Immune System and Packaged Foods

Immune System and Packaged Foods

Your Immune System and Packaged foods

Two generations of packaged/processed food! 

I was chatting with an acquaintance a few weeks ago at the lap pool in town.  She was my oldest son’s age (40+).  She told me that she started working out and changing her diet when she noticed that way too many friends her age were dying of diseases that would normally affect people in their 70s and 80s.  She observed from this: hers was the first generation to survive on packaged foods from start to finish! 

Amongst other things to fix this she was exercising regularly. She was hoping that it wasn’t too late to change her lifestyle and her future.  She was forcing herself to cook, to change her habits in that respect as well getting more exercise. 

The biggest issue, she found, was that it cost way more to eat healthy food.  It’s considerably cheaper to do a grocery shopping for packaged and processed goods than it was for fresh food. 

It is sometimes hard to convince people that if they are healthier and have more energy, that they will be more productive, more efficient and generally much, much happier.

Processed Food: Bad

“Researchers found that for every 5% increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods, there was a corresponding decrease in cardiovascular health. Subjects who consumed less than 40% or of their calories from ultra-processed foods had double the chance of having “ideal” heart health compared to people who ate 70% or more of their calories from ultra-processed foods.”
Life and Health 

Two factors enter into this.  One is that the packaged foods are over processed and the other, often more damaging is the additives.  Most of this comes from the fact that these processed foods will last for a very long time on the shelf or in storage without going ‘bad’. 

Some of the food additives that are in pretty much all of your packaged foods are high fructose corn syrup, Monosodium glutamate (MSG), food colouring, artificial flavours and a number of preservatives.

I’m going to talk about just two of the worst here.  Both high fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate (MSG) make you hungrier.  Not considering other damage that they can cause, this is one of reasons people gain more weight from eating fast food and soda.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

It used to be that you could just count calories to control your weight.   High Fructose Corn Syrup changed this.  Some years ago this sugar substitute became cheaper than sugar due to the government subsidization of the corn industry in the United States.   Thus, it became the go to sweetener for almost everything including soft drinks.  It is about half the price of sugar. And way more deadly! 

There are dozens of articles, if you search, on this additive. 

High Fructose Corn Syrup Triggers Fatty Liver Disease

And others:

This article has links that show how High Fructose Corn Syrup can lead to leaky gut and cancer:

“High fructose corn syrup has led to so many diseases found in the American culture today including heart disease, cancer, inflammation, leaky gut, fatty liver disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and so much more.”

When my kids were growing up in the 90s, I would tell them to go with known evils like sugar.  We would have sit down dinners as much as possible.  This kept the family as a family and also educated the kids on cooking and eating non packaged goods.

The United States spends more than any other country in the world on health care and has the highest obesity rate in the world.  The US rates something like the 34th healthiest.  Behind many third world countries.  Many of those countries are are not eating packaged goods. 

Fast Foods and Sodas

Most of your soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.  (In the USA.)  Pretty much anything you order at McDonald’s or Burger King will use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.  The same goes for most other fast food in North America.  And because high fructose corn syrup, like MSG below, leaves you hungry*, most people know that they had better 'super size it'.  Thus eating way more than they actually need.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

I used to be on the road a lot. Microwave cooking in hotels.  I spent over an hour - probably closer to two hours - in a supermarket once, reading the ingredient lists and I could not find one frozen dinner product without monosodium glutamate.  Not one.  This was almost 20 years ago.  From that point on I stayed in hotels with kitchenettes so I could cook. 

MSG by any other name:

I’ll get to the damages caused by MSG in a moment but here are a few names it is hidden under: Yeast Extract, Glutamic Acid, hydrolyzed protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed animal protein, ‘protein fortified’, enzyme modified.  Thus you have ingredients like whey protein isolate, soy protein isolate, autolyzed plant protein, natural flavors,  caseinate, and dozens of others.

Some of the side effects/symptoms that are more immediate are burning sensations, heart palpitations, sweating, chest pain and nausea to name only a few. 

Here is a really scary article on longer term effects of MSG found at the National Library of Medicine:

“Simultaneously it is being implicated for varied pathological condition like obesity, gonadal dysfunction, learning difficulty etc. … “  

And the purpose of MSG is to increase flavor.  Foods are so over processed these days that MSG and way too much sodium need to be added to enhance flavor.

Another article from a site called Truth in Labelling.  Rodents are not naturally fat.  They were purposefully fed MSG to make them fat.  Rats will not normally become overweight.  One of the ‘side effects’ of MSG is that it blocks the ‘I’m full’ receptors in the brain, resulting in continued desire to eat.**  This way various remedies for obesity could be properly tested on rats and mice. 

MSG is now a research tool used to produce obesity...

By the early 1980s, evidence of monosodium glutamate induced brain lesions and resultant endocrine disorders, including obesity, were so well documented that researchers interested in brain function and/or development of drugs with which to treat disease conditions in which glutamate played a role, began to use monosodium glutamate as an ablative or provocative tool with which to kill selected brain cells and induce obesity.”

Take the time and read the full article here: Truth in Labeling 

All of this dramatically weakens one’s immune system.  For example, obesity has been found to make people more sensitive to contracting Covid-19.  These additives also adversely affect one’s cardio vascular system which is another thing that flu type viruses attack. 

I’ve always felt that one’s ‘target’ should be health as opposed to weight loss. If you are eating proper food and getting some exercise regularly, with appropriate supplements, you should end up healthy. 

Eat healthy foods, get outdoors, get some exercise.  Get proper sleep and rest when you need it.   And make sure you get a good vitamin D supplement. 

Other links:

High Fructose Corn Syrup leaves you hungry

**Rats Get Fat

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Drugs and Your Immune System

Drugs and Your Immune System

Your Immune System and Drugs

How do drugs affect your immune system? Long term and short term?

The United States of America comes 37th on a list of healthiest countries in the world.  Behind many third world countries.  Per capita, the USA spends more than any other country in the world on Health Care.  What part do drugs play in this scenario?

According to Wallstreet.com:

"America makes up about 5% of the world’s population – but accounts for approximately 27 percent of the world’s drug overdose deaths, according to Vox. The culprit? Prescription opioids like Oxycontin, tramadol, methadone, morphine, fentanyl or Vicodin."

I was speaking to my son recently about vaccines.  I said to him that there was a preponderance of evidence that vaccines might adversely affect the immune system; that there may be a relationship with vaccines and the rapid increase of the incidence of autism over the last 30 years.  He allowed for that but pointed out the increase of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, and the like, over the same period of time.  He thought that these types of drugs could just as easily, or even more likely, be the cause.  

How many men and women took Ritalin growing up in 80s and 90s and then had children?  Did Ritalin, and later drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and others, affect their immune systems and then the immune systems of their newborns?   

What percentage of the population are currently on antidepressants?

Per the CDC

“During 2015–2018, 13.2% of adults used antidepressants in the past 30 days (Figure 1). Use was higher among women (17.7%) than men (8.4%).”

This is huge! How many of these women were taking these drugs when they were pregnant?  Or breast feeding?  How are the immune systems of the babies affected by these drugs?

The use of pain relievers (legal) has at least doubled in the last 40 years.  The intake of SSRIs doubled from 1998 to 2010.

Since 1990, 450,000 people have died from opioid overdoses.  How many users are there that don’t die?  This from both prescribed and street use of various opioids.  How do these drugs affect one’s immune system?  Short term? Long term?

I know people that eat Tylenol like candy.  In both the USA and in the United Kingdom Tylenol is the biggest cause of liver failure.

“acetaminophen* overdose is the leading cause [of Acute liver failure] in the United States”  NCBI Liver Failure

(*acetaminophen: an analgesic drug used to relieve mild or chronic pain and to reduce fever, often as an alternative to aspirin. Proprietary names include Tylenol.)

How does this extensive damage to the liver affect one’s immune system?

“The liver is a key, frontline immune tissue. Ideally positioned to detect pathogens entering the body via the gut, the liver appears designed to detect, capture, and clear bacteria, viruses, and macromolecules.”  The Liver and Immune System

Other medicines can affect one’s liver and thus the immune system:

“Some drugs, such as statins** (used to treat high cholesterol levels), can increase the levels of liver enzymes and cause liver damage (usually minor) but no symptoms.”
Merck Liver Disorders

(**Statin: “any of a group of drugs that act to reduce levels of fats, including triglycerides and cholesterol, in the blood.”)

Commonly used drugs such as Adderall can severely affect the health of the liver.  Adderall is an amphetamine. This from an article at NCBI on amphetamines and the liver.

“More importantly, several amphetamines have been associated with clinically apparent and sometimes severe or even fatal instances of acute liver injury. These cases typically follow intravenous use, particularly when given in an excessive single dose. The synthetic amphetamine methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA, but known familiarly as “ecstasy”) has been implicated in the largest number of cases, many of which were severe and led to acute liver failure and death.”

Much evidence has come to light over the last 20-30 years as to how antibiotics have affected the immune system.  A necessary evil sometimes.  The problem with antibiotics is that they kill good bacteria as well as bad. 

From JAMA Pediatrics

“This study found that all commonly prescribed antibiotics during infancy are associated with subsequent diagnosis of allergic disease.

Administration of more than 1 class of antibiotic was associated with increased risk, most notably for asthma and allergic rhinitis. This association persisted even after adjusting for the total days of antibiotics supplied.”  JAMA Pediatrics

So, ask your doctor questions.  Your doctor is not infallible.  Find out the short and long term affects of the drugs he prescribes.  Do your own homework; it is pretty easy to find side effects of pretty much any drug online. 

Street drugs, even marijuana, well, that’s a little trickier.  Opioids, (Oxy for example), that you buy on the street will not likely have a list of ingredients, telling you how much fentanyl is in it.  Even so called medical marijuana has been found to have mold which can shut down your liver.  Caution your children on the use  of study drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin.  Instruct them on how these drugs can affect one’s immune system over a short or long period of time. 

Good health is your best defence!

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Dr. Zach Bush

Dr. Zach Bush

Heal The Earth

Zack Bush, MD is my new hero.  Try as you might, you are very unlikely to bend your government or any of its agencies to your will.  Zack is a very bright guy.  He tried working with sections of the Department of Agriculture to rid the midwest farms of Monsanto’s glyphosate and other harmful chemicals.  These chemicals and poor farming techniques have destroyed much of the farmland in the USA and thus the health of Americans.  Zack Bush and his organization with others have ‘reclaimed’ a million acres of farmland.  Taking production from less than forty barrels of produce to over 300 barrels per acre - chemical free.  There was a great interview with him where the commentator asked several times why he didn’t work with government agencies. His reply was, ‘working with the government is too slow’.  

Here are a couple of videos.  One is pretty lengthy, of Zack Bush telling the damage that is being done to our planet and the people on it and how quickly and ‘easily’ we can repair things like global warming and the land and the food that is killing us.  

But if you watch anything, watch this (It's only 20 minutes long): https://farmersfootprint.us/watch/

And if you have a bit more time: 

 

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Breathe The Air

Zach Bush, MD

Zach Bush give some very good reasons to get out and go for a walk for both your physical and mental well being:

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Sauna, Steam and  Your Immune System

Sauna, Steam and Your Immune System

Sauna and Wellness

The Scandinavians are famous for their use of sauna for health reasons.  For Finns it is almost a religion.  There is evidence of sauna use in Scandinavia going back thousands of years.  They would even have babies delivered in them because it would be a sterile environment as a result of the regular heat.

Known to be some of the healthier people in the world, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to imitate them.  There are numerous other ‘healthy’ things that the Scandinavians do that we could emulate, eating healthier, walking more, etc.  The Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and Finns have pretty good lifestyles.  

Similar structures have been used over the centuries by certain Native American tribes - Sweat Lodges;  the Romans, Turks, and even the Irish have histories of common use of saunas, steam baths and similar  structures using heat for health and well-being. 

Saunas and other ‘heat’ rooms have been used to help break fevers but I wouldn’t suggest using it for this without consulting a physician that was well versed in their use.  Used incorrectly they can be dangerous.  Some dangers can be dehydration and over heating.  

Here is a quote from Agence France-Presse, a news agency in Paris, France: 

“  According to Agence France-Presse, experts from the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture stated on September 5, 2005 that the sauna can effectively kill the bird flu virus because the virus cannot survive high temperatures. For this reason, the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture requires people who return from avian flu-affected areas to immediately “sauna disinfect” themselves and their clothes, shoes, and luggage. Clothes need to be steamed for 3 hours at a high temperature of 70 degrees Celsius…”   https://www.ksaqua.com/aquagroup-blog/2019/2/28/sauna-coronavirus

“Even with good soap cleaning, the coronavirus can be destroyed. The virus also degrades, for example, in alcohol-based solutions. Even the sauna is useful, at these temperatures these viruses probably won't live anymore” said Marjomäki.” - Varpu Marjomäki, associate professor of cell and molecular biology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland https://purpleherbal.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/the-sauna-a-most-effective-healer/

So, you can see that the sauna is almost like a religion in Finland and some other Scandinavian countries. They are a pretty healthy people.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (link after quotes) has mountains of scientific information, studies and white papers.  Some, quite difficult for the unindoctrinated to wade through. But their data is extremely well researched and most of the time pretty accurate and factual. Here are a couple of quotes regarding heat and saunas from studies on that website:

“In both groups the frequency, duration and severity of common colds were recorded for six months. There were significantly fewer episodes of common cold in the sauna group.”

“Time in a sauna may be even more important during cold and flu season. A single 15-minute sauna session can raise your white blood cell, lymphocyte, neutrophil, and basophil counts—all signs of a stimulated immune system—according to a 2013 study done by researchers in Poland. The effects were even more enhanced among athletes. Researchers say the stress put on your body by the heat of the sauna gives your immune system a little jumpstart.”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

This next quote is from ‘Mister Steam’ but the original data comes from webmd.com, I believe.  It applies to the viruses that cause colds:

“STEAM ROOMS MAY KILL RHINOVIRUS, THE MAIN CAUSE OF THE COMMON COLD.
Research has shown that rhinovirus is inactivated at a heat above 109 degrees Fahrenheit (steam rooms exceed that temperature). Another study found that when a group of subjects experienced intermittent hyperthermia over a period of six months, the subjects suffered fewer colds than the control group.”  https://blog.mrsteam.com/natural-ways-to-combat-the-cold-and-flu-season

Right now saunas and steam rooms are not readily available in most health clubs, gyms and YMCAs.  If you have a friend that has one or you can find somewhere to make use of one, it could do a lot for your immune system.  

Part of the reason that I’ve put these last few blog posts up on building one’s immune system is that there is a lot of conflicting information in the media and a lot of scary ‘be careful’ news.  My goal is to help you stay healthy and keep you from getting sick in the first place. 

If you can’t get into a steam or sauna a few times a week, remember to eat healthy, get some exercise and take your vitamins.  And check out my previous blog posts for some other immune boosters.

“…it [the sauna] boosts the immune system by kicking it into high gear.”
https://www.prevention.com/health/a28701780/benefits-of-using-a-sauna/

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Exercise and The Immune System

Exercise and The Immune System

Exercise and Your Immune System

Most people are aware that exercise will make you healthier but not so many are aware how it can affect the immune system in a positive way. And in this regard, I don’t mean one has to work out 2-3 hours a day or be a triathlete or some such.

You just need to get up your heart rate and circulation for a period of time each day – and not necessarily every day – but you need to be consistent. From what I’ve read and experienced over the years, a minimum of 20 minutes a day usually is adequate.

An article in the Journal of Sport and Health talks about how to increase the effectiveness of your immune cells.


“In addition to improving your mental health, a 2019 scientific review in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that exercise can improve your immune response, lower illness risk, and reduce inflammation.”

“Because exercise increases blood and lymph flow as your muscles contract, it also increases the circulation of immune cells, making them roam the body at a higher rate and at higher numbers”

This is really significant: Per the British Journal of Sports Medicine in an paper published September 07, 2011 – they found that those partaking in the study, that exercised five days a week or more, had a 40% reduction in respiratory tract infections such as the common cold.*(see note at end of article)


The study of the subjects was over a 12 week period.

“Conclusions Perceived physical fitness and frequency of aerobic exercise are important correlates of reduced days with URTI [Upper respiratory tract infection] and severity of symptoms during the winter and fall common cold seasons.”
 

And this from Science Direct’s article showing relationship between exercise and body’s defense/immune system:

“The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system:
Highlights:
– Acute exercise is an immune system adjuvant that improves defense activity and metabolic health.
- Data support a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise training and illness risk.
– Exercise training has an anti-inflammatory influence mediated through multiple pathways.
– Illness risk is increased in athletes during periods of intensified training and competition.
– Increased carbohydrate and polyphenol intake is an effective nutritional strategy for immune support.
– Habitual exercise improves immune regulation, delaying the onset of age-related dysfunction.
Advances in mass spectrometry technology will provide new insights on exercise–immune responses.”

 

From US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health:

Per the US National Library of Medicine, exercise or some sort of regular physical activity, can help clear up or stave off anything from inflammation (inflamed joints, etc) to colds to cancer.

“Epidemiological evidence indicates that regular physical activity and/or frequent structured exercise reduces the incidence of many chronic diseases in older age, including communicable diseases such as viral and bacterial infections, as well as non-communicable diseases such as cancer and chronic inflammatory disorders. “

“(iii) exercise can enhance in vivo immune responses to bacterial, viral, and other antigens. In addition, we present evidence showing that regular physical activity and frequent exercise might limit or delay immunological aging. We conclude that leading an active lifestyle is likely to be beneficial, rather than detrimental, to immune function, which may have implications for health and disease in older age.”


From everything I’ve read and studied, one doesn’t have to over extend oneself. You want to get your heart rate up for a little bit for a while. If you are totally comfortable walking 3-4 miles an hour (a mile every 15-20 minutes) then see if you can push yourself every so slightly to go half a mile faster. Just get your heart and lungs and muscles working just a touch harder. You don’t have to get winded, particularly starting out. If you haven’t exercised in a while, just get out and do something every day. If you have to start with doing 10-20 minutes of walking once a day, start with that. The important things are not doing too much, or over exerting when you start and also, persistence. Notice that in one of the articles above, it was a 12 week study where there was a reduction by 40% in lung and other issues. So don’t quit after 2-3 weeks! Make it part of your lifestyle.

Some ideas if you haven’t exercised in a while:

  • Park the car at the grocery store a little further every time you go, so you have to walk. Much easier to find a spot that way as well.
  • Once you have some wind, take one flight of stairs instead of the elevator.
  • When you walk in the park or neighbourhood, take a camera (even your phone camera will work) and take a photo or two. That way you are making it more interesting.
  • I like to look around when I’m out for a walk but for some it could be a good time to listen to that audio book.
  • Walking or some other sort of exercise, cycling, tennis can be a good time to spend with your spouse.
  • Some like to go on their own but you may do better joining up with a group or a friend. Sometimes it is ‘easier’ once you have committed the time with a friend.
  • Walk to the store instead of driving.

There are likely a hundred other ways to get started. But the simplicity of getting outside every day for even 20-30 minutes can be unbelievably beneficial.

*This point regarding “40% reduction in respiratory tract infections such as the common cold.” is particularly important now with the fact that somewhat over 93% of the deaths from Covid-19 are with a comorbidity, largely being respiratory tract infections.

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More AntiVirals

More AntiVirals

Three More Anti-Virals

Zinc

Let's Eat Right To Keep Fit

Not only is Zinc a great antiviral, it also is wonderful for boosting immune function. If you can tolerate wading through white papers, there is a great one here on Zinc: Oxford Academic

And this from Adele Davis’ book ‘Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit’: 

“It is essential father synthesis of body protein and the action of many enzymes. And undersupply in animals hand humans alike causes a loss of fertility, low resistance to infections, slow healing, and a skin abnormality similar to psoriasis. “

Oregano - Oil of Oregano

My wife swears by it.  Nasty stuff if you ask me.  I mean it does work but…

Oil of oregano

Oil of Oregano

Yes, it is the herb that you use in cooking. But Oil of Oregano (extract) has some other properties.  Oregano oil extract has been used for

centuries for its curative properties.  It has anti-bacterial properties but also is often used for  colds so it anti-viral as well.  A great anti-oxidant so it will help boost your immune system.  Usually comes in a very small jar and you only need a drop or two.  (Obviously read the directions 🙂 )  The oil is extracted from the plant and placed in a carrier oil such as olive oil, almond oil or grape seed oil amongst others.  (Note: Make sure you are getting the ‘extract’ not the essential oil.) Good reference site: Oregano Essentials

Elderberry

elderberry

elderberry berries

This is an excellent antiviral.  Per The Natural Medicine Journal:

“…is thought to be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of influenza and upper respiratory infections… While elderberry was shown to have inhibitory effect at all stages of influenza infection, it had a significantly stronger effect on the late-stage of infection than at early stage…”

Some farm the berries for the juice that can be made. These trees grow in the wild but can be added to a garden.  Some great information here for Harvesting and Growing Elderberry.

It can also be taken as a supplement - you can get it online or at your local health food or vitamin store. 

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Three Natural Anti-Virals

Three Natural Anti-Virals

3 Natural Anti-Virals

Colloidal Silver

Olive Leaf

Garlic

Colloidal* Silver

Microscopic or what are called nanoparticles of silver suspended in liquid works by disabling the enzyme that single cell bacteria, fungi and viruses feed on for their oxygen.  It kinda starves the virus.

(More here: healthyatom.com)

It has been used for thousands of years to treat bacterial infections, viruses and fungal infections.  Kind of a precursor to antibiotics.  Usually used in a spritzer type bottle, it can be used topically on cuts and scrapes. Spray some in your mouth after brushing your teeth to help kill germs, viruses and to prevent  infection.

Colloidal Silver is not cheap.  You can purchase in most health food/vitamin stores.  You don’t need much.  Also, there are machines you can get to make it yourself, but if you do this, do proper research to make sure that you are doing it correctly.  I don’t make it myself so am not the person to ask.  

(*Colloidal - Definition
A substance whereby tiny particles - nano particles or ultramicroscopic particles are evenly dispersed in another substance like a liquid or gel.  These particles would be evenly dispersed and do not settle.  They would not be separated by normal filtering.)  

OLIVE LEAF

This is another one that ‘starves’ the virus.  The active materials in this natural compound, are elenoic acid and calcium elonate.  They act a similar way to silver, in that they effect the enzymes.  In this case they actually block the production of enzymes that viruses feed upon.  Some of the viruses that it can help prevent/get rid of, are influenza (the flu), herpes, polio and coxsackie (Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease - webmd.com). 

If you have a sore throat beginning, spray a little to the back of your throat.  Two or three squirts a couple of times a day will handle most instances fairly quickly.  

A lot of actions that you take to prevent/cure will also depend on your immune system.  The stronger your immune system, the quicker you will recover and milder will be your symptoms.

I’ve listed out some good pointers for immune system build up in another article: Immune System

Garlic

And then there is garlic.  Likely been around longer than almost any other anti-viral or antibacterial.  There is lots of good data on how garlic helps with bacterial infections and illness, but here is a great white paper (if reading it, doesn’t put you to sleep) that describes the efficacy of using garlic as a defence against influenza.
researchgate.net

Garlic is pretty easy to come by. I would suggest purchasing it grown locally as possible.  Cook it, sprinkle some in salads or get it in capsule form at the vitamin store.

So, you have here, three natural ways to boost your protection against viruses and defeat them if they come near you.

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Seven Benefits Of Honey

Seven Benefits Of Honey

Seven Ways Honey is Good For You

1:  Skin Treatment - Dry Skin

Honey absorbs moisture when open to the air. If applied to dry skin anywhere on the body, it will naturally hydrate.  Dry skin is caused generally by a lack of moisture in the tissues and cells, not the lack of oil.  Properly hydrated, the skin will naturally heal all sorts of ills such as psoriasis and eczema. Or just dry skin.  Use as a facial, just for general conditioning.  One can blend with something like coconut oil.  Apply gently to the face, it is safe around the eyes so will not irritate.  Leave on for 15-20 minutes and gently wash off.  Doing this periodically can help with a myriad of things from wrinkles to eczema.  The antioxidants in the honey help promote new tissue growth.  

2: Wounds and Burns

The equine world has used honey on cuts, scrapes and bite on horses for years.  It is known for its antibacterial and healing properties. Honey releases small amounts of hydrogen peroxide very slowly when exposed to air. This, in part is what kills off bacterial and prevents infection.

The Greeks and Romans used honey in this way, for wounds and burns thousands of years before ‘modern’ medicine started to figure out that it might be helpful.

There are numerous studies showing how honey is much more effective. Here is a lengthy and technical article at the US National Library of Medicine

3: Hair

I have a friend that uses Thentix skin cream as a hair conditioner.  Honey makes for a great natural conditioner. If you want try using honey instead of that in Thentix, blend a small amount of a natural oil (coconut for example works well( with quarter to half a cup of honey.  Warm slightly to help blend if you need and work this into your hair and scalp.  It works great as a conditioner for your hair and hydrates the scalp at the same time.  Most shampoos and hair conditioners will dry out your hair and scalp.  That is one of the reasons so many people suffer with dandruff or eczema on their heads.  Be sure to rinse it out once you have let it soak in for a bit.

4: Digestive System

Taking a teaspoon to a tablespoon of honey morning and night can help ease and improve your whole digestive tract.  Honey will add good bacteria and tends kill off bad bacteria.  (Don’t ask me how it ‘knows’ one from the other.) Eating local honey from different sources can adds good bacteria to your system and take a load off your immune system.  Giving you a much better defence against disease.

5: Halitosis, Gingivitis and Tooth Decay

The digestive system starts in your mouth. Don’t be shy of using natural, unpasteurized honey in your mouth to kill bacteria.  It can help slow down or prevent things like gingivitis because of its antibacterial properties. It is also great to gargle with.  A teaspoon each of honey and lemon juice in water.  Gargle with this once a day and see what happens.

6: Nutrition

Health benefits of honey include:

  1. Some may think that because of the high sugar content of honey that is has the same effect: Sugar high!  Not so.  You can get the energy without it affecting the insulin levels in your body.  But use moderately!
  2. Taken on its own or even better in conjunction with  natural apple cider vinegar, it can have curative properties for arthritic joints.  Partly due to its ability to absorb calcium. 
  3. Honey has a pH between 3.2. and 4.5, so along with natural apple cider vinegar, helps with digestion and this pH environment helps prevent the growth of bacteria.
  4. Loads of trace minerals.
  5. Small amounts of B vitamins, A, C, D and K.
  6. Live enzymes so good to take with food. 

7: Allergies

There is debate about this one but I have proven it to myself. You can see my article on Poison Oak honey here.

My motto generally is that the best honey for you eat is local honey.  For example if you have wildflower allergies in the spring or summer, then find some local wildflower honey and take a teaspoon once or twice a day.  Start this a few weeks, or more, before the season and continue on through the season.  There is a very comprehensive article by Dr Mercola here on the whys and the wherefores regarding honey and allergies. Dr Mercola and Honey

Another honey/allergies reference here:

Karger.com

For handling allergies, don’t take huge amounts of the honey.  You only need a teaspoon once or twice a day but do this over a long period of time. 

So, find some good local honey that you like and take a little bit every day.  They all taste a little different. There are other great benefits not listed here but you can look through this website and others to find out more.  There is no shortage of good research information out there on honey. 

If you want some more information on honey and vinegar look here.  Great book on the benefits of both by Dr. D. C. Jarvis

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Boost Your Immune System

Boost Your Immune System

Immune System

How to boost your immune system *

8 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

  1. Stress.

This is one of the biggest.  Mental stress, physical stress both can make a person more susceptible to or more prone to illness. Get enough rest.  Get some exercise.  Stop watching the news. If you absolutely have to watch or listen to or read the news, then limit yourself.  A constant barrage day after day from the media can make the best of us weep and be weary and think the worst of the world.  Turn off the news.

2. Sunlight and vitamin D.

Vitamin D helps build one’s immune system.  Some say that it acts more like a hormone in the way it handles the body and helps fortify it against various forms of disease. 

If you want the really technical stuff and can wade through a white paper you can read this article at The US Library of Medicine/National Institute of Health: Vitamin D and the Immune system 

If you want something a little more understandable check out this video on this page or read the article on Dr. Mercola’s website.  (Please note this may touch a nerve with some regarding vaccines. I’m not taking a stand either way on the subject of vaccines; I only am including this article link on the page to show the effectiveness of this Vitamin.)

“Dr. Joe Prendergast explains that vitamin D is likely more powerful than any vaccine you could take, as German researchers have found it increases your immune system by a factor of 3 to 5.”

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/04/why-this-vitamin-is-better-than-any-vaccine-and-improves-your-immune-system-by-35-times.aspx

And who doesn’t feel better when they get some sunshine!  Many parts of the world and in winter, no one is going to get enough sunlight.  And many people work inside at the important parts of the day.  I, personally, swear by Vitamin D.  I used to get sick every winter, feel down, with the ‘blahs’.  Years ago I started taking huge amounts of Vitamin D daily throughout the winter months and have not been sick at all since.  I no longer get ‘down’ or depressed during the short winter days and long winter nights.  Please though, check with your doctor so that you know you are taking enough but not too much. 

3. Exercise

There is a great article at mayoclinic.org on exercise and stress. 

“Exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.”

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469

Lower your stress levels by exercising and you automatically boost your immune system. Something as simple as going for a walk.  Going for a walk or some sort of outdoor activity helps both physically and mentally.  First of all, it gets the blood flowing and muscles working the way they should and also gets a person’s attention outward.  And this is paramount.  Doing this activity while listening to the news or checking out Facebook kind of defeats the purpose.  Look around while you are walking, running, hiking or biking

4. Limit drugs, alcohol, tobacco.

This is pretty common knowledge; drugs, alcohol and tobacco use up nutrients in your body. Alcohol uses up B vitamins.  Marijuana uses up minerals such as magnesium (which is a calming mineral). Tobacco uses up Vitamins C.  They all use up certain amounts of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium.  B vitamins are huge anti stress nutrients. Drugs and alcohol also affect the liver and stomach preventing proper metabolism of foods, so even if you are eating reasonably well, you may not be getting the proper nutrition into the cells.

From Journey Pure - a drug rehab organization

“It’s no secret that drug and alcohol addictions are also difficult on your body. However, what you may not realize is that addictions deplete essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function properly.”

5. Eat more healthy foods:  yogurt, vegetables.

Keep a balanced diet. Make sure that you are getting enough proteins. Lots of micronutrients in fruits and vegetables.  Yogurt: plain yogurt, without flavours or sugar added should be the best.  Sugars feed bad bacteria so if you are eating yogurt with sugar, and most flavored yogurt with have this, you are kind of neutralizing the effects of the bacteria cultures in the yogurt.  Add some honey if you want a bit of sweetness. 

Honey is also great because it will help kill off any bad bacteria internally. 

And remember, fatty foods don’t make you fat.  Good fats will fill you up and you won’t crave so much sugar and carbohydrates. Again, a balanced diet, with enough protein, carbs and fats. 

6. Vitamins. B vitamins are considered the stress vitamins.

Take your vitamins.  The trickiest thing with vitamins is getting the right balance for you.  Adele Davis talks about this in her books.  One can create deficiencies by taking too much of certain vitamins.  If they are not balanced properly.  There are some pretty knowledgeable people at your health food stores.  Some multi vitamins have every B vitamin at the same volume, 50 mg.  This may not be the best for you.  One can buy multi vitamins and multi B vitamins that are not 50mg of everything.  Ask at your health food store for something more appropriate.

Here is a good article that explains a bit more of what I’m talking about if you are interested: Dr Weil - B Vitamins.

7. Sugar and Processed Food

As much as possible stay away from sugars and processed food.  These are taking nutrients from the body instead of adding nutrients, causing more physical stress and predisposing one to more illness.

“Stress, sugars, and processed foods are a few of the other sources of strain on your body. Once you put all these together it is all your body's resources can do just to keep up. It is harder and harder to stay healthy.”

https://www.healthylife-healthyplanet.com/drugs-can-deplete-nutrients.html

As I mentioned earlier, good fats will fill you up so that your cravings for sugar and carbs will be a lot less. 

8. A few other things:

There are other things you can take to help support your immune system, things like garlic, various herbs, and mushrooms have a bazillion different micronutrients that are good for you.

* The above suggestions are just that, suggestions.  From my personal observations and experiences.  Although I have have added some decent references where I have been able to.

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