Here's a couple of articles from last fall/winter's issue of my magazine I LOVE LULU. There's an article on alternative methods for curing the common cold and another on staying healthy through the holiday season. They still apply! So, check them out and stay healthy!
Alternative Ways To Cure The Common Cold This Fall/Winter
By: Tonnille Williams
It's fall again, and time for most of us to start anticipating the dreaded cold and flu season. If you're like me, you know it's coming, and feel like there's nothing you can do about it. You simply hope the cold isn't too bad, and drink your orange juice and soup. But is this all that can be done about the common cold? Is there nothing we can do to relieve the symptoms, or prevent a cold in the first place?
Each of us has been given at least one folk remedy, soup recipe, or over-the-counter medication to treat a cold. However, there are much better ways to treat and prevent the common cold, using non-drug remedies and sound nutrition. Here we will discuss a few.
We are all aware, to some degree, that Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is excellent for the immune system, and this is why so many of us drink orange juice when we feel a cold coming on. However, the pure form of Vitamin C is most effective as a first step in fighting a cold. Studies have shown Vitamin C to have consistently superior performance when compared to over-the-counter cold medications. Also recommended is the mineral zinc, which has proven effective in treating viral illnesses, such as colds. Zinc is most effective if taken at a cold's onset and will often cut healing time in half.
Homeopathic medicine also offers suggestions for treatment. The most common of these treatments is the herb Echinacea, which has become so popular that it can usually be found in your local drug store. Echinacea has been found by some to not only prevent the common cold from occurring, but has also been connected with reducing symptoms and duration as well. This is because of Echinacea's history as an immune system strengthener. The herbs Eyebright, Wild Hops, Licorice Root, Goldenseal, and Astragalus could also be recommended. Here is the breakdown:
The extract of the herb Eyebright is helpful in relieving coughs and mucus that leave you congested when stricken with a cold. Licorice Root relieves stress and feeds the adrenals. These glands are responsible for manufacturing energy and hormones. As a result, the system is brought into better balance, thereby promoting well-being. Goldenseal is a very commonly used herb, as it is recognized worldwide for its ability to relieve contagious illnesses.
A less commonly known herb, Astragalus is a very powerful immune system builder. The root of this legume activates the liver to produce interferon. This substance causes the body's cells to produce its own antibodies, which kill viruses and viral infections, making this herb a possible answer to the common cold in a person who has a decent diet and regular bowel eliminations (2-3 times daily).
There are periods in life when you feel like everything has come crashing down on you--you haven't slept in days, and you can't take anymore stress. Then a cold comes along, and you feel worse than you ever knew you could. Individuals who are sleep-deprived and stressed lower the body's immune system. It is no longer able to recover from day-to-day stresses, and becomes compromised. This is where Wild Hops comes in. This herb promotes peaceful sleep, and has also been known to calm the nerves. Rest promotes healing, and also enables the immune system to remain able to fight illness and disease-causing microorganisms.
If there is a tendency to catch colds, increase your intake of foods that are rich in Calcium and Vitamin C. These include, but are not limited to: sweet red pepper, broccoli, tomatoes, berries, legumes, leafy green vegetables, and nuts. Sugar and alcohol have been linked with having a negative impact on the performance of the immune system, so anyone prone to colds would be wise to refrain from these.
Each of the vitamins, minerals and herbs mentioned in this article should be available at your local health food store. For more information, please email the magazine at http://us.f571.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org. The suggestions given above were only a few options one has in treating, but more importantly, preventing colds this fall and winter. Good health!
Holiday Survival Guide
By: Krishma Sadwal
Oh the holidays . . . thoughts of pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, eggnog, and mashed potatoes, are usually followed by thoughts of stress, weight gain, and squeezing into that one dress for the obligatory holiday party. Well, if you’re anything like me, this time of year brings you such bittersweet feelings.
All those months of working hard on your diet, exercise, and lifestyle, now faced with extra temptation, just to have another set back during the holidays? This year doesn’t have to be like past Thanksgivings and Christmases. You can develop a new way of enjoying the perks of the holiday. I have made it through two holiday seasons not only not gaining weight, but losing weight as well. ‘Tis the season to be healthy! Here are some tips that will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle this holiday season.
I know what you’re thinking, “there just isn’t enough time in the day.” Sleep is an important part of staying healthy. It is just as important as diet and exercise. If you don’t get a full night’s rest one night, make sure to catch up on the extra zzz’s another night. However, it is better to try to get a decent amount each night.
Everyone around you is having a great time eating, drinking and being merry. Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself too. Banish those guilty feelings! I lost 60lbs in two years, and I did not do it by not eating foods that I enjoy. I found that every time I denied myself chocolate because I thought eating a rice cakes would be healthier, I would eat almost the whole bag, consuming three times the amount of calories I would have consumed had I just let myself have that piece of chocolate. Even then I still wanted the chocolate! I know you know what I’m talking about. So, go ahead, enjoy that piece of cheesecake or that glass of wine, just make sure you don’t eat half the pie or drink most of the bottle. You will feel more satisfied in the end.
Last thanksgiving, I thought I would try something new and NOT go up for seconds. I will admit, it wasn’t easy, but at the end of the night I didn’t need a crane to lift me off my chair and I did not wake up with a turkey and mashed potatoes hangover. It was a new feeling for me. If I can do it, YOU can do it!
If there was anything that got me through this stressful/exciting season, it was exercise. I know with all the end of year work, holiday shopping, family gatherings, parties and obligations. Exercise is not exactly on the top (or even in the middle) of your list. Well, it should be!
The holiday season usually means giving to others, so it’s extra important to take some time out for you. No better way of doing that than going for a walk or cathartic runs on the treadmill. Most people think if they don’t get in their hour of cardio then there is no point of working out. That is simply not true.
Ideally, I would like to workout six days a week with two days of strength training, but let’s be honest, that’s not always possible. If I can’t get to the gym as often as I want to, I try to go three times a week for a half hour. Even if that is impossible I try to do three increments of 10 minutes cardio workouts and/or pilates throughout the day.
There is nothing worse than getting sick during the holidays. Sometimes it’s inevitable given the circumstances. That’s why it’s always important to take your vitamins. If you’re like me and you always forget to take your vitamins, you can also stock up on foods fortified with vitamins. It’s also a good idea to always wash your hands or carry antibacterial hand gel with you. This is the easiest way of preventing colds and viruses.
This holiday season while you are in the gift giving spirit and thinking of others, remember to give to yourself. Give yourself that much needed sleep, that healthy food and exercise, don’t forget to take those vitamins and have a great Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!