Cynthia's Health Hut

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COLOR YOURSELF WELL WITH A RAINBOW OF #FOODS


COLOR YOURSELF WELL WITH A RAINBOW OF FOODS

It’s flu season again. Rather than getting caught up in mass hysteria, arm yourself against viral attack with practical ways to boost your immune system.

Prevention

eat-a-rainbow-imageEat a rainbow of foods. When your immune system detects an enemy, it must rapidly draw vitamins and minerals from the blood to make white blood cell ninja fighters. If those vitamins aren’t there, you are vulnerable to a long, drawn-out battle. Make sure you are eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. If your are doing this, you can be sure you are getting tons of immune boosting nutrients like vitamin A, E, C, B-6 and zinc. A healthy immune system is your best defense against infection.

You’re gonna need a breath mint – Garlic is a fantastic way to boost the immune system. It is a super anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and antibiotic food. Plus it makes food taste and smell delicious.

Getting enough sleep is crucial in optimizing immune response. So is decreasing stress. There it is again. Just get more sleep and don’t sweat the small stuff. Look for an upcoming blog on decreasing stress and increasing joy. 

Getting adequate exercise has also been linked to lower incidence of infection. Just 20 minutes a day of brisk exercise can make a huge difference.

Avoid refined grains, sugary and starchy foods. Sugar suppresses the immune system. It seems that flu season, besides falling in the winter months, also occurs in the months when many of us are indulging in sweet treats a little more often.

Adequate levels of Vitamin D are essential to an immune system’s ability to quickly and effectively fight off infection. It’s also important for preventing osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, depression, and dementia. Harvard Medical School asserts that as many as one third of Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced in our bodies using sunlight that comes in contact with our largest organ: our skin.  We can also get vitamin D through diet. Salmon is a good source, most milk is fortified with vitamin D and a good vitamin D3 supplement is great too (5,000 IU per day for adults). My favorite dietary source with a slew of other healthy benefits is fermented cod liver oil. The flu usually runs rampant in the winter months when direct sunlight is diminished in many areas of the world and people are bundled up and keeping indoors. This is why flu cases go down the farther south you track and disappear in summer months.  Increasing your sun exposure (sans sunscreen) by 10 minutes a day is adequate for most people. If you live north of San Francisco, don’t bother doing this between November and March since the UV rays aren’t direct enough to make vitamin D. I would suggest a blood test to discover if you are deficient and supplementing through diet.

Getting Over the Flu Fast

So what if you get the flu? Well first you should make sure it is in fact influenza. Here’s Dr. Darla’s blog on how to correctly identify the symptoms of influenza. So if you have the flu, how can you get recover as quickly and as painless as possible?

Cut the sweets. Eating sugar will suppress your immune system from fighting off nasty bugs. I know it’s comforting to eat, but sweets will only make it worse.

I’m going to suggest vitamin D again. Taking several thousand IU per day of a good D3 supplement can shorten the duration of infection. It’s pretty hard to overdose on D, and when I’m sick I take a medicinal dose of about 20,000 IU per day. Also, vitamin C in large amounts can greatly speed up your recovery. It’s pretty much impossible to overdose on C, so take at least 5,000 mg per day or more. Zinc prevents a virus from replicating.

When I feel the “ick”, I like to take a detox bath. It really lessens my symptoms and shortens the duration of my illness. Here’s a link to the recipe. Detox Bath 

If you are pregnant, make sure to consult your physician before taking a detox bath.

Get lots of sleep. Your workplace will get the job done without you. They don’t need you spreading around the flu either. Stay home and sleep, sleep, sleep.

Cinnamon is anti-viral and anti-bacterial too. Mix 1 tablespoon cinnamon with one teaspoon of honey and mix it into an herbal tea.

Since the flu is usually accompanied by fever, it will often lead to dehydration. Make sure you stay hydrated with lots of broth or chicken soup. Broth isn’t just comforting flu food, it has lots of immune boosting nutrients. Herbal teas and hot lemon water help too. Nettle leaf tea has a huge amount of vitamins and minerals and detoxifies the body. Other herbs that help fight flu are elderberry, yarrow, ginger, chamomile, and peppermint. Consult your local herbalist for the correct ways to use these herbs. Fever is the body’s natural defense for killing a virus, so using drugs to stop a fever can actually prolong an illness. To keep a fever out of the dangerous zone, without killing it completely, I use peppermint essential oil on the bottom of my feet. Make sure you do plenty of research into the safe use of essential oils before trying this one.

Whatever natural remedy or prevention method you choose, make sure it will not interfere with any medications you are taking and try them one at a time. Stay healthy and disease free this season. And most importantly, your thoughts are more effective than any vaccine or remedy. If you think you’re immune to the flu with absolute, fearless certainty, I’m willing to bet it’ll pass you by.

Important Notes: I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be a doctor. I cannot treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any illness. If you have concerns about any illness, talk to your doctor. Do you own research on natural remedies to ensure that you think they are safe. 

 Merianne1Merianne Drew is a holistic health coach specializing in integrative and energetic nutrition. She coaches individuals to better health by teaching practical ways to incorporate healthy eating and lifestyle choices. Find out if health coaching is a good fit for you by scheduling a health strategy session.  meriannedrew@gmail.com

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Top 10 Anti-inflammatory Foods that Protect against Cancer Reblogged~Seattle Organic Restaurants


Top 10 Anti-inflammatory Foods that Protect against Cancer.

In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants they talk about top 10 anti-inflammatory foods that prevent cancer.  Among many other chronic diseases millions of people suffer from inflammation and digestive disorders. The main roots of digestive disorders are poor eating hobbitsconsuming toxic foodsprocessed foods and foods that have artificial coloring and additives. Here are top 10 foods that help to improve inflammation and food digestion.

food digestion

We sometimes eat junk food for a snack; so why not eating fruits instead of processed foods? Pineapplemangoand papaya are the three main anti-inflammatory fruits that have proteolytic enzymes that have anti-ulcerative and anti-microbial properties. These fruits help with digestion and breaking down other foods.

Avocado is a rich superfood high in omega 3 fatty acids (which is good for you) and fiber. Avocados promote food digestion and healthy pancreas, liver and gall bladder. Avocados are one of the best anti-inflammatory fruits that are digestible by almost everyone.

herbals

Cinnamon, basil, cayenne and turmeric are among anti-inflammatory herbsCinnamonimproves triglyceride and cholesterol level and helps with better digestion of food. Basil also boosts immune system and is anti-inflammatory.Cayenne is a remarkable anti-inflammatory herbthat helps to prevent digestive disorders, cleans bodypromote weight loss and fight allergies.Turmeric is a Middle Eastern spice that is commonly used in Persian, Asian and Indian dishes. Turmeric anti-inflammatory effects are even better than dugs like as Motrin and hydrocortisone without having their side effects.

The complex carbohydrate in kelp and kombu is anti-inflammatory. Kelp and kambu are antioxidant, prevent tumors and high source of fiber and vitamin K that promote weight loss.

Here in Northwest wild sockeye salmon is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids that is anti-inflammatoryWild sockeye salmon can also prevent heart disease and cancer. Fish oil is also a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids that promotes brain function, intellegance and eyesight.

green tea

The flavonoids in green tea are anti-inflammatory that can prevent the chances of cancer and heart disease.

Shiitake mushroom is an excellent anti-inflammatory that promotes immune system and fight cancer.

berries

Blueberries are incredible source of antioxidantsthat are anti-inflammatory. Blueberries improve immune system and prevent dementia and cancer.Raspberries, cranberries, blackberries andstrawberries also are high source of antioxidants.

Broccoli is a highly nutritious superfood that is anti-inflammatory can prevent breast cancer in women. The phytochemicals in broccoli called “sulforaphane” activates enzymes and throws carcinogen out of cells before cancer can do any harm. Kale is also anti-inflammatory that can clean body and prevent heart disease. Kale is also full of ironcalcium and fiber. Cauliflower also helps with detoxification of body.

In the last few years fermented foods have been disappearing from our diets. Fermented foods are probiotics and have beneficial bacteria that help with food digestion. For example modern pickles are no longer made by lacto-fermentation using salt and are made by vinegar. Most dairy products like cheese and yogurt and alcoholic beverages like wine and beer are being pasteurized by killing most of the good bacteria in them. Since most juices and beverages are pasteurized there are less live enzymes and beneficial bacteria in them to help digest our foods.  Some of fermented foods include yogurt, organic raw apple cider vinegar, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and other fermented veggies.

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