- Category: Health Tips
Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being and, more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports or occupations. Physical fitness is generally achieved through correct nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical activity, exercise and rest. It is a set of attributes or characteristics seen in people and which relate to the ability to perform a given set of physical activities.
You probably know the deal with calories when you see them labeled on a snack, but WTF are kilocalories?
To recap, calories are how we measure the amount of energy in food and drinks and the amount of energy we burn during a sweat session. But not every dot on the map measures energy the same way. Instead, some places use kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (kJ) to measure energy in food.
This can get a bit confusing, so let’s clear things up about kcals vs. calories.
If we’re talkin’ cals, these can be “small” or “large” calories. A capital “C” in “calories” signals a large calorie, while a lowercase “c” means it’s small.
A small calorie is roughly the total energy needed to bump up the temperature of 1 gram (0.035 ounces) of water by 1°C (1.8°F).
On the flip side, a large calorie approximates the total energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of water by 1°C (1.8°F).
One large calorie equals 1,000 small calories (since 1 kilogram equals 1,000 grams).
To make small and large calories a little less confusing, it’s assumed that the prefix “kilo” in the term “kilocalorie” was intended to point to the large calorie. So, a kilocalorie = a large calorie.
Unfortch, the small calorie term is hardly ever used, except in chemistry and physics research. For us outside the lab, a small calorie is a pretty useless measurement.
Wait… so what is a regular calorie, then? The terms “calories” — without the capitalization distinction — and “kcals” are tossed around interchangeably to describe the same energy amount for both food and fitness purposes.
So basically, “calories” and “kilocalories” usually mean the same dang thing.
Energy in food can also be measured in kilojoules (kJ). One calorie (kcal) equals 4.18 kJ or 4,184 joules (J).
If you’re looking to convert calories to kJ, multiply the number of calories by 4.18. To convert kJ to calories, divide the number of kJ by 4.18.
For example: A banana (118 grams) has about 105 calories (kcal) or 439 kJ.
Food and beverage regulations require manufacturers to showcase a Nutrition Facts label on products. This is to identify the amount of energy the food or drink has per serving (or per a certain weight).
The labels slapped on food products keep buyers informed about the healthfulness (or not-so-healthfulness) of the foods and drinks. They also list ingredients and other information so buyers can accommodate allergies, intolerances, or general preferences in what they eat.
The way these labels express calorie or kilocalorie information varies depending on where you live.
Here’s a handy list of countries and their corresponding labels:
The number of kilocalories/calories in a food or beverage is determined by the manufacturer and depends on the amount of energy from nutrients the item has.
The three main nutrients that give us energy are protein, carbs, and fats. Protein and carbs both contain around 4 calories (16.7 kJ) per gram, whereas fat provides 9 calories (37.6 kJ) per gram. Booze has 7 calories (29.3 kJ) per gram.
Manufacturers arrive at these figures by rounding to the closest 1-gram increment, so if you’re measuring the amount of calories or kJ from each of the macronutrients, there’s a chance they may add up a little differently than the figure you see on the nutrition label.
Plus, the nutrition labels for foods that contain fiber (which is categorized as a carb) may have fewer calories than you estimate. Why? Depending on the type of fiber, it’s going to be either indigestible or badly digested, providing few or no calories.
We use calories to measure energy in both our food and our fitness routines.
The terms “calories” and “kilocalories” are used interchangeably to describe the amount of energy found in food. Whether food and drink labels list calories or kcals depends on geographic location.
While we’ve stayed physically distanced and isolated throughout the pandemic, there’s been a lot of hubbub about vitamin D and the new coronavirus. But is this relationship merely a coincidence, or should you be adding vitamin D to your COVID-19 tool kit?
We’ve done the vitamin D and coronavirus research for you to see just how vitamin D affects COVID-19.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Your body actually creates the active form of vitamin D when the sun hits your skin. And while you can get some vitamin D from food, the sun helps you soak up 50 to 90 percent of your vitamin D.
If you live in a place that doesn’t get much sunlight, you’re at a bigger risk of vitamin D deficiency. Older age, darker skin tone, and medical conditions that cause fat malabsorption can also contribute to a deficiency.
While we’re learning more about the new coronavirus every day, we do know that the new coronavirus attacks the respiratory system. And lo and behold, vitamin D supports the immune system and respiratory health. Here’s what some studies have found.
Vitamin D is super important to keep your immune system in tip-top shape.
Basically, according to research, vitamin D helps deploy an immune response when a potential infection attacks your body. It also helps gear up immune cells like T cells and macrophages to protect your body from invaders.
So if you have a weaker immune system, you’re naturally more prone to illnesses, which could include COVID-19.
According to a 2020 article, vitamin D deficiency is often seen in people who have severe COVID-19 complications like:
All these conditions create underlying inflammation, which can be controlled by T regulatory lymphocytes (aka Tregs). Basically, these cells can regulate or suppress other immune system cells and control the immune response to fight an invading disease.
The same article noted that low levels of Treg cells are reported in people who have COVID-19, and vitamin D supplementation can increase Treg levels. So, the researchers suggest, if vitamin D can increase Treg levels, it might also be able to help reduce the severity of COVID-19. But right now this is just a theory.
Back before the new coronavirus was around, a 2017 research review found that participants who took daily or weekly vitamin D supplements were more protected against acute respiratory tract infections. This was especially true for people who had a vitamin D deficiency.
With that in mind, it’s no wonder researchers wanted to see if vitamin D could help prevent COVID-19.
The short answer: We don’t know. Vitamin D is definitely not a substitute for masks and physical distancing for virus prevention. But research does suggest a few relationships between vitamin D levels and the new coronavirus that might make it a helpful coronavirus vitamin.
Recent research suggests a link between sun exposure and COVID-19 mortality. Countries located farther from the equator (and thus with less sun) had higher numbers of COVID-19 deaths, possibly because of the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency.
This evidence is circumstantial, which means that although fingers are being pointed at vitamin D deficiency, the connection to COVID-19 has not been proven.
Another 2020 study looked for an association between low vitamin D levels and COVID-19. Of the 7,807 people in the study, only about 10 percent tested positive for COVID-19, and almost 90 percent tested negative.
The people who tested positive had lower mean plasma vitamin D levels than those who tested negative, but the difference wasn’t significant. Positive levels averaged 19.00 ng/mL, and negative levels averaged 20.55 ng/mL. This minor difference doesn’t show much correlation between vitamin D levels and COVID-19.
Plus, low vitamin D level was dubbed an “independent risk factor,” which means it’s associated with the study outcome but there were other factors in play. These included being over 50 years old, being male, and being of low-medium socioeconomic status.
There appears to be a relationship between COVID-19 cases and low vitamin D levels. But researchers haven’t yet determined the cause of low vitamin D levels that might make you more prone to infection.
As of now, we can’t be certain that vitamin D prevents COVID-19, but it can help your immune system.
It’s possible that other correlations between vitamin D and the new coronavirus might make all these studies look like BS. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.
A lot of studies and reviews are showing a beneficial outcome, but nothing is set in stone because there are too many variables to consider.
One 2020 review shared other evidence factors that link vitamin D levels with the new coronavirus:
The review ends by stating that randomized controlled trials and large population studies need to be done to evaluate these recommendations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also states that people with certain medical conditions are at an increased risk of severe illness (hospitalization, intubation, or even death) from COVID-19.
Some of these conditions are:
Many of these conditions are also associated with a risk of vitamin D deficiency.
So could the higher risk of COVID-19 severity be linked to the medical condition itself, while low vitamin D is just a factor? To find out, we need more research on larger and more diverse groups of people.
Research related to the new coronavirus is ongoing and constantly changing, but right now there isn’t much promising information to suggest that vitamin D can help treat COVID-19.
Researchers in a 2020 study said they had found reason to believe vitamin D might help treat COVID-19, but their data was flawed. The editors of the peer-reviewed journal published an “expression of concern” about the study’s questionable sample size and noted that only about 31 percent of the participants actually had tests confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis.
There’s no substantial info yet to support theories about using vitamin D as a COVID-19 treatment.
Taking a vitamin D supplement may not be the COVID-19 cure you were hoping for, but it still comes with a lot of benefits. Plus, about 50 percent of the world’s population doesn’t get enough vitamin D (meaning we need it, COVID or not).
Obviously, your immune system is crucial to fight infection, and vitamin D is necessary to keep that system strong. But vitamin D can also help keep your bones strong (potentially reducing fractures) and benefit your mental health.
The recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D are:
Supplements will often contain more than the RDA because there is also a daily upper limit of 100 mcg (4,000 IU). This is for children above 9 years old, adults, and pregnant or breastfeeding folks. Reaching this level could require higher dosages of vitamin D beyond the RDA for some people but not for others.
Before you stock up on vitamin D supplements, chat with your healthcare provider. They’ll be able to confirm whether it’s safe for you to take the supplement and recommend dosages.
Other recommendations from the CDC:
Cold and flu season is upon us. That means healthcare systems will be bombarded with patients who are battling both the flu and COVID-19.
Although current research suggests a relationship between low levels of vitamin D and COVID-19, more research is needed.
Right now we can’t conclude that taking vitamin D can help prevent you from contracting the new coronavirus. Wearing a mask, physical distancing, and washing your hands are still your top options.
In the meantime, taking a vitamin D supplement probably won’t hurt, and it can help bolster your immune system, which might increase your chances of avoiding COVID-19. Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D anyway and could use a boost.
It’s a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any new supplement, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions or take any medications that could interact with the vitamin.
Attraction isn’t only sexual in nature, which is why the term “bisexual” doesn’t resonate with some peeps who are attracted to multiple genders. Some folks need an emotional, romantic connection beyond the physical to feel attraction, so they may prefer the term biromantic.
What does it mean to be biromantic? It means that a person is attracted to multiple genders. While the prefix bi means two, in this case it doesn’t necessarily refer to the gender binary of only men and women.
Instead, biromanticism means someone may be attracted to their own and genders other than their own, or even to all genders. This means a person can be attracted to someone who identifies as non-binary and still be biromantic. Someone who is attracted to all genders may also identify as panromantic.
Being biromantic differs from bisexuality because this attraction is about how the person makes your heart feel and not how they make your sexy parts feel. They make you blush but they don’t get you flushed. Catch the drift?
Dating is complicated, but how you define who you’re into doesn’t have to be. There are several signs you might be biromantic.
Since sexual orientation and romantic attraction don’t always align, it’s possible to identify as both biromantic and another sexual identity.
Biromantic covers how you feel about others romantically, but another term may be needed to explain how you identify in a sexual sense. Here’s a few common combinations of biromanticism and sexual identities.
If you’re biromantic asexual, you feel romantic and emotional attraction to multiple genders but sexual attraction to zero genders.
Many people who identify as asexual still want to build relationships in a way that has nothing to do with sex. This doesn’t mean biromantic asexuals never do the nasty, but it means that isn’t a factor in who they decide to date or build a relationship with.
Keep in mind, sexual desire is not the same as sexual attraction. Desire is about the act whereas attraction is tied to the sexual partner. Biromantic asexuality may look different and it’s up to each individual to define what that looks like for them.
Demisexual is a sexual orientation that means a person must feel a romantic connection with someone in order to be sexually attracted to them. A one-night stand, though gratifying for some, is not likely a goal of a demisexual.
Combine a demisexual identity with being biromantic and it means you are emotionally drawn to multiple genders. Once you make that emotional connection with a person of any gender, then you desire a sexual relationship as well.
Before you think that biromantic heterosexual is an oxymoron, remember that sexual orientation and romantic attraction can differ. In this case, a person feels a deep emotional romantic connection to people of multiple genders, but only sexually attracted to a different gender.
For example, being a biromantic heterosexual woman means that a person is romantically attracted to people of multiple genders, but only experiences sexual attraction to men.
Being biromatic homosexual means a person experiences romantic attraction to multiple genders but sexually only wants to do the deed with someone of their own gender.
For example, a biromantic woman experiences emotional attraction to multiple genders but only experiences sexual attraction to women.
These are just a few examples of possible sexual orientations that can go along with biromanticism.
There are online resources that may help in better understanding what it means to be biromantic and how to talk about it with your friends and family.
Coming out is a journey. Sexual orientation and attraction can be fluid and identity labels can change. Show yourself kindness through the process.
Seek support from accepting family and friends. Don’t feel pressure to define your biromanticism by anyone else’s terms. Remember, your identity is yours to define, or to not define.
Thinking about jumping on the cannabidiol wagon but not sure where to begin? It can be pretty intimidating, so let’s start with the basics.
In sum: Think of CBD as THC’s chill sober cousin.
Not all CBD is the same — especially when it comes to full-spectrum vs. broad-spectrum CBD.
The devil is in the details:
Question: What’s the difference?
Answer: Full-spectrum CBD contains high-inducing THC, while broad-spectrum CBD does not.
Full-spectrum CBD is said to have more benefits than broad-spectrum because of the entourage effect.This theory suggests that when all compounds of the cannabis plant are taken together, they offer more benefits than when they’re taken separately.
So far, the entourage effect is just a theory. But some research suggests that taking phytocannabinoids (like CBD + THC) and terpenes (another component of the plant) together may better ease issues such as:
So, people who don’t mind a little THC could possibly maximize the effects of CBD by choosing a full-spectrum CBD product.
Full-spectrum CBD products are available in an array of forms and potencies. Here are a few recs to get you started.
NuLeaf Naturals Full-Spectrum Hemp CBD Oil is the total package. It’s a whole-plant extract that combines cannabinoids, terpenes, and virgin hempseed oil.
It comes in a variety of sizes, which is nice if you want to try it out or take it only occasionally.
The company uses organic, U.S.-grown hemp and a CO2 extraction process to yield a more potent blend. That means the product contains significant amounts of secondary cannabinoids for a little extra oomph. #winning
Charlotte’s Web uses U.S.-grown hemp and natural flavorings. The products are formulated with proprietary hemp genetics that feature naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and lemon balm. These are an affordable option for on-the-go stress relief.
Absolute Nature CBD Full-Spectrum Tincture is made with only two ingredients: whole-plant CBD oil and MCT oil. It’s non-GMO and claims to contain a high amount of CBD + other naturally occurring cannabinoids and beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant.
Basically, it’s designed to provide the best possible benefits without producing a high.
This product is a bit pricey. But since it’s grown without chemicals, additives, or preservatives, it might just be worth it.
Order Absolute Nature CBD Full-Spectrum 1,000mg CBD Oil Drops/Tincture.
Broad-spectrum CBD is the way to go if you want all the chill vibes with none of the THC-induced high.
Just keep in mind that taking CBD without THC might not be as effective as taking the two together. It’s that whole entourage effect theory.
That said, broad-spectrum CBD still contains other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that might boost the benefits beyond what you’d get from CBD alone.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of broad-spectrum CBD products on the market. Here are the ones that meet our standards (more on that below).
$ = under $50
$$ = $50–75
$$$ = over $75
Joy Organics CBD Oil Tinctures are formulated to provide quick, easy results. Each drop contains 0.0 percent THC phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil. No alcohol, binders, fillers, or dyes. The super-simple tincture should be safe to take any time of the day or night.
The family-founded company uses U.S.-grown hemp and tests each batch of products for consistency. The company’s high standards + the money-back guarantee = a comfort to new customers.
These fruit jellies are not your average gummies. They’re handcrafted in small batches with Hawaiian Lilikoʻi (passion fruit), pineapple. and ʻŌlena (turmeric). Bonus points for being vegan and containing no artificial colors or flavors!
The company refers to these as grown-up CBD gummies. Each jelly contains 25 milligrams (mg) of broad-spectrum CBD and absolutely no THC.
Hawaiian Choice recommends popping 1 or 2 gummies a day, but there are only 4 jellies per package — so maybe order a few boxes at a time.
Besides having an awesome name, Sunday Scaries CBD Oil offers a slightly stronger-than-average dose of CBD. Whether you need to sleep like a baby, chill on a turbulent plane ride, or enhance your meditation practice, this CBD tincture will get it done.
The tincture is made with the company’s signature proprietary blend of broad-spectrum CBD + vitamins B12 and D3. Each bottle contains a higher dose of 500 mg of CBD mixed with coconut oil.
It tastes like fruit punch, so it’s a yummy addition to teas, smoothies, and H2O.
Finding the best CBD for you is no easy feat. While we can’t claim to have tried them all, we *have* whittled down a list of products based on safety, quality, and transparency (not just CBD quantity alone).
Every product on our list:
Also important to our selection:
If you’re still shopping around, keep these tips in mind:
How you use CBD depends on the type of product you buy.
Pills are straightforward. Same with gummies — you eat them. But always follow directions on the product label.
Oils or tinctures are typically placed under your tongue for fast absorption. You can also add them to smoothies, liquids, or food.
For topical treatments, check the product label’s instructions.
CBD dosage can get tricky, especially if you’re a newcomer to the world of edibles. Here’s your new mantra: Start low and go slow.
Most products have a recommended dosage, but that doesn’t mean you have to start there.
If you have liver disease, be careful with CBD and talk with your healthcare provider before trying it. Also, we don’t know what effects CBD might have on babies, so be cautious if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Currently, the FDA doesn’t guarantee the safety of CBD products except for *one* approved pharmaceutical CBD drug that’s been proven to help with seizures.
If you have questions about whether CBD is right for you, don’t be shy — talk with your healthcare provider.
Yep. As with most supplements and medications, you could have some bummer issues with CBD.
Potential side effects of CBD include:
Minimize your risk by following the dosing instructions and talking with a healthcare provider. It’s always a good idea to reach out to a medical professional for recommendations. Every body is different.
The choice between full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD comes down to one thing: THC or no THC.
If you concerned about getting high from THC, stick with broad-spectrum CBD. If you’re hoping for stronger effects, try full-spectrum CBD.
There are hundreds of CBD products and thousands of glowing customer reviews. The most important factor in choosing a product is quality ingredients.
Do your research and talk with your doc before starting any new CBD regimen.
Is CBD legal? Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level but are legal under some state laws. Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level but are still illegal under some state laws. Check the laws in your state and anywhere you plan to travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved and may be inaccurately labeled.
Admit it: your search history over the last several months has been filled with ways to keep you and your loved ones safe from COVID-19. And something that’s probably popped up in your Googling is vitamin C and coronavirus.
But while vitamin C can do your body and immune system good, can it actually keep you COVID-19-free? Not exactly. It can help strengthen your immune system, but there’s no concrete evidence that it can treat or prevent the disease caused by a SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Here’s what we do know about vitamin C and coronavirus.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting you from cell damage caused by free radicals (which are unstable compounds found in your body). It also ramps up your skin’s healing powers, helps your body absorb iron, and boosts your immune system.
The average adult should get a daily value (DV) between 75 milligrams (for women) to 90 milligrams (for men). Factors such as pregnancy, certain conditions or medications, and lifestyle choices (like smoking) play a part in how much vitamin C your body needs, too.
You can also choose to take supplements if your diet isn’t providing your needed dose of C.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning it passes through your body quickly and is eliminated when you pee.
While it’s pretty impossible to overdose, taking more than 2000 milligrams of vitamin C can lead to unpleasant side effects like nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties may help to improve immune function.
The vitamin helps boost the activity of phagocytes, which are immune cells in your body that “swallow” bad bacteria and other nasties (yum!).
And vitamin C is key in helping another type of immune cell, known as lymphocytes. These cells increase your circulating antibodies, which protect you from harmful invaders in your blood.
Some studies even suggest that high doses of vitamin C may reduce lung inflammation in those with severe respiratory illnesses caused by viruses like H1N1 (aka the swine flu). More research is needed though to know for sure.
Vitamin C is also a key player in skin health, promoting wound healing, boosting the production of collagen, and helping your skin shut out harmful compounds that try to enter your body.
And while it can’t prevent you from getting a cold, vitamin C can help shorten the length and severity of the common cold, as long as you’re taking it before you get the cold. Hey, we’ll take it.
Aim to take a vitamin C supplement that is 30–180 milligrams if you want a boost. You can take a higher dose, but if you take more than 1 grams a day (1000 milligrams), you actually absorb less than 50 percent.
TBH… we don’t know. While high doses have been used as part of some treatment plans for severe coronavirus cases, there isn’t enough research available to determine its effectiveness.
In one 2020 meta-analysis of nine clinical trials from 2018, a control group was compared to a group receiving IV infusions of vitamin C.
While the vitamin’s effect varied from study to study, researchers did find that it helped shorten the length of mechanical ventilation by an average of 14 percent, but it should be noted that this was pre-COVID.
Other key studies examining the use of vitamin C also happened pre-COVID-19, but some have shown positive results in critically ill patients:
Evidence that vitamin C can help treat COVID-19 is mixed and limited. There’s still a lot we don’t know about COVID-19, including how to treat it. While vitamin C infusions has been used in the care of ill patients, not enough research has been done to determine its role in treating COVID-19.
Without a current cure or vaccine, it’s important to find ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Again, there’s so much about this virus we still don’t know.
Vitamin C is one of several vitamins that your body needs to perform at its best. Making sure you’re getting enough of this nutrient can help in strengthening your immune system, which can possibly help prevent COVID-19. Key word: POSSIBLY.
There’s just no solid research that taking vitamin C directly prevents COVID-19.
Until more research is done, it’s best to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which could involve taking vitamin C. Getting those daily amounts of essential vitamins and nutrients can improve your overall health and can help protect you.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies can give you your daily dose of vitamin C, but if you’re opting for a supplement instead, here are a few things to consider when searching for the the right one for you:
In need of some solid recs? We’ve got you covered with some of the best vitamin C supplements.
Vitamin C isn’t the only way to help your immune system stay strong. While none of these has been proven to help prevent or treat Covid-19, you can consider these vitamins and supplements for a healthy boost to your immune system:
Find yourself feeling under the weather or showing symptoms of COVID-19? Keep your distance and stay home (unless you need to go to the doc!).
It doesn’t hurt to take vitamin C as part of your COVID-19 prevention plan, but it’s not foolproof. While vitamin C can help you maintain a healthy immune system, there’s no concrete evidence that vitamin C or any other vitamin or supplement can treat or prevent the novel coronavirus.
There is a bunch of ongoing research with positive results on using vitamin C infusions as a treatment. But, there’s not enough info to know for sure if it’s effective against COVID-19.
Right now, the best way to protect yourself from the novel coronavirus is to take preventative measures and to strengthen your immune system. You can keep your immune system strong by making sure that your diet is rich in essential vitamins and nutrients, like vitamin C.