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Probiotics & Prebiotics: The Difference & Why You Should Take Them

Wait, So You’re Saying They’re Not The Same Thing?

The Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics are live bacteria that provide health benefits to your body, especially your digestive system, when consumed.

Prebiotics are a form of dietary fiber from the non-digestible part of foods that feed the good bacteria (probiotics) already live inside the large intestine.

Where You Can Find Them

Probiotics are naturally created in the fermentation process of some foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and tempeh. Probiotics are also available in pill form, and as an added ingredient to other products.

Prebiotic fiber comes from the non-digestible parts of foods such as chicory root, dandelion greens, bananas, onion, garlic, asparagus and the skin of apples. Prebiotic fiber is also available in pill form.

How They Are Related

Probiotics and Prebiotics both act to improve your gut health, helping with various digestive problems and even boost your immune system. Probiotics are live bacteria that act to clean out your gut. They need to be fed in order to remain active and maintain their effectiveness. Prebiotics act as food for Probiotics, allowing them to thrive and benefit you as much as possible.

Why You Should Take Them

Probiotics are used to treat a variety of digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as skin conditions like eczema and perioral dermatitis. Studies suggest that Probiotics are also useful in preventing colds, allergies, and supporting oral health. Prebiotics increase the “good” bacteria in your gut, while also working to increase calcium and magnesium absorption, promote stronger bones, and boost your immune system! Many supplements on the market are just Probiotics. However, if you are not consuming enough Prebiotic fiber to support the live bacteria in your gut, the Probiotics will not be as effective. Due to this, adding a combination of Probiotic and Prebiotic supplements to your diet —in addition to the right foods— is a great way to ensure a healthy mix of bacteria in your gut.


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9 Weight Loss Tips That Aren’t Diet & Exercise

Embarking on a weight loss journey should be an exciting and empowering time. However, starting a new diet and workout regimen can be difficult and overwhelming. Fortunately, there are other effective ways to start losing weight and prevent weight gain in the future. Here are 9 tips to lose weight without diet and …

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7 Ways To Detox Your Body Naturally

What Is A Detox?

According to, detoxification is a process or the period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. These toxins can be caused by environmental factors, processed food or sugar, and can build up over time. When we detox, we rid the body of these toxins, and replace them with the nutrients we need to effectively protect ourselves from disease and maintain optimum health.

Doesn’t The Body Detox Itself?

Yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help the process along. Our bodies naturally detox through our kidneys, intestines, lungs and even our skin! However, if one of those systems isn’t working properly, your body will start to feel it.

If You’re Suffering From Any Of These Symptoms, It Might Be Time For A Detox.

  • Fatigue
  • Sluggish Nature
  • Irritated skin
  • Allergies
  • Low-grade infection
  • Puffy eyes
  • Bloating
  • Menstrual problems

How Do I Start?

After a detox program guided by your physician or nutritionist, you can implement simple lifestyle changes to help your body rid itself of toxins all year round. Here’s 7 ways you can detox your body, naturally!

1 Drink More Water

Staying hydrated is key to helping your body flush out those unwanted toxins, and while you think you might be getting enough water, chances are you’re probably not. The Mayo Clinic released a simple formula to calculate how much water you should be drinking daily! Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Take your weight (in lbs) and divide it by 2.2.

Step 2: Multiply that number by your age.

Step 3: Divide that sum by 28.3.

Step 4: Your total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day.

2 Exercise 

Exercise is important to help the body breath and sweat, while stretching the muscles and promoting better circulation. The better your body is circulating, the better your liver, kidneys, and lungs can filter out toxins. The best type of exercise for detoxification is low-intensity aerobic exercise. Try adding walking, running, bicycling, yoga or swimming to your routine.

3 Shower Cycling

A great way to detox is by taking contrast showers. Try 3-4 cycles of 3 minutes of HOT water followed by 1 minute of COLD water. The alternate temperatures are a great way to lower stress, relieve tension, reduce congestion and improve blood circulation!

4 Cut Back On Refined Sugar

Too much of anything is a bad thing. Excess refined sugar (and its artificial substitutes) overwork the liver. When this happens, the liver starts converting sugar into fat, which can lead to an array of issues like clogged arteries, heart disease, regulated blood sugar, and insulin resistance. In addition to cutting back, try switching out your white table sugar for natural alternatives such as stevia, honey or coconut sugar.

5 Eat More Green, Leafy Vegetables

Kale, spinach, cabbage and arugula are great examples of leafy greens that contain essential nutrients and fiber that work to cleanse the blood.

6 Take Probiotics

The beneficial bacteria in probiotics work to kill harmful bacteria and restore balance in the gut and improve digestion. In addition to probiotic supplements, you can also eat probiotic containing foods such as yogurt, kefir or kimchi.

7 Eat Less White Flour

Evidence indicated that refined grains like white flour can boost inflammatory markers in our blood, jack up insulin levels, increase risk of heart disease. Refined flour is also known to impact gut health and hurt digestion. Try replacing white flour containing foods with brown rice, quinoa, nut flours and seed flours instead.

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7 Every Day Superfoods

No, They Don’t Wear Capes Or Spandex Suits.

So What Makes ‘Superfoods’ So Super?

Superfoods are lower calorie, nutrient-dense foods that are said to have the capacity to reduce the risk of disease while improving physical and emotional health. Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and protein, these foods help you fight off potential illness while keeping you full and satisfied. Most superfoods are widely available, making incorporating them into your diet that much easier. Take a break from thinking about what you shouldn’t be eating and add these 7 superfoods to your diet ASAP.

1. Quinoa 

Contrary to popular belief, quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain. It’s a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids. Packed with fiber, iron, complex carbohydrates and potassium, quinoa gives you lasting energy and keeps you full.

2. Eggs

Egg are full of ocular boosting antioxidants including zeaxanthin, which is said to protect your eyes from UV rays. Egg yolks also contain leutin, a carotenoid that helps fight macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss. Both zeaxanthin and leutin also help reduce the risk of cataracts.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C. Their free radical fighting and anti-inflammatory properties help you lower your risk of heart disease and cancer.

4. Spinach

Similar to eggs, spinach contains leutin and zeaxanthin, both of which help protect your eyes. The antioxidants, vitamin C, K, and iron in spinach aid in cardiovascular health, strong bones, and healthy hair!

5. Broccoli

Filled with vitamin A, C, K, and folate, broccoli is a popular superfood for its ability to help build strong bones and control blood pressure.

6. Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotics, otherwise known as “good bacteria” that work to keep your gut healthy. It’s also packed with protein, calcium, vitamin A, B12, and potassium! This combination of nutrients helps promote strong bones, clear skin and healthy eyes, all while increasing energy!

7. Oats

A whole grain full of soluble fiber, oats serve as a hunger satiating superfood with no added sugar. The fiber in oats help regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

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5 Ways You’re Unknowingly Damaging Your Hair

Whether it’s bleach, color, heat styling, we put our hair through a lot. So when we face a new hair problem like split ends or breakage, we’re quick to blame the common culprits. While switching your shampoo or laying off the straightener for a while might help, the answer might not be that straightforward. Find out how you’re damaging your hair without even realizing it.

Brushing Your Hair When It’s Wet

Soaking wet hair is weaker than dry hair, making it more susceptible to damage. Using a brush on wet hair is more likely to leave you with a head full of breakage. Instead, try using a wide tooth comb and work from the ends up.

Brushing Excessively

We’ve all heard the myth that brushing your hair 100 times a day will make it shiny and fuller. However, this just isn’t the case. Over brushing your hair can actually cause significant weakening and damage. Instead, try only brushing your hair to eliminate knots and tangles.

Over Washing 

While there isn’t a set number of times you should wash your hair per week, your hair will let you know if you’re washing it too often. If it’s dry and frizzy, and your head is full of dandruff, it might be time to cut back on the shampoo.

Towel Drying Your Hair

Using a towel on wet, fragile hair is a quick way to cause damage root to tip. Instead, try using a cotton T-shirt or or soft cloth to gently press the water out.

Sleeping With A Hair Tie

Just like wearing your hair in a tight ponytail or braid everyday can cause damage, so can tying it up every night. If you can’t be convinced to leave it down, try switching out your elastic band for a soft scrunchie or ribbon.

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5 Amazing Benefits Of Horsetail Extract

Horsetail Extract

No, It’s Not An Actual Horsetail.

Okay, So what Exactly IS Horsetail Extract?

Horsetail extract is a natural anti-aging compound and antioxidant derived from the above ground parts of the horsetail plant. Horsetail, or equisetum is a part of the fern family, and got its name because people thought that its branches resembled the tail of a horse. It’s been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties as well as its medicinal benefits. So what exactly does it do for your body? Let’s take a look.

Contains Anti-Aging Properties

Horsetail contains silica, a mineral that holds together our joints, bones, and skin, keeping them strong and resilient. Contrary to popular belief silica, including silica desiccant packs, are basically sand and not harmful to swallow. Silica helps with the production of collagen, a protein in your body that promotes strong and healthy connective tissue, including your skin! It is said to slow the signs of aging by reducing dryness and wrinkles. Additionally, horsetail’s powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties help delay your skin’s aging process by fighting off free radicals, which can cause damage in the form of wrinkles and sagging skin.

Treats Acne

Skin conditions like acne, rosacea, and eczema result from inflammation. Inflammation can cause the production of free radicals, which as mentioned above can wreak havoc on your body, including your skin. Horsetail’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help combat these free radicals as well as lower your skin’s inflammation and redness, reducing the effects of acne.

Treats Dandruff & Split Ends

Horsetail is commonly used to cure dandruff and treat split ends because it contains silica, which helps strengthen your hair. Simply add 4 drops of horsetail extract for every 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub the mixture onto your scalp and hair. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing off. Reapply every other day until the dandruff is gone.

Promotes Kidney Health

It is said that drinking 1 cup of horsetail tea a day will help cleanse the body of kidney and urinary problems. As a natural diuretic, horsetail aids in the reduction of water retention and swelling. Its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties also help remove both kidney and bladder stones, as well as treat bladder infections.

Boosts Immunity

The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of horsetail help protect your body from harmful germs and foreign substances. These immune boosting properties also help fight infections and speed up your recovery process when you do get sick.

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Top 5 Antioxidant Containing Foods

What Is An Antioxidant?

An antioxidant is a compound produced by your body, and in certain foods that help defend your cells from free radical damage. Free radicals are toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism that can cause significant damage to living cells and tissues. When there is an imbalance of antioxidants to free radical molecules, it causes something called oxidative stress. This form of stress can wreak havoc on your body leading to aging, inflammation, diabetes, and high blood pressure. The good news is, keeping free radicals in check is easily obtainable by eating a antioxidant rich diet. Here are the top 5 antioxidant containing foods you should incorporate into your diet.

1. Red Kidney Beans

As a complex carbohydrate full of fiber, red kidney beans help lower cholesterol and keep the body’s sugar content balanced. The antioxidants in red kidney beans fight free radicals while the abundance of vitamin B1 and protein help boost energy and improve memory.


2. Blueberries 

The main antioxidant compounds in blueberries are a part of the flavanoid family. The anthocyanins group of flavanoids is what is thought to give blueberries most of their health benefits, such as preventing diabetes, regulating blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol.


3. Cranberries

Cranberries are higher in antioxidants and lower in sugar than most other fruits, working to prevent urinary tract infections and improve your digestion. They also help lower cholesterol and boost your immune system!


4. Artichokes

Artichokes are full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C and cynarin that help boost heart health, liver health and reduce cancer risk.


5. Pecans

Pecans contain phenolic antioxidants which help reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also full of fiber and magnesium, aiding digestion and reducing inflammation.


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Resveratrol is a powerful, naturally occurring antioxidant found in the fermented skins of red grapes.

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5 DIY Face Masks For Dry Skin

Suffering from dry Winter skin? Yeah, we know the feeling.

Dry and dull skin happen when your skin is unable to retain moisture. This is super common in the winter when there is less moisture in the air. Dry skin can make you feel tight, flakey and scaley. Left unchecked it can even lead to a bigger issues like eczema or dermatitis. Other common causes of dry skin include using harsh soaps or cosmetics, extremely hot, long showers and household allergies.

While there’s a million and one skin care products on the market promising to cure your dry skin in return for a big chunk of your paycheck, did you know you can sooth and repair your skin with ingredients you have laying around your kitchen? Here’s 5 DIY face masks for your dry, Winter skin.

1. Cucumber & Aloe Mask

The aloe vera in this mask heals and hydrates while the cucumber cleanses and cools. You’re skin will feel clean, refreshed, and moisturized!


  • 1/2 of a cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel


  • Cut cucumber into slices
  • Put in a blender, mix until watery
  • Add aloe vera and blend until smooth
  • Apply, leave on skin for 10 minutes or until dry
  • Rinse
  • Follow up with moisturizer or skin care.

2. Banana Honey Mask

Bananas contain potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C that help hydrate your skin while the honey and yogurt work to sooth and repair itchy, flakey skin.


  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup of yogurt


  • Peel and mash bananas with a fork
  • Add yogurt and honey
  • Stir until the ingredients have a smooth consistency
  • Apply, leave on skin for 20 minutes or until dry
  • Rinse
  • Follow up with moisturizer or skin care.

3. Avocado Mask

Carrots are potassium rich and full of antioxidants, helping hydrate and revitalize the look of your skin. The avocado, honey, and egg yolk work to moisturize and smooth your skin, reducing dry patches and irritation.


  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk


  • Steam carrot until tender
  • Blend or mash carrot until creamy
  • Mash avocado and mix with carrot pulp
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  • Stir until the ingredients have a smooth consistency
  • Apply, leave on skin for 15 minutes
  • Rinse
  • Follow up with moisturizer or skin care.

4. Strawberry Yogurt Mask

Strawberries contain powerful antioxidants and vitamin C. Greek yogurt contains lactic acid which is a natural exfoliant. Mixed with honey, these ingredients work to break down dead skin cells and hydrate your dry skin.


  • 3 medium strawberries
  • 2 teaspoons of Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of honey


  • Blend or mash the strawberries, and add to bowl
  • Add the Greek yogurt and honey to bowl
  • Stir until the ingredients have a smooth consistency
  • Apply, leave on skin for 10 minutes
  • Rinse
  • Follow up with moisturizer or skin care.

5. Oatmeal Mask

Oatmeal contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that sooth your dry, irritated skin. Mixed with the hydrating and smoothing benefits of honey and olive oil, this mask will help moisturize your skin while reducing inflammation and dry patches.


  • 1 tablespoon of oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil


  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  • Apply, leave on skin for 10 minutes or until dry
  • Rinse
  • Follow up with moisturizer or skin care.


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5 Ways To Relieve Joint Pain, Naturally

You Never Realize How Often You Use Your Joints…Until They Hurt.

Joint pain like that of your knees and hips is extremely common, with one survey noting more than 30% of adults reporting joint pain in the last 30 days. This kind of pain might affect your mobility, and can be caused by a variety of factors such as injury, inflammation, infection, disease and more! It’s important to note that joint pain differs from person to person in frequency and severity. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all type of treatment. There are however, a number of things you can try to temporarily ease your joint pain or prevent it. Here are 5 ways you can relieve joint pain, naturally.


You might think exercise would exacerbate your joint pain, but in reality proper exercise can help reduce swelling around the joints, temporarily alleviating pain. Suggested exercises include aerobics such as walking or swimming, strength training, or range of motion exercises geared toward keeping your joints strong and moving properly. When selecting an exercise, be sure you are able to move within the limits of your pain, and that the workout does not cause further pain to the affected joints.


woman riding underwater

Soaking in warm water eases pressure on your joints and muscles while stimulating blood flow. Water temperatures between 92 and 100 degrees are considered a safe, healthy range. For extra relief, try adding Epsom salt. Used for hundreds of years to ease aches and pains, Epsom salt in a warm bath just might help relieve some arthritis pain and swelling, fibromyalgia pain, and sore muscles after working out.


Acupuncture is a practice of medicine that involves pricking the skin or tissues with needles used to alleviate pain and treat various conditions. In regards to joint pain, acupuncture is a popular treatment that benefits the body by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow.


Massages are a great way to relieve joint pain, especially around the knees and hips. A massage can be done professionally, or at home! When doing a home massage, it is important to remember that all massage stoked should go towards the heart. It is also suggested to use a topical menthol cream on the affected area to help ease the pain.


Many people use supplements and natural herbs to help combat joint pain and arthritis. Popular supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, green tea, ginger root and vitamin D work to reduce inflammation while increasing blood flow to the affected areas, reducing joint pain and preventing joint damage.



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4 Surprising Benefits Of Vitamin D3

Wait, I thought there was just one vitamin D?

Actually, vitamin D is more than just one vitamin. It’s a family of fat-soluble nutrients that share similar chemical structures. Beyond being produced in your skin as a result of direct sunlight, vitamin D is absorbed through our diet. The most commonly found in your diet are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. While both a part of the vitamin D family, D2 and D3 are different in  multiple ways.

What’s the difference? 

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption, regulates bone growth and plays a role in immune function. When someone says vitamin D, we often think of the sun. While it’s true that our skin produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, those who spend most of their time indoors or live at a high altitude need to resort to getting the recommended amounts from their diet and supplementation. Vitamin D3 is found mostly in animal sourced products such as oily fish, egg yolks, and butter while vitamin D2 is found mostly in plant sources such as mushrooms or fortified foods such as milk. Both vitamin D’s are effectively absorbed into the bloodstream; however the liver metabolizes vitamin D3 better.

What does this mean?

Well, when the body processes vitamin D, it metabolizes it into compounds known as calcifediol. Calcifediol is the main circulating form of vitamin D, and the levels of it in your blood reflect your body’s stores of vitamin D. Physicians test your calcifediol levels to check for vitamin D deficiencies.  Studies show that vitamin D3 yields more calcifediol than vitamin D2, with some studies suggesting that a single dose is nearly twice as effective as its counterpart. Due to this, it is suggested you consider supplementing your diet with vitamin D3 over D2.

What will it do for me?

Vitamin D has several important duties, such as regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and promoting normal immune function. It is so vital to your daily function, that being vitamin D deficient can lead to soft bones or brittle bones, fatigue, being sick more often and more! Now that you know the basics on why vitamin D, specifically vitamin D3, is so important let’s take a look four benefits of vitamin D3 you might not know about!

1 Protects Your Heart

Research suggests that having a deficiency in vitamin D3 increases the risk of heart disease or heart attack. Studies also show that vitamin D3 helps regulate blood pressure, preventing hypertension and ultimately supporting long term heart health.

2 Boosts Your Mood

When absorbed into the body, vitamin D3 activates neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin that affect brain development and overall function.  A change of vitamin D3 levels in your body can affect the production and release of these neurotransmitters, therefore affecting your mood. Low levels of vitamin D3 have been linked to depression or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a mood disorder featuring depressive symptoms, occurring during the times of the year when there is relatively little sunshine. While this is not to say that supplementing with vitamin D3 will cure depression, studies show that vitamin D3 deficiencies have been known to impair or prolong recovery from depression.

3 Preserves Your Memory

Studies show that older adults with lower vitamin D3 levels are at greater risk for losing their memory and cognitive abilities faster than those with higher vitamin D3 levels. A recent study found that the risk for cognitive impairment was up to four times greater in those who had vitamin D3 levels below 25 when compared to those who had levels 75 and above. Supplementing with vitamin D3 can help prevent or delay the risk of dementia, memory loss, and help manage your overall thinking process.

4 Soothes Your Stomach

Vitamin D3 helps regulate the inflammation levels in your gut, soothing your stomach and aiding digestion. It is common to see those with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease) have low levels of vitamin D3 in their system, which may result in increased inflammation and therefore exacerbate their symptoms.

Vitamin D3
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Vitamin D3 is a very important nutrient to the body with a long list of health benefits; however, it is difficult to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D from the foods we eat. The high-quality formula in Vivid Health Nutrition High Potency Vitamin D3 provides a long list of health benefits that include supporting and maintaining strong bones and teeth, promoting healthy metabolism, cardiovascular, heart, colon, & immune system function as well as regulating blood pressure, fighting depression, reducing stress and more.