Local Limelight: Weeklyish Articles Of Interest
Ten Natural Ways to Stay Healthy This Flu Season
1. Get plenty of sleep and rest. When your body is fatigued, it is harder to fight off invaders.
2. Eat highly nutritious foods that are known to boost the immune response such as: barley, broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, sweet potatoes, crab, oysters, salmon, kiwi, oranges, yogurt, and green tea. (1)
3. At the first sign of illness, take action! Stay home from work or school, cancel social engagements, avoid public transportation, and get to bed. Your immune system knows how to do its job, but it needs all your energy to do it. Rest for a day to prevent being sick for a week.
4. Exercise! ...but not in the rainy or cold weather. While western medicine blames viruses and bacteria for causing illness, Chinese medicine points to external elements like wind, cold, heat, dampness, or dryness that can enter the body and weaken its immune response. You can cut your risk of colds in half with a regular exercise program. (2)
5. Avoid sugar. Sugar can suppress your immune system and make you more vulnerable to getting sick. (3 4)
6. Take Vitamin D. Recent studies show that the higher your Vitamin D levels (and almost everyone is low!), the lower your risk of getting a cold, flu, or respiratory tract infection (5).
7. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Keep your hands, lips, and nostrils well moisturized to avoid dry skin that cracks, leaving you open to infection. Keep your fingers out of your ears, eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
8. Positive thoughts strengthen your immune system while negative thoughts weaken it. (6)
9. Relax! Stress can harm your health the most. Your symptoms are more intense and your body produces even more mucous when under psychological stress. (7) Find a stress relieving activity and do it daily.
10. Discover Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM has been keeping people healthy for 5,000 years. A Chinese medical practitioner may use several different tools to keep your immune system strong like acupuncture, Chinese herbal therapy, cupping therapy, nutritional advice, and supplements.
By: Elie Cole, a Portland area Acupuncturist
Nourishing Medicine GreenPosting
1) Tina McCarthy, Alternter.org, 9/1/09
2) American Journal of Medicine November 2006; 119(11): 937
3) Sanchez, A., et al. Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Nov 1973;261:1180_1184. Bernstein, J., al. Depression of Lymphocyte Transformation Following Oral Glucose Ingestion. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.1997;30:613
4) Ringsdorf, W., Cheraskin, E. and Ramsay R. Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis and Resistance to Disease, Dental
5) Epidemiol Infection 2007;135:1095–6
6) Brain Behav Immun. 2008 July; 22(5): 744–752.
7) Psychosomatic Medicine March 1999;61:175-180