Wednesday, January 20, 2010

5 ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season.

1. Astragalus Root

Considered a staple in Chinese medicine. This herb has been used for centuries to boost the immune system by stimulating the thymus gland located behind your sternum in the center of your chest. The thymus gland plays a critical role in the functioning of the lymphatic and immune systems.

Astragalus is an adaptogen. Adaptogens increase the body's resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. It also acts on invaders wherever they attack the body, and promotes overall vitality. A good dosage is about 100 to 150 mg per day in capsules or you can drink Astragalus tea.

2. Get some rest.

Aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night. Studies show that your immune system function drops by an average of 60% after just three nights of poor sleep.

When most of our bodily functions are at rest, our immune system has the ability to amplify.

So if your starting to feel sick or just want to make it through this cold and flu season, getting your beauty sleep might be one of the best ways to do it.

3. An apple a day!

Many studies show that adding fruits and vegetables into your daily diet might prove even better than taking a multi-vitamin. Fruits and vegetable are loaded with vitamins, minerals & antioxidants all wonderful for supporting a strong & healthy immune system.

4. Drink Water.

Consuming juices and soft drinks usually doesn't leave much room for water through out the day. The human body is made up of roughly 80% water and needs to stay hydrated in order to have all your organs functioning properly. Quality or filtered water is necessary to keep a healthy & balanced system.

When you drink soda and juices your getting a lot of sugar. Sugar can create a overly acidic environment in your body and that in turn weakens your immune system. Now don't you go and try to be smart with the diet sodas... Aspartame, The most common artificial sweetener in diet drinks has been directly linked to cancer, obesity and birth defects. You're better off just drinking pure W.A.T.E.R!

5. Get active.

This is a tough one for most people but crucial for overall health. If you want to a strong immune system, you have to physically strengthen yourself.

Moderate amounts of daily exercise have been linked a temporary boost in the production of macrophages. Macrophages are extremely important & versatile white blood cells that play a critical role in ridding the lungs of necrotic cellular debris and also acting as scavengers to clean the body of worn out cells and other unwanted visitors such as viruses and bacteria.

So... Whether its hitting the gym, taking a yoga class or simply walking outside, getting a small amount of exercise in your daily routine can help you stay healthy.

Note to athletes. Studies show that when over exercising you can actually weaken your immune responses for the next 72 hours. Balance vigorous exercise with plenty of sleep, coconut water for electrolytes and super-foods when able.

Anti-depressants and Depression. "You are what you eat" Something you didn't consider.

Each year over 15 million people in America suffer from some form of depression.
The Anti-depressant drug sales alone have become a $21 billion dollar a year industry. The pharmaceutical industry spends hundreds of millions ever year on marketing and lobbying these health damaging drugs in order to bank off of our usually naturally curable condition.

While its not all black and white and a small percent of people do suffer from a serious form of depression, a great majority of the people being medicinally treated for depression may have more options available then they realize.

What prompted me to write about depression is a commercial I saw on television the other day for a new drug called Abilify. I was completely amazed ( in a how does big pharma sleep at night kind of way). Apparently this "New" drug helps Anti depression pills when they don't work.

So for example: "Jane" has an issue, She takes a pill and her issue didn't go away, what a surprise! So, "Jane" takes another pill because the first pill didn't do its job.

Are people really that clueless? Unfortunately, Yes!

Have you ever stopped to think about whats really eating at you? or what you may be eating? Both of these may be the key to finding a natural solution for dealing with the blues.

Studies show that a lack of vitamins such as vitamin D , nutritional deficiencies and unhealthy lifestyle choices are all linked to depression .

I would like you to keep an open mind while I introduce a new twist on how your daily diet might play a role in how you feel. It might seem a little out there at first but it will make sense if you give it a chance.

Most Americans eat factory farmed Meat, Chicken and Dairy products a few times a day, every day. The animals have been crowded into small spaces where they cant move and their bones break from the weight the hormones they are injected with put on their bodies so that they can produce more meat and the company can make more money.

These factory farmed animals are abused and live in very dirty, feces filled and over crowded conditions, have sores, tumors, health problems and almost never see daylight. They are scared, sad and miserable. These animals go through a holocaust everyday in order to feed us hungry Americans our cheese burgers and greasy chicken fingers.

Now that you have a pretty image to think of, consider this: We are all made up of energy and even being in a room with a person in a bad mood can greatly impact you in a negative way. Now Imagine you are taking the flesh of a miserable and abused animal, grinding it up, cooking it, adding lots of processed condiments for flavor and using that as fuel to create the blood, cells and energy you use every day. I'm sure you all heard the term "You are what you eat".

Here's some more food for thought.. Picture your favorite fruit or vegetable. In its most perfect form it will grow in the sun using nutrient rich, pesticide and chemical free soil. Now picture your stomach digesting that. It's lighter, fresh and makes you feel like you're doing you're body good.

When we eat foods that are processed or heavy meat and dairy foods we feel that way and it impacts our body that way, heavy & sluggish . When we eat foods that grow in the sun and have a lighter energy, then the fuel we take in gives our cells, blood and mood a lighter feeling.

The human body is made perfectly and should always be in balance, when that balance is thrown off a signal is sent. This signal can be anything from a headache to weakened immune system and even cause you to feel depressed. Our cells and blood create everything that we are so if we use quality fuel to energize our bodies then we become better as a result and many physical and emotional ailments eventually vanish.

Eat and live mindfully, try to find your own connection to your natural surroundings, be patient with yourself & talk about your feelings, don't keep it inside. Let the dark out so some light can come in!