almond, and coconut blended yogurt contains 50 billion probiotics per serving and one can of prebiotic soda typically contains just 1 billion probiotics per can.”

Dalci Dark Chocolate Brownies (6 Pack) — $19.00

“This is a ‘better for you’ brownie whose mission isn’t meant to be a health booster or a healing food, but rather a treat that happens to be more natural and holistic than its traditional counterparts,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “It contains pretty wholesome ingredients—like avocado oil and almond flour—so it can be enjoyed by those looking for anti-inflammatory ingredients.” In addition to brownies, they also offer an Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Blondie, Apple Spice Blondie, and Lemon Coconut Blondie.

Health-Ade Pop (4 Pack) — $8.00

You’re probably familiar with the Health-Ade’s probiotic-rich kombucha, but if you’re looking for something a little different, check out their probiotic sodas. “These cans are packing both the fizz and the function thanks to the prebiotics. Why not reap some gut-balancing health benefits while sipping this organic, gluten-free, and vegan bubbly?” Lockwood-Beckerman says.

AYO Almond Yogurt — $2.00

“This vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free yogurt is all about the almond. From the growth and picking of the almond to the churning and cultivating of the the yogurt, this company puts all its pride and focus into maintaining its four generation family-run almond farm,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. It’s also packed with probiotics and contains six grams of heart-healthy fiber per serving.

 

These are basically the probiotic version of pixie sticks—only with zero sugar and plenty of gut-boosting potential. Lockwood-Beckerman says these are a smart addition for people on-the-go. “These also helpful because GoodBelly added two scientifically-backed strains that help to reduce the severity of cold symptoms, which is especially key during travel,” says Lockwood-Beckerman. “That definitely can’t hurt!”
This better-for-you soda brand recently added a new flavor, Classic Grape, to its lineup of flavors like Vintage Cola, Orange Squeeze, and Classic Root Beer. “Olipop is made with no artificial sweeteners and contains unique roots and botanicals that give this drink a whopping nine grams of fiber per can. Those nutritionals are pretty impressive,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“With plenty of fiber and immune enhancing ingredients like turmeric, elderberry, and ginger, Wildwonder has a unique combo of both beneficial prebiotics and probiotics. It also has functional herbs and real fruit, hammering home its holistic angle,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“Touted for its prebiotic powers, Poppi has made a splash in the good-for-you beverage world. It contains the ever-popular apple cider vinegar, which does contain healthy prebiotics, but the verdict is still out for its so-called ‘healing’ properties when it comes to cholesterol or metabolism management,” Lockwood-Beckerman explains. This writer is personally a fan of the Strawberry Lemon flavor.
“This delicious kimchi is fermented, which means it harbors gut-supporting probiotics such as lactic acid. Chi’s kimchi is also free of preservatives and focuses on the nature of eating more cabbage and wholesome vegetables, which is something we can all stand behind,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. Chi also offers a vegan version, along with fermented sesame slaw and kimchi pickles.
“Another vehicle to get in your daily dose of probiotics, this bar gets you 1 billion CFUs per bar. Its ingredients are pretty simple—clearly stated by the product’s name, SMPL—with almonds, quinoa and flax meal being its primary make up,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “SMPL’s super berry bars are doubly functional because they contains 100 percent of your vitamin C requirements from the addition of acerola cherries.”
The newest addition to Lifeway’s gut-friendly offerings is dairy-free and available in a plain flavor, as well as flavors like blueberry maple oat and berries and cream oat. “Serving up both dairy-free and gluten-free oats and ten live and active vegan cultures, this alt milk is as functional as it gets. Plus, with a pretty short and simple ingredient list, it’s bound to be a household favorite,” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“Cornering the market as one of the lowest sugar yogurts thanks to the use of the pili nut, this yogurt also contains both pre and probiotics,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. 50 billion strains at that. “Without any added sugar, gums, added flavors, or dairy, it’s a great gut-friendly food for those following a vegan or plant-based diet. You may want to add some fruit or flavorful spices to make it an even more scrumptious situation for your tastebuds.”
“Slow-cultured yogurt is busting into the yogurt scene, and I’m here for it,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “The slower processing yogurt lends itself to a naturally more nutritious option with a higher probiotic count and lower sugar. There’s a variety of yogurts and yogurt-based smoothies to choose from depending on your dietary needs like lassi, almond, and dahi yogurt. For context, their oat, almond, and coconut blended yogurt contains 50 billion probiotics per serving and one can of prebiotic soda typically contains just 1 billion probiotics per can.”
“This is a ‘better for you’ brownie whose mission isn’t meant to be a health booster or a healing food, but rather a treat that happens to be more natural and holistic than its traditional counterparts,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. “It contains pretty wholesome ingredients—like avocado oil and almond flour—so it can be enjoyed by those looking for anti-inflammatory ingredients.” In addition to brownies, they also offer an Almond Butter Dark Chocolate Blondie, Apple Spice Blondie, and Lemon Coconut Blondie.
You’re probably familiar with the Health-Ade’s probiotic-rich kombucha, but if you’re looking for something a little different, check out their probiotic sodas. “These cans are packing both the fizz and the function thanks to the prebiotics. Why not reap some gut-balancing health benefits while sipping this organic, gluten-free, and vegan bubbly?” Lockwood-Beckerman says.
“This vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free yogurt is all about the almond. From the growth and picking of the almond to the churning and cultivating of the the yogurt, this company puts all its pride and focus into maintaining its four generation family-run almond farm,” Lockwood-Beckerman says. It’s also packed with probiotics and contains six grams of heart-healthy fiber per serving.
 
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How Fitness Might Help You Live Longer – Southlake Style

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January 18, 2022
11:29 PM
Exercise is more important than weight loss for improving the prospects of a longer life, according to “The New York Times.” 
In their most recent episode, “Strength Changes Everything” podcast co-hosts Brian Cygan and Amy Hudson discuss the research findings found in Gretchen Reynolds’ article, “Why Exercise Is More Important For A Longer Life.” 
Gretchen says research shows that exercising matters more statistically than losing weight for a person’s longevity. Losing weight is hard, that’s why it has to be combined with nutritional changes and exercise that maximizes muscle health. The research looked at overweight and obese individuals with health problems and found that people who exercise saw great results, regardless of whether or not they lost weight. 
Brian emphasizes that a higher level of fitness is more important to longevity than weight loss. Cutting calories without strength training is one of the worst ways to lose weight. Activity alone has its limitations related to weight loss and increasing longevity. Meanwhile, intentional exercise with the goal to improve muscle quality is one of the best predictors of mortality. Exercise and muscle mass alone doesn’t increase your longevity, but they are correlated to the physiological effects that do such as blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin resistance. 
Being fit at any weight is far more important than the numbers on the scale. Learn more by listening to the “Strength Changes Everything” podcast episode No. 56.  
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Hurricanes hold first offseason workout with new staff – 247Sports

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The Mario Cristobal-led Miami Hurricanes went back to work on Tuesday.
After the team reported on Monday, they participated in their first day of the offseason strength and conditioning practices engineered by Aaron Feld, who arrives with Cristobal from Oregon.
“Aaron is more than just a difference maker as a strength and conditioning coach,” Cristobal said. “He is a game-changer in terms of fostering team culture, instilling discipline and building the DNA of a championship football program.”
The team was broken down into groups with each group going for about 90 minutes with the focus being on “the little details” according to a source.
The strength and conditioning program will continue five times a week over the next two months.
Feld is the Hurricanes’ head strength and conditioning coach after serving in a corresponding role at Oregon the previous four years.
“You don’t move across the country for just any school or just any coach,” Feld said. “That’s the biggest thing. If the ‘U’ wasn’t what the ‘U’ is and if coach Cristobal isn’t who he is, this wouldn’t be happening. I know it’s a place where we can build a perennial contender. You go from good to great, great to elite, and elite to unbreakable–-that’s the culture we’ve developed over the last four years. We had the same ideas coming in, but we’ve watched it evolve into a process that has not only proven effective, but reproducible.”
Feld is joined on the Miami staff from Oregon by Jeff Eaton, an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator.
“Jeff Eaton is my right hand,” Feld said. “Before he’s a great strength coach, he is a phenomenal human being. He is one of the top-level, highest moral fiber, highest DNA quality of a human being I’ve ever been around. That’s before you even consider the fact that he’s one of the best strength coaches I’ve ever worked with. He looks the part, he walks the walk, he talks the talk, and he’s everything you’d want in one of your assistants.”
Tuesday also marked the first day of the spring semester. Early enrollees have until Jan. 26 to register for classes.
“Excitement is an understatement,” Eaton said. “I get goosebumps when I think about it. I know the caliber of man that coach Cristobal is and I know the caliber of man coach Feld is and I’m just so happy to be a part of it. To be considered in that regard, to be alongside these guys, it’s a tremendous feeling and I’m super humbled and super grateful that they would bring me along so we can continue to build this up.”
The start date for spring practices have not been announced, but are expected to begin in March with the annual spring game in April.
Miami is coming off a 7-5 season. It is slated to open its 2022 campaign on Sept. 3 against Bethune-Cookman with a full schedule expected to be released later this month.
“Every single year is a new team and every single year is a new challenge,” Feld said. “You don’t go hoping to build something in five years. It starts right now.”
Christopher Stock has covered the Miami Hurricanes since 2003 and can be reached by e-mail at stock@insidetheu.com and on Twitter @InsideTheU.
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