December and the holiday season are once again upon us. During this time of the year, it becomes very easy to forget to take our dietary supplements because we are “too busy.” The irony of this is that this holiday time is one of the most important periods for us to remember to take dietary supplements for several compelling reasons.
The holiday season is concurrent with the winter cold and flu season. It is important for our immune system to be strong at this time to help ward off the flu bug and the other viruses and infections that seem to be prevalent in the winter months. Each year the flu strains circulating can change making it imperative to keep up your immunity at a high level. Family get-togethers, dinners, and holiday parties lead to perfect close-contact situations for spreading these nasty germs and illnesses. Having a strong, uncompromised immune response can keep us healthy and help us maintain maximum resistance to these “bugs.”
Dietary supplement ingredients that aid in supporting our immune response include vitamins A, C, D and E, plus the minerals zinc and selenium. Recent clinical studies are showing that having adequate vitamin D levels in our body can greatly enhance the immune system response to viral, bacterial or cell invaders. Sufficient vitamin D can be difficult to get from our diet, and our main source of vitamin D, sunlight, is not around much during this time of the year. Other immune-enhancing dietary ingredients include beta glucan, astragalus root, elderberry extract and echinacea. Kirkman® offers these ingredients alone or in various combinations. An excellent product incorporating many of these nutrients into one formula is our Immuno-Aid™. Colostrum is another dietary supplement that supports immune health, and this is available in both flavored and hypoallergenic versions.
Our diets change during the holidays. For one, we generally eat more and consume additional calories. Two, we may overindulge in the types of foods that are not particularly healthy, such as more fats and proteins, more sugars, and more alcoholic beverages. Our digestive systems will be taxed to properly digest these. Digestive enzymes can help to achieve proper digestion during these periods. Consuming more fats and proteins may require added lipase and/or protease for proper digestion while consuming extra sugars and starches may require additional amylase and carbohydrase enzymes.By supplementing with a multi-spectrum digestive enzyme that digests all of the food groups, adequate digestive enzyme activity to compensate for these additional food intakes can be assured.
Kirkman’s Enzym-Complete/DPP-IV™ II with Isogest® is an excellent multi-purpose enzyme supplying enzymes that aid the digestion of any food group consumed. Only Kirkman® enzymes contain Isogest®, a specialty enzyme with isomaltase activity, which helps digest isomaltose and palatinose present in some complex starches such as in potatoes. Kirkman’s Maximum Spectrum Enzym-Complete/DPP-IV™ Fruit Free w/Isogest® formulation is another version of a multi-purpose enzyme with Isogest® that contains no fruit-based enzymes for those individuals sensitive to fruit-based ingredients.
Many individuals are on special diets such as the gluten-free/casein-free or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Digestive enzymes taken during the holidays can help compensate for inadvertent dietary infractions that may occur over the holidays. Traces of casein, gluten or monosaccharides may be consumed unknowingly (or intentionally) causing sensitivity reactions. Digestive enzymes may help minimize the reactions to these infractions provided that the quantity consumed is not too large. Sensitive individuals often may “sneak” a taste of some enticing holiday treat. Digestive enzymes can be a good safety net. Kirkman®, of course, recommends that these infractions be kept to a minimum.
The extra food we eat during the holidays, especially the sugars and carbohydrates we over consume, can upset the balance of good flora needed for a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Taking probiotics during this period can help to keep the good flora in balance, which in turn helps to crowd out the undesirable bacteria or yeast which thrive on the sugars and carbohydrates consumed. Multi-strain probiotics such as Kirkman’s Pro-Bio Gold™, Multi-Flora Spectrum™ and Super Pro-Bio™ 75 Billion would be excellent choices for helping to maintain that good flora balance. All Kirkman® probiotics are casein and gluten free, verified by independent third party laboratory testing.
Often during the holidays, individuals consume lots of treats, cookies, candy, desserts and other foods that lack proper nutritional balance. It is easy to be lacking in proper vitamin and mineral intake to assure balanced nutrition. Consuming a comprehensive multiple vitamin and mineral will help guard against nutritional deficiencies during this period. Kirkman® has many multiple vitamin and mineral combinations for children including Super Nu-Thera®, Spectrum Complete™, Thera Response and three versions of children’s multiple vitamin and mineral formulas. Kirkman® now also has a great adult product called Advanced Adult Multi-Vitamin/Mineral that contains high levels of vitamins C and D and zinc, as well as coenzyme Q-10 and resveratrol.
As the holiday season winds down, individuals frequently start to feel drained because of reduced energy levels. This can be due to nutritional deficiencies. A good dietary supplement regimen during this period can help maintain your normal, healthy energy levels. So enjoy your holiday festivities, but don’t forget your supplements.