Getting Outside Your Bubble And Among Others
After a long period of isolation many people are stepping outside their bubble and back into society. Some folks are anxious about being around others. They want their immune system prepared and ready to handle the assorted germs that we all encounter when we are among strangers.
Below is a list of 8 important vitamins and minerals often associated with the immune system. Included are both the food sources that are high in these key nutrients and also facts about supplementation.
Zinc deficiency is a common problem, affecting nearly 25% of the population in developing countries. In countries like the USA, it can still be an issue as a result of lifestyle, age, and disease-mediated factors. Signs of a zinc deficiency include unexplained weight loss, lack of alertness, wounds that don’t heal, diarrea, loss of appetite and decreased sense of smell.
The best food sources of zinc are oysters & red meats like beef. Vegetarians best food sources are nuts & beans. However three ounces of oysters has more than 10 times the amount of zinc compared to 3 ounces of pumpkin seeds. 3 ounces of oysters delivers about 74mg of zinc, while 3 ounces of pumpkin seeds (which are often cited as the best nut or seed source for zinc) contains just 6.6mg of zinc. Zinc supplementation is also a successful way to get this vital mineral. Several studies have indicate that zinc can reduce the duration of colds and help those battling conditions related to zinc deficiency.
Few people in the US have vitamin C deficiencies but there is a population of folks in the states that do have low levels of vitamin C due to their diet or lack of supplementation. Some of the symptoms of low vitamin C levels are rough bumpy skin, dry skin, easy bruising, painful and swollen joints, and corkscrew shaped body hair.
It’s fairly easy to get minimum levels of vitamin C through foods. While we always think of oranges as an excellent source for vitamin C, other foods such as a half a cup (roughly 75 grams) of yellow peppers contains approximately 130mg of vitamin C or a full cup of brussel sprouts with 100mg of vitamin C are also great options. In comparison, a medium size orange provides about 70mg of vitamin C. It’s fairly easy to supplement with vitamin C. It is a water soluble vitamin which means your body will eliminate much of what it doesn’t absorb. Planet 3 Vitamin Packs contain 300mg of vitamin C, an amount that easily allows someone to get an amount equivalent to eating about 4-5 medium oranges.
A few studies have indicated that elderberry helps reduce the duration of colds.* These small round blue-purple berries are packed with antioxidants. They also are a natural source of vitamin A which is an essential nutrient required for maintaining healthy skin and is required for good eye health. If you’re not actually eating elderberry, there are supplements available. Every Planet 3 Vitamin Pack contains 250mg of quality elderberry extract, you can find it within the Immunity Support Formula capsule.
If you’ve been inside a lot, chances are you’re not getting enough sun exposure. Getting outside and exposing your skin to the sunlight is a natural way of getting some vitamin D. However, many people still suffer from vitamin D deficiencies. Those most often with vitamin D deficiencies include those who are older and also those who have darker skin as the higher the melanin content, the more difficult it is for the body to create vitamin D from sunlight. Some people can have low vitamin D levels or a vitamin D deficiency for years and not know it. Signs of a vitamin D deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, weakness and signs of depression.
Foods that are naturally high in vitamin D include salmon, sardines and eggs. A 3.5 ounce (100g) serving of salmon has about 500IU of vitamin D. A can of sardines (3.8 ounces) contains about 177IU. Two large eggs will get you about 80IU of vitamin D.
It is easy to supplement with vitamin D and every drugstore has a wide assortment. Most products contain at a minimum 400IU and often 2,000IU of vitamin D. The Planet 3 Vitamin Packs contain 2,000IU (50mcg) of vitamin D. There are some over-the-counter products that contain 10,000IU and more. Vitamin D toxicity is possible, but rare. Vitamin D is fat soluble. This means it is stored in the body and may build up over time, especially if you take high doses over an extended period of time. Some doctors will prescribe higher levels of vitamin D (10,000IU to 50,000IU) for shorter periods of time. Anytime you are taking supplements, you should talk to your doctor about it. That includes a simple multivitamin.
Bacteria is usually viewed in a negative light as something that makes you sick. However, you have two kinds of bacteria constantly in and on your body, good bacteria and bad bacteria. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria found in certain foods or supplements. The claim is that they provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. The assorted health benefits claims are wide ranging, some of the more common claimed benefits include: balance your digestive system, prevent or treat diarrhea, reduce allergies and help improve immune system.* The claim that probiotics can help prevent or treat diarrhea is one that is of interest to many travelers since travelers often try new foods when away from home. Some of these claims are supported by research, others are anecdotal.
Foods that contain probiotics include yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, tempeh, kimchi and sourdough bread. The amount of probiotics is measured in Colony Forming Units (CFU). Some probiotics have been found to be effective with 1-2 billion CFU, while others claim more (20 Billion CFUs) is better. Planet 3 Vitamin Packs contain 10 billion CFUs of probiotics in each daily pack.
Vitamin B12 & Vitamin B3
Vitamin B12 deficiencies can be sneaky and harmful. Symptoms you may feel if you are deficient in vitamin B12 include low energy, weakness, anemia and a tingling feeling on the skin. Severe vitamin B12 deficiency is even more serious as it can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and nerve damage.
Those who are most often diagnosed with low or severed vitamin B12 deficiency are usually older adults or vegetarians. As we age our body absorbs less vitamin B12. Since vitamin B12 from food often comes from animal products, vegetarians and vegans need to be aware of their vitamin B12 levels.
Foods like beef, liver, chicken, fish and eggs contain Vitamin B12. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12. Zero vitamin b12 in fruits or vegetables. That is why it’s important for both vegetarians and vegans, especially those that have been eating that way for a long time to seriously consider supplementation.
Low levels or deficiencies in vitamin B3 can result in cracked or scaly skin, fatigue, nausea, a bright or swollen tongue, poor circulation or a condition known as pellegra. Many animal products like beef, fish and chicken are good sources of Vitamin B3. Vegetarians can get vitamin B3 through avocado, peanuts, peas and potatoes. However the amounts of B3 through vegetarian sources is much less compared to animal products.
Fortunately, supplementation of both Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B3 is easy. Each daily vitamin pack from Planet 3 contains 1000mcg of Vitamin B12 and 75mg of Vitamin B3.
Some studies suggest that as much as 75 percent of Americans are not getting the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium. The RDA for men is 400-420mg and 310-320mg for women. Some of the signs of low magnesium levels include fatigue, numbness, muscle cramps, tingling and abnormal heart rhythms.
Foods high in magnesium include shelled pumpkin seeds. One ounce of shelled pumpkin seeds contain 168mg of magnesium. A half cup of boiled spinach has about 78mg. A packet of instant oatmeal has about 36mg, meaning if you ate 10 packets of oatmeal for breakfast you’d get 360mg of magnesium. Which means women would slightly exceed the RDA of 310mg to 320mg and guys would be a little short of the RDA of 400mg t0 420mg. That would be a lot of oatmeal. Each Planet 3 vitamin pack contains 50mg of magnesium. The type of magnesium in each daily vitamin pack is magnesium citrate and not magnesium oxide. Studies have shown that magnesium citrate is better absorbed by the body than magnesium oxide.
It’s always best to get your nutrients from whole food sources. That is always our recommendation and we are a vitamin company, food first and supplements second. However, many of us do not have perfect diets. In fact, according to a CDC study, 90 percent of Americans do not eat enough fruits & vegetables daily. That is the entire reason Planet 3 Vitamin Packs were created. We developed our product to help fill gaps in nutrition. We also knew that putting our premium supplements into packs would make it easier for people to take every day. We are proud of our premium supplements, but if you decide not to choose our vitamin packs we hope you would consider other reputable brands. At the end of the day, we just want people to get the nutrients they need.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Consult a healthcare provider prior to use if: pregnant, nursing, on medications, have a medical condition or are planning a medical procedure. Stop use and contact a physician if adverse reactions occur. Keep out of reach of children. Store this product in a cool, dry place.
✝︎ A page has been dedicated to the studies regarding supplements mentioned on this page. You can find these resources at the following link: Science and Research