If Swine Flu has you squealing, it’s the perfect time to open your mind and mouth.
Authorities call this ‘big one’ beyond containment, but please don’t get stressed. If you take the proverbial ‘ounce of prevention’ you can cure a ‘pound of disease’. Woodson Merrell, MD, director of integrative medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Says, "The strength of our immune system is what makes the difference between who gets sick and who doesn't.," Science recognizes that 80% of your immune system is actually living in the digestive tract. With that being said, it seems relevant to sustain everything between points ‘A’ and ‘B’. This can be achieved by simply avoiding foods which weaken immunity and to welcome those that do. Your temple is a biochemical factory which reacts to and absorbs what we eat and drink.
Sometimes we are its worst foe. Proper nutrition is important for an energetic immune system. By way of the Western diet we’ve become malnourished; lacking the tools our temple needs to repair, protect and heal.
Much of what our bodies need to fight off infection is in glorious food. It’s important to consume a well balanced diet, replete with a variety of whole grains, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, peanuts and seeds. Eating gobs of fresh veggies especially leafy greens, broccoli and everyone’s’ favorite, Brussels sprouts are good colon food. All fruits, especially dark red and yellow ones contain antioxidants which nurture digestion and calm the GI tract.
Enjoy Probiotics such as yogurt, Kim Chi, Miso, tempeh and sauerkraut to your daily diet. Probiotic yogurt and Kefir flora, the good guys, colonize and fortify the GI tract. Once bad bacteria get the upper hand, immunity is compromised. Read labels. Some yogurts are sweetened with approximately 15 teaspoons of sugar.
Sugar lurks at every corner. It suppresses the immune system and impairs your ramparts against infectious disease. A single can of soda contains 12 teaspoons of added sugars. That's 120 percent of the USDA's recommended daily intake of sugar. Researchers have found just two cans of soda suppress immune function for up to, five hours.
The average kid eats 116 pounds of sugar a year and adults approximately 200. A twenty ounce cola contains 34 sugar cubes; a blueberry muffin contains 16 sugar cubes; marinara sauce from a jar contains 5 ½ sugar cubes. (calorieKing.com)
Stress weakens immunity. Kick it to the curb with daily exercise. If you can manage it, a half an hour aerobic every day is the level you need. It does need to be exhausting. Always check with your physician.
When we are happy and optimistic, the immune system functions better. Laughter boosts the immune system. Visit friends, read Mike Redmond’s column, watch old movies you like, or old comedy shows like my favorite, Andy of Mayberry. Cut the mean people and things from your life. You’ll be less guilty, stressed and depressed. Depression depresses the immune system. A person under stress or who is depressed needs to make a conscious, educated effort to boost the immune system - that includes taking a supplement. South side Integrative Family Medicine Dr Anca Lamse of Lamse Wellness Clinic suggests taking a high-potency multiple-vitamin and mineral formula; nutritional superheroes during cold and flu season or any time of year.
The CDC reports one out of 4 American kids under 18 are embracing vegetarianism. Often they are unaware of variety and balance required as well as the significance of clean protein. Good sources of protein include lean, locally produced beef, lean pork, skinless poultry, eggs and fish. If you are a vegetarian, try canned and dry beans, lentils or soy products such as meatless burgers, edamame, and tofu or fortified soy milk.
Practice vigilant hygiene. The Swine flu virus is transferred as you shake someone’s hand, get smooched by Aunt Betty, or wrap your hands around the handle of a grocery cart, gas pump, or an escalator railing then unconsciously pick something from your teeth or rub itchy eyes.
Chill out. Besides eating more fresh whole foods, adequate rest is important for your immune system to be in high gear.