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Warding off the Winter ‘F’lues

We have banished the term ‘flu season’ in our house because it is a season rarely seen and drawn attentions to. Though I’m a firm believer on getting most of our nutrients from the food we eat, there are a few proven items in our family ‘prevention’ kit that I would love to share for warding off the dreaded sniffles etc.

Green (and white) Tea

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Green tea is loaded with polyphenols (antioxidants). They actually contain six types of antioxidants known as catechins making it a powerful antiviral agent which reduce the infection rate of healthy cells (reducing cold-like symptoms and fever) and weakening the virus. Antioxidants in green tea allow your immune system to combat illness and restore health. It is a mean anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic.

Echineacea

pexels-photo-189386.jpegWe love to grow our own Echineaca (or Coneflowers) and make them into tea for winter months. Though we have a special love for the brand Child Like Echineacea when we have had contact with illness esp. because children can take it. It does not contain alcohol like many homemade tinctures and is flavored with sweet orange oil. Echineacea has been proven to increase white blood cells which fight infections. Helping boost the bodies immune system.

Vitamin D

pexels-photo-236401.jpegWhen winter dark sky’s hit and we tend to not get enough vit. D sometimes we may need to supplement. Many people seem to be low on vit. D. It is a good idea to have your levels checked and at the same time not to go over on vit D drops or pills as you can O.D. on D! Cholecalciferol (D3) is a form of Vitamin D which is naturally synthesized in skin. Your body uses this little gem to boost your immune system by producing antimicrobial deterrents.

Probiotics

pickled-jalapenos-preserve-preserved.jpgEspecially since I have had dairy issues I do not get live cultures from things like raw yogurts (with live and active cultures- beware, some brands have been caught with less active ingredients then promoted). Though our family does enjoy fermented pickles and other fermented foods like homemade raw sauerkraut.

Renew Life Ultimate Flora is our current number one in the spot of supplementation. And believe me when I say not all brands are what they claim to be. Probiotics have been proven in case studies to lessen the number of respiratory and sinus related illnesses. Scientific theory is that some strains of probiotic bacteria boost immune system responses and reduce inflammation helping the body to fight infections naturally.

Taking probiotics on a daily basis is not my recommendation (as it can cause more harm than good-see below). But, if you have been irregular, drinking, ill, on antibiotics these can all be great reasons to go on a probiotic regimen. Also, I do enjoy Kombutcha (see warnings below). But, you can get a more potent form of natural probiotics from good old fashioned fermented foods!

Manuka Honey

pexels-photo-315420.jpegThis is an expensive little health supportive add on and we have been known to dip into the bottle with a spoon if someone in our house has been ill. Though I personally like adding it to my tea. Honey has a long standing name as anti microbial and soothing for sore throats. But the special thing about New Zealand Manuka honey, along with its antiviral properties is the amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants it carries.  Some hospitals are even using it to ward of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that cause issues such as MRSA and VRE.

I hope this little insite from our house to yours helps you on your road to abundant living.

~Sheri

 

 

WARNING

Please consult your medical professional upon taking any supplements and/or changing your regimen.

Green (white) teas potency can effect certain medications such as anti-clotting agents (warfarin, aspirin), birth control pills, and any medication that causes you to be sensitive to caffeine.  Green tea (black tea) also can inhibit folate (and folic acid) absorption in the intestines. Folate is important for the proper development of the neural tube, which prevents disease in unborn babies.

-See PMC US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498696/ 

D3: you should not take cholecalciferol if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your body or any condition related to malabsorption.

Kombutcha is not recommended for those pregnant or nursing. It could contain harmful bacteria especially more so if homemade and unregulated.  Because Kombucha tea is a detoxing agent, all the toxins and bodily waste gets excreted into your breast milk. It can also effect the development of infant’s immune system. Kombucha can be very acidic which could lead to metabolic acidosis (kidneys not able to remove enough acid from the body causing a buildup of toxins in baby). 

-See:  http://www.organic-kombucha.com/kombucha_should_not_use.html

Probiotics; Because bacteria exchange genetic material they can rapidly evolve and adapt to new living conditions (mimicking the same issue with constant antibiotic usage). In short the bacteria in the gut can evolve and become resistant beginning as with constant antibiotic usage, an open door to further sickness and disease. 

-Probiotics and common cold: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20051107/good-bacteria-good-for-colds 

-Stop using long term probiotic suppliments: https://fearlesseating.net/stop-taking-probiotics

Manuka Honey: note that raw honey is not recommended for pregnant women due to bacteria that can harm baby in utero.

-For info on Manuka ratings and what they mean see http://healthywithhoney.com/i-want-to-buy-manuka-honey-what-is-umf-16-mgo-400-active/  

 

 

 

 

 

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