Support your Immune System with Better You

Support your immune system with Keeley Berry,  Nutritional Expert and Product Developer at BetterYou Ltd.

As Spring beckons, there is hope that our social calendar may soon be opening up, so it’s crucial to ensure our immune system is strong as we head out of lockdown to protect our health and wellbeing.

Our immune system is the body’s natural defence against harmful viruses and bacteria, it is made up of a network of cells, tissues, organs, and molecules which work together to protect the body from any harmful germs or substances by triggering an immune response. When your immune system is working well, it can prevent germs from entering your body and, if harmful cells do get in, it can limit the harm that they do.

The body needs many vitamins and minerals to function properly.

Vitamin C is one of these nutrients and it is essential to the normal function of our immune system.

Stimulating the production and activation of immune cells, Vitamin C supports cellular functions of the innate and adaptive immune systems and it contributes to three main mechanisms of immune protection, including:

  1. Helping to strengthen skin and tissues to prevent viral invasion.
  2. Increasing white blood cell and antibody production to target viruses.
  3. Helping to clear spent white blood cells to maintain tissue health.

Crucially, vitamin C has the ability to protect our white blood cells from invading pathogens and researchers believe that white blood cells draw in vitamin C to help protect from oxidants, increase oxidant regeneration and to ensure any pathogens are killed.

Who is most at-risk of Vitamin C deficiency?

The most common risk factors for vitamin C deficiency include poor diet, malabsorption disorders (such as Crohn’s, Colitis and Coeliac disease), food allergies and anorexia. The elderly and those taking certain medications such as aspirin, oral contraceptives, and some anti-inflammatories, can also be at higher risk of deficiency and frequent supplementation is advised.

Stress, smoking and alcoholism as well as a fever and viral infections can also negatively impact our levels of vitamin C, so if these lifestyle factors affect you, larger daily intakes be required.

How can I ensure I’m getting enough vitamin C?

Unlike animals, humans cannot naturally produce vitamin C and as it is a water-soluble vitamin, our body does not store it, so supplementation is advised to maintain levels as well as regularly eating foods, such as:

  • Mango
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • Green and red peppers
  • Sweet and white potatoes

It’s important to have a food-first approach, but if you struggle to get enough vitamin C a supplement can be a simple and convenient way to increase and maintain levels.

The phrase ‘little and often’ can be helpfully applied to vitamin C supplementation, with absorption believed to drastically reduce as our intake increases. Consuming high levels of vitamin C (500mg and above) results in a rapid decline in absorption efficiency, meaning that supplementing high doses is not beneficial, as it will simply pass through the body.

Healthy individuals are recommended to supplement 100mg of vitamin C per day, an amount that is associated with a decreased risk of mortality from heart disease and stroke.

Some of us, particularly children and the elderly, can find tablets and capsules difficult to swallow, so traditional supplementation methods do not always suit everyone.

Alternative routes, such as vitamin oral spray products, are readily available online as well as on the high-street and with studies showing that they are just as effective at elevating our vitamin levels as traditional capsules, this could be the pill-free supplementation solution we have all been looking for.

Try out the Better You Vitamin C Spray in our April Lifebox, get your hands on one here 

Discover more about the BetterYou range by visiting their website

All things Gut Health with TYG!

TYG (Train Your Gut) is a gut-health sports drink packed with functional ingredients and live bio-cultures to help optimise your performance. 

 

If you purchased a March Lifebox you will have already received a can of Train your Gut Probiotic Drink!

Haven’t got your box yet? Get one here

TYG is the the world’s first probiotic sports drink.

TYG (Train Your Gut) is a gut-health sports drink packed with functional ingredients and live bio-cultures to help optimise your performance. 

Read on to find out about why gut health is pivotal to general wellbeing and why knowing the difference between probiotic strains is so important.

Probiotics

What they are:

Put simply, probiotics are good bacteria. We have a mix of both good and bad bacteria in our gut microbiome and the goal for optimal gut health is to maintain a healthy balance. We can do this by introducing and supporting the growth of the good bacteria through consumption of both probiotics and prebioticsPrebiotics feed the good bacteria and are found in food sources such as green apples, bananas and oats

Why are prebiotics & probiotics important?

Your gut is often referred to as your second brain. It’s proven to influence your athleticism, immunity (70% of your immune system is housed in the gut), metabolism and even the way you thinka whopping 90% of your serotonin (the happy hormone) is said to be produced in the gut. Inside you right now are trillions of microorganisms, some of which are supporting your health, while others could be harming your health – giving you breakouts, making you feel sick, bloated, and sluggish.

How you feel really does come down to the overall balance of bacteria in your gut. 

What affects the balance? 

Antibiotics are known to suppress the beneficial bacteria and change the balance. Stress also has a big impact. Stress comes in all shapes and sizes, from your emotional state (like when you’re trying to homeschool, whilst working full time and keeping your home in some kind of order!) to your physical wellbeing (like overloading the body with sugar or toxins or even going for an intense training session, which is where TYG is your ally). 

Sources of probiotics:

Fermented drinks have become increasingly popular, with kombucha and kefir available in most supermarkets, but do we actually know why we’re drinking them and their benefits? Interestingly, whilst kombucha is a great soft drink or even alcohol alternative, the probiotics found in kombucha aren’t native to the gut microbiome, meaning you’re not going to be replacing any good bacteria that you might be missing. Given it’s tea based, arguably one of the key benefits are its antioxidant properties. Kefir on the other hand does contain good bacteria, native to the microbiome and is a great source of B vitamins, which are key for energy production. Other sources include yoghurts, TYG and of course probiotic supplements. 

What to consider with the strain of probiotic:

One of the biggest questions to ask yourself when it comes to probiotics is: will they actually reach my gut alive so I experience their benefits? After consumption, they’ve got to pass through the stomach to reach your gut. Our stomachs are highly acidic, as this is where chemical digestion of our food takes place. This acidic environment can kill probiotics before they even get to the gut if they’re not properly encapsulated. Most reputable brands will inform you of how their probiotic withstands stomach acid, like we do with TYG.

How long does it take for probiotic supplements to work?

The short answer: It depends. There are several factors that come into play, like why you’re taking the probiotic, the state of your health, and the strains you’re taking, to name a few. That being said, researchers have looked at the timeline for several common conditions that probiotics are known to support and found some similarities. If you put all the research together, the general consensus is that it can take anywhere from a couple of days to several weeks for your probiotics to start working. Consistency is key, supporting optimal gut health is all about creating healthy sustainable habits, there are no quick fixes sadly. 

How you know if they’re working:

The best way to know if a probiotic is working for you is trying it consistently for a number of weeks and keeping track of any changes to your symptoms. Try keeping a symptom journal, so you can see if things are improving. The more severe or significant your symptoms before starting a probiotic, the easier it is to notice changes. Since probiotics are taken orally and must pass through the digestive tract, digestive symptoms are often the first ones to improve such as bowel movement consistency, frequency and gas, but don’t be surprised if you start to notice things like your skin improving, mood and even sleep patterns! 

TYG is available now in three distinct flavours from Amazon and their website.

To try all 3 flavours, use the code ‘LIFEBOX20’ to get 20% off your first mixed crate!

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“I am thrilled to have discovered TYG drinks – something I actually look forward to drinking as soon as I’m off the bike or back from a run. It’s so nice knowing I am doing something for my gut health and recovery, both of which are crucial to athletic performance and so easy to get wrong! I’m a convert and TYG is now firmly a part of my training routine”

– Olivia Ross-Hurst, Triathlete and Adidas Runners Coach – 

Introducing the incredible Nopla Plastic-Free Chewing Gum

At Nopla, we want to take gum back to its roots, helping the planet along the way.

Regular gums are made out of a chewy plastic base similar to the plastic found in car tyres, which means it doesn’t degrade and sticks around on our pavements and in our oceans forever.

This wasn’t always the case; gum was originally made from tree-sap, until gum-makers got lazy (and greedy!).

Nopla gum is completely plastic-free, made from natural ingredients and fully biodegradable.

What is gum base and how is Nopla doing this differently?

‘Gum base’ is the main ingredient for chewing gum, it’s what makes chewing gum, gum – it gives chewing gum it’s structure, texture and chew.  Gum base was originally derived from natural ingredients, but gum companies settled for the cheaper, rubber-based alternative you chew today in the Sixties.

The actual make-up of gum base is a bit of a trade secret because chewing gum companies don’t have to tell you what’s in their gum, so all and any of the 46 ingredients that can make up the recipe are simply listed as ‘gum base’ on the back of a regular pack of gum.

The most common chemicals found in gum are synthetic polymers (better known as plastics or rubbers). The plastics used in gum base most often are butadiene-styrene, polyethylene, and polyvinyl acetate, the same plastics used to make car tyres, hose pipes and electrical wires ( 😱 ). Synthetic gum base is used because as well as being cheap, it’s versatile, holds other components such as flavouring well and has long-range elasticity.

The plastic rubber beads that go in gum base is what makes chewing gum non-biodegradable and the second biggest littering globally after cigarette butts. Gross!

What’s different about Nopla?

We believe that you shouldn’t have to compromise on flavour and chew to have an honest piece of chewing gum, so we’re doing things a little differently. We’ve taken gum base back to its roots and are using sustainably sourced chicle, making it fully biodegradable and plastic free.  

Chicle based chewing gum started selling in 1848, the industry boomed worldwide during WWII and by the Sixties gum companies had switched to the cheaper synthetic rubber they use today.

Chicle is a type of tree-sap found in the Mexican rainforest. As well as the obvious benefits of the lack of plastic rubber, a chicle base is also great at holding natural flavourings and Xylitol which will freshen breath and keep teeth clean.

It’s sourced sustainability by local farmers, also known as Chicleros, meaning the farming practices of chicle helps the rainforest continue to thrive.

Fancy giving Nopla a try? We certainly don’t blame you – we absolutely adore this brand!

Get an exclusive Lifebox discount code: LIFEBOX10 (limited to one use per customer) by visiting their website www.wearenopla.com

Also available at:

Buy it here

Discover more about Nopla:

  • Sugar-free and sweetened using Xylitol: Xylitol is a healthy, low-calorie, plant-based sweetener found in birch and beech trees, first discovered in Finland in the early 20th century. Xylitol is great for teeth as it kills 90% of bacteria, reduces plaque and naturalises acids, it also has a low GI of 7 so is suitable for people suffering with diabetes.
  • Natural flavouring: Our natural Peppermint, Spearmint and Eucalyptus flavours, are made from heating plant leaves or using enzymes to extract flavour compounds from plant ingredients.
  • Natural Softener: The smooth moist texture in Nopla is created with Sunflower Lecithin by dehydrating a sunflower and separating it into three parts: oil, gum, and solids. The Lecithin comes from the gum and is processed through a cold press.
  • Natural coating: Carnauba Wax coats our gum, it’s made from the leaves of the carnauba tree, it’s also known as Brazil Wax as its native to Brazil. The leaves are dried and beaten to loosen the wax.  Gum Arabic from the Australian acacia tree is the natural binder used to stick the wax to the gum base.

Feel your best with Link Nutrition!

If you purchased a December Lifebox you will have already received a months supply of their Immune Supporting Vitamin C Complex worth £22.95! 

Haven’t got your box yet? Get one here

Link Nutrition specialise in supplements for modern living, powered by nature and backed by science.

Health is at the heart of what they do and their unique dietary supplements will optimise your energy levels, nourish your immune system and enhance mental performance. Errr where do we sign up?

Nature is their inspiration. They scour the world to source the most effective ingredients. Fusing powerful Food Based nutrients with potent mushroom and herbal extracts, the end result is cutting-edge dietary supplements.

At Link Nutrition, they’re breaking the mould, combining the very best of modern science with traditional eastern knowledge. Food Based supplements are created with you in mind and our ultimate goal is for you to feel energised, confident and happy.

Enjoy an exclusive 20% off the full Link Nutrition Range with the code LINKLIFE20

Shop now at www.linknutrition.com