dminder App For Vitamin D Levels + Review

dminder App For Vitamin D Levels + Review

It is important in these times to get your body as healthy as possible. This means getting in nutrients, sleeping well, taking care of your mental health and exercising.

One of the things I keep reading about lately is vitamin D and the role it can play in our health. I have been interested in getting my levels of this vitamin up due to what I have learned.

Recently, I tried an app on my phone that will help me with increasing my vitamin D intake and I wanted to do a review on it.

Why I think I need vitamin D

Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin” by many. This is because there is an abundance of it in the sun.

An immense amount of people are low in this vitamin due to not being in the sun very much, there not being very many foods that have a lot in it and some people just don’t absorb it very well for whatever reason.

While many people can absorb more of it by choosing to sit outside for a while everyday, those with darker skin are still often deficient because the melanin blocks it. Since I am a black woman with dark skin, I may be deficient because of that.

Another reason for me thinking I need to focus on getting more vitamin D is because I do not consume the food that contains good amounts of it (ex. mushrooms).

What vitamin D may be able to do for me (and you!)

My main goal right now is to get my immune system in tip-top shape. Vitamin D has shown evidence that it might help with that.

There has been quite a lot about it possibly playing a role in the severity of COVID19 infections. Researchers are saying that getting our vitamin D levels up can make the virus less severe if one catches it.

Vitamin D also shows evidence at helping with PCOS and PMS. Regular supplementation with the vitamin might treat the underlying metabolic issues that come along with PCOS as well as reduce the intensity of PMS symptoms. Those are two areas I definitely need help with!

Of course there are scientists that completely disagree with vitamin D having benefits but for now I will be continuing my quest to improve my levels.

The dminder app

I happened to come across an app called, “dminder” on a forum. The people were mentioning how helpful it was so I decided to look into it.

The dminder, is an app that helps you get your vitamin D levels up or maintain them. It is able to do this by tracking the sun wherever you are at as well as taking into account the supplements you consume.

To get started with it after installing, it has you set up a profile. This includes putting in your weight, height, age, skin pigment, gender and how much vitamin D you typically get each day in supplements. From this, it sets a daily goal for you.

Each day you are to record how much vitamin D you got in through supplements and your time in the sun. With the latter you can either input a prior time in the sun or start a timer.

When you are putting in sun sessions or starting them, you are to also input what you are wearing as well as how much the the sun is out in the sky. This important for the app to get the best estimate on the level of vitamin D you have gotten.

The app provides a sunscreen reminder feature. It will keep telling you when it is time to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day.

The home screen on the app is specific to your location and will show when vitamin D is available through the sun during the day. It also gives reminders about when your opportunity is coming to an end.

There is a free version and a premium version of the app. The premium version costs $2.00 and includes history reports.

My review of the dminder app

I love this app and I am so glad I stumbled across it!

The science behind getting vitamin D from the sun is really interesting to me. I learned how easy it can be to get my levels up by being outside.

Before I started using this app, I had already been taking vitamin D supplements. It was eye opening to me to see what they estimated I should be getting based on my information I put into my profile.

I had only been taking 2000 IU of vitamin D per day and not sitting in the sun at all. The app says I need at least 5,000 day! I have now started to take 4000 IUs per day in gummy form and being outside for an hour, weather permitting.

Great brand!

In terms of PCOS and PMS, I have not noticed anything yet. I will continue to keep track of how I feel each day in my health journal so I can see if things change in those areas in a few months.

I would recommend this app

If you are interested in increasing your vitamin D levels, this app is definitely for you! It is really easy to use.

In these times, it is important stay healthy. Since vitamin D shows some ability to help our bodies out in various ways, it is worth considering getting more of it (in my opinion).

Do you supplement with vitamin D and/or get out in the sun a lot? let me know!

The dminder app: http://dminder.ontometrics.com/index.html

#vitamind #health #supplements #sun #immunesystem #nutrients #nutrition #covid19

Rosemary: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

Rosemary: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

I have always loved lots of flavor in my food. That means that having a full spice cabinet is a must in our household!

It is interesting to me that a lot of these things we use as flavoring have health benefits and have been used to treat certain things. I enjoy reading about them regardless if I will ever be using them.

I have done blog posts about herbs and spices in the past. Since rosemary is herb that I really like, I decided to make this post about it!

The what and why of rosemary

Rosemary is a wonderful plant that most people have heard of. Another name for it is Rosmarinus officinalis. It is pretty easy to grow and a great option for your home herb garden.

Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is recognized for its strong scent and the distinct flavoring it adds to foods. It is great for meats, soups, stews, potatoes, sauces, dips and breads.

Rosemary has also been used in traditional medicine since around 500 B.C. It is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium.

The alleged benefits of rosemary are as follows:

  • Cognitive performance- Some studies have shown that smelling rosemary’s strong scent can improve memory, reaction times and mental math skills. It has also been looked at for possible use in the treatment of dementia.
  • Mood improvement- Some studies have shown that smelling rosemary and applying it in oil form to wrists can improve one’s mood.
  • Inflammation- Some studies have shown that rosemary has anti-inflammatory benefits. It has been taken for things like osteoarthritis, muscle soreness, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and joint pain.
  • Boosts immune system
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Anti-microbial and anti-bacterial effects- Some studies have shown that rosemary oil can fight E.coli and salmonella in meats.
  • Blood circulation- Some studies have indicated that it has circulatory benefits that make it helpful when it comes to hair growth.
  • Color loss- Some studies have shown that it delays oxidation. People have used it to help darken grey hairs.

While there are seemingly some good benefits to rosemary, there are also some side effects that have been noted. When too much is consumed, vomiting and kidney issues can occur. Also, it can raise blood pressure, so people need to be cautious of this.

Rosemary can be found in the forms of fresh leaves (straight from the plant and cleaned), dried leaves, powder, essential oil, tea bags and capsules.

My use of rosemary

Back when I was in middle school, I was fascinated by herbs. We went to a garden center one day and my mother let me pick out some plants to take home. I randomly chose rosemary and basil.

While I loved the smell of both of them, rosemary’s scent was especially interesting to me. I would often go out on the deck where we had them and just breath deeply. It was so relaxing to me to be out there on a sunny day, among the plants.

I used to make tea out of the rosemary leaves as well. It is probably too strong for a lot of kids but for me, it tasted great. At that time, I didn’t know much about the benefits of plants but I did have a feeling that I was doing something good to my body when consuming it.

These days, I mainly just use rosemary in cooking instead of drinking the tea. On my high carb days, I add it into basmati rice and in biscuit recipes. I also use it for chicken and beef recipes. Soon, I plan is to make these low-carb rosemary crackers: https://simplysohealthy.com/low-carb-rosemary-parmesan-crackers/.

A while back I bought a box of rosemary tea but I have yet to drink it. Since I am all about anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting things, I might start drinking two cups a day.

I found out around a year ago that rosemary essential oil could help with hair growth. Since I do a hair mask before I wash my hair, I sometimes will add in drops of the oil into the mask. Being that PCOS can cause hair loss, I will be making sure to add it in every time from now on.

I also plan on using diluted rosemary essential oil on my eyebrows to see if I can make them grow. They used to be nice and full which required me to get them waxed once or twice a month. Since I got pregnant and gave birth, they have become sparse and will not grow at all unfortunately.

Rosemary is good to have around!

This plant is strong in smell and flavor which might turn people off from it. I would highly recommend always having it around if you do enjoy it though. You can combine it with other herbs/seasonings/spices to come up with a new dimension of flavor in your recipes.

You can also make tea out of it to get the health benefits it has. If you do not like drinking tea, you could make some anyway, cool it down and use it as an after-conditioning hair rinse. The latter can provide moisturizing and growth benefits for your hair!

Do you like using rosemary?

Thanks for reading!

#rosemary  #plants  #herbs  #gardening #supplements  #immunesystem  #health  #naturalmedicine

Cayenne Pepper: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

Cayenne Pepper: Why It Should Be In Your Kitchen!

We all have our favorite seasonings/spices that we like to use in our cooking. Not only do they provide the flavors that we want, but they can also contain health benefits!

Cayenne pepper has been a staple in our kitchen for a while now. I only recently discovered the ways that it can be good for our bodies.

This post is just an overview on what makes it great and how I use it.

The what and why of cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper originates from South America. It has been used in food and traditional medicine for 9,000 years!

It contains capsaicin which is a phytochemical. This has been studied for its health benefits. It also has vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, choline, beta carotene and zeaxanthin.

The alleged health benefits of cayenne pepper are as follows:

  • Controls hunger
  • Speeds up metabolism
  • Helps in weight control
  • Has anti-inflammatory effects
  • Prevents and treats ulcers
  • Helps with indigestion
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Helps with pain
  • Reduces bad cholesterol levels
  • Boosts immune system
  • Breaks up congestion
  • Soothes sore throats

Cayenne pepper can be bought in the forms of powder, capsules, alcohol extract, syrups, spray (self-defense) and capsaicin cream. Too much of it consumed by mouth or topically can cause discomfort so you need to be mindful of that.

I love cayenne pepper!

It is great that one of my favorite spices might be healthy for me. This has made me increase my usage of it quite a bit lately.

The boosting of my immune system is important to me due to the virus. With the possibility that cayenne pepper can help in that area, I will continue to use it every day for the foreseeable future.

I currently put generous amounts in my food and green tea. It does not upset my stomach at all which is wonderful.

I would recommend it to other people

Even if scientists can’t give definitive answers as to whether cayenne pepper does the things I listed, it does not hurt to add it into your diet (unless you use too much or get it into sensitive areas on your body, haha!) and daily life.

Here are some things you can do with cayenne pepper:

Do any of you like cayenne pepper? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

Some sources-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4477151/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/cayenne-pepper

https://www.encyclopedia.com/places/latin-america-and-caribbean/south-american-political-geography/cayenne

#cayennepepper   #immunesystem   #covid19   #health   #supplements   #diet   #nutrition

Align Probiotics + Review

Align Probiotics + Review

There are all sorts of supplements on the market and some get more press than others. Probiotics are one of the ones that we hear about a lot.

I have been taking probiotics for the past few years now-not all from the same brand and with the same contents. This is due to my chronic stomach problems that need to be fixed.

Recently, I have begun taking probiotics by a brand called, Align Probiotics. In this post, I wanted to discuss and give my review of them.

First, the what and why of probiotics

Here is one yummy way of getting some good bacteria into your gut!

Probiotics are types of bacteria that are said to help instead of harm. People who have not paid attention to probiotics might be surprised to hear that there is such a thing as, “good bacteria.”

Antibiotics are given to kill off bad bacteria due to some illnesses. While that can be a beneficial thing, they also end up killing off the good bacteria that we need. This is where probiotics can come in to help.

There are many different strains of probiotics and researchers have found that certain ones may help certain ailments. For example, one of the strains (called lactobacillus acidophilus) is said assist in vaginal health. Other things probiotics show some evidence for treating include IBS, acne, tooth decay, allergies, C.Diff, constipation, UTIs and our immune systems.

Probiotics can be found in different foods (examples include pickles, yogurt, and sauerkraut), supplement form by a variety of brands and in beauty products.

Align Probiotic 24/7 Digestive Support Capsules

  Align Probiotic is a supplement brand focused on helping consumers with digestion issues. Their probiotic products come in capsule, chewable, gummy, liquid drop (for infants) and powdered drink form.

Some of the products have different strains of bacteria in them. Their 24/7 Digestive Support supplement option contains a strain called, Bifidobacterium 35624.  The brand is said to be the only one on the market that has that particular one in it.

Bifidobacterium 35624 has been studied as being effective for the treatment of IBS and other GI discomforts. The capsules are small and come in blister packs. They are to be taken once per day and do not need to be refrigerated (some other probiotic supplements need to be).

For a box of 63 capsules, the cost is around $40.

My review of the product

I have been suffering from stomach issues for about five years now (I will do another post about that). The issues have occurred multiple times a month. There have been some months where I only have had five good days. The symptoms include intense upper abdominal cramping, bloating and nausea.

Not fun!

I had been taking different probiotic supplements for a couple years prior and they did not seem to help that much. One day in early January, I decided to look up the top-rated probiotics on the market. This was when I came across the Align Probiotics 24/7 Digestive Support.

The positive reviews on this product made me buy it right away. The fact that people were saying that they had a reduction in their own stomach “flare-ups” was really enticing to me.

I began taking them right after they came in the mail knowing that it would probably take a while to make any difference (if it was going to at all).

After starting my “journey” with the new probiotics, I decided to document how my stomach was feeling each day as well as my emotional state and what I had to eat. This was important to me so that I could eventually look back on things to figure out if they are helping me or not.

At the time of making this post, I can honestly say that this product has helped me already. Looking at my documentation, there has been a clear reduction in the amount and severity of “flare-ups” in the past three months. I have only had one and it lasted for two days!

The nausea that I get the day before and the day of my period do not count for this because that is caused by hormones. I do not think probiotics can help hormonal related issues.

In terms of price, these probiotics are not cheap. They are totally worth it to me though and I plan on buying them indefinitely.

Probiotics can be a good choice

There are always going to be conflicting reports on whether supplements are good to take. In my opinion, probiotics show a lot of evidence (both scientific and anecdotal) that they can be beneficial.

If you have gut issues and/or you want to possibly boost your immune system, you might want to try a probiotic supplement. It is important to do your research to find the one that is right for you.

Do any of you guys take probiotics? What has been your experience with them?

Thanks for reading!

Some sources-

https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics-what-you-need-to-know

#probiotics  #immunesystem  #gut  #digestion  #supplements  #alignprobiotics  #health

Looking for Ways to Boost Your Immune System? See what I am Doing for Mine!

Looking for Ways to Boost Your Immune System? See what I am Doing for Mine!

This pandemic has left me extremely nervous and anxious due to the severity of the virus. Because of this, I want to make sure that my immune system is in tip-top shape.

If you want to boost your immune system too…read on! This post may give you some ideas.

The supplements I take daily

I have done a lot of reading on supplements and herbs that show some ability to help strengthen the immune system. This is something I started doing around the time I opened my home daycare business (kids are full of germs!).

I began taking three supplements that I thought would help me get sick less and I have recently increased that amount.

Here is what I take currently and how much:

  1. Ginger capsules (Nature’s Way brand)- Two a day for a total of 1,100 mg
  2.  Colostrum capsules (Jarrow’s brand)- Two a day for a total of 1,000 mg
  3.  Probiotics (Align brand)- One per day
  4. Vitamin C with rosehips (NOW brand)- One per day for a total of 1 gram (see my post on rosehips: Are Rosehips Beneficial For Us? Let’s See What The Studies Say!)
  5. Vitamin D3 (Smart For Life brand)- Two gummies per day for a total of 2,000 IU
  6. Oil of Oregano (Puritan’s Pride brand)- Three soft-gels per day for total of 450 mg (see my post on oil of oregano: Boosting Immunity: Oil of Oregano)
  7. Melatonin- 2 mg in the evening
  8. Turmeric powder- Four teaspoons a day ( see my post on turmeric use: I Hopped on the Turmeric Trend and Here Is Why!)
  9. Green tea- Four cups a day
  10. Cayenne pepper- Not sure the exact amount but I shake a lot on my food and tea.
  11. Broccoli (my favorite thing to eat believe it or not!)- Full of vitamin C. I have two servings or more per day.
  12. Zinc lozenges- Six per day
  13. Garlic- In powder form, on my food (lots!)

These things are not guaranteed to help but so far, they are not hurting me. I am going to keep taking them indefinitely.

The things I do daily

Peppermint infused water to breath in

Supplements and nutrition are not the only things that could potentially strengthen our immune systems.

Here is a list of things that I do each day for my health:

  1. Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night
  2. If the weather is nice, I go into my backyard for one hour to soak up even more vitamin D
  3. Hot water breathing- I heat up water until it is boiling, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it and then breath the steam in. I do this once in the evening while listening to one of my favorite podcasts.
  4. Exercise- I exercise six times a week.

What I want to add into my day

I am really interested in the benefits that I could gain from doing meditation during the day. My thought is that some stress relieving mental exercises early in the day would be helpful for me.

Being extremely stressed, worried, anxious, depressed etc. all the time can do some damage to our immune systems. It is important to me that I reduce the negative emotions I feel on a daily basis.

I want us all to be as healthy as possible

I hate this virus! I want everyone (including me) to kick its butt if it gets near! That means being able to fight it off well enough that we do not end up with a severe form of it or to just not get it at all.

I hope that what I am doing will help me in some sort of way. If you choose to take/do anything on one of my lists, I hope it helps you too.

What are you doing right now for your immune system during this pandemic? Let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#stayathome   #covid19   #immunesystem   #supplements  #health  #wegotthis