Ideas for those who do and don’t get a flu shot

Healthy by Nature radio show this week: Nutritionist Rob Martin joins us to talk about the effect of issues like low testosterone and high stress hormones as well as what to do about them. Also Mary Ellen Dorey discusses how aromatherapy can put us in a romantic mood or even help us heal. She will also offer unique gift ideas. Call the live show with questions at 1-800-281-8255. Click here to find podcasts, show archives and how to listen nationwide.

NOTE: I apologize in advance for any typos and grammatical errors this week. Today is husband Bill’s birthday, so I didn’t ask him to proofread.
Afterthoughts on aftermath of Sandy
My prayers and good wishes go out to those still suffering. A reader, Carl in Annapolis, MD, suggested that donations might be better made to the Salvation Army. That group does do some great work including offering assistance in times of disaster.
Flu Protection
Last week we discussed a few highlights of the controversy over the annual flu vaccine. This week we review some ways you can boost your natural immune response and how to minimize the side effects if you do have a flu shot. These items are not necessarily in priority order because for you any of them might be the key factor. You will notice that they are basically free. (Even if some require a small investment, compare that to the cost of being ill at such a busy time.)

Reduce sugar intake. Sugar essentially paralyzes certain components of the immune system for several hours. Maybe we need to rethink that veritable wall-to-wall sugar-fest that starts when we sneak a sample of Halloween candy and may not end until after Valentine’s Day (or Easter?).

Reduce stress. Stress diverts our body’s resources away from immune defense. It also depletes important disease-fighting nutrients such as magnesium, zinc and vitamin A. (Again, for more on stress you can read my article in Doug Kaufmann’s November newsletter.)

Get enough sleep. Aim for 8 hours even if it means streamlining plans for entertaining and gift giving. Sleeping is when repair takes place and provides your system the strength to fight another day.

Enjoy sunshine. The vitamin D that we make from sunshine is crucial to the strength of our immune systems. Grandma might not have understood why, but she knew that giving cod liver oil in the winter kept the family healthier. Cod liver oil contains vitamin D as well as Vitamin A (it protects the mucous membranes) and omega 3 fats (it boosts immune competence).  It is best to get tested and keep your Vitamin D blood levels in the optimum range (50-70).

    Eat fermented foods. The friendly bacteria they contain (probiotics) support our intestinal function. Aside from the obvious (we need good digestion to absorb the immune-enhancing nutrients from our food and to eliminate immune-sabotaging toxins), remember that most of our immune system is in the gut. Sauerkraut from the refrigerated section of the market and some Asian foods like tempeh are sources. Another time I’ll discuss the pros and cons of yogurt as a source. I believe we all need to supplement our probiotics and for a dozen real good reasons, I recommend Dr. Ohhira’s.

Eat more Vitamin C. Summer fruits and salads deliver good-for-immunity vitamin C. Sources include strawberries, broccoli, green and red peppers, cantaloupe and cabbage. Don’t give those when the cool weather pot roast appears on the menu. (At least take a supplement.)

Consider natural alternatives to immune-sapping medications. For example, heartburn drugs stop stomach acid which is your first line of defense against pathogens like the pneumonia bacteria. (More about that in my book.)

Drink more water. Virtually every process in the body requires water. Of course, I mean clean water. The least expensive way to get pure water that still contains the minerals is the filter I use, Aquasana. (Buy through that link and get a big reader discount.)

Exercise. Movement helps circulation and moves out toxins that slow immune function. Don’t let returning TV shows tempt you to take up full time residence on the couch. (More isn’t always better however–overdoing exercise can zap immunity. It is probably best to increase workout intensity by just 10% a week.)

What if you do get a flu shot
Probiotics might help offset any damage to our gut bacteria. Here are at least some ideas for helping protect your body and assisting with removal of the toxic metals: Far Infrared Sauna, Ion Cleanse foot bath (available at some chiropractor offices), green vegetables, the herb cilantro, chlorella, the antioxidants glutathione and vitamin C.
Last Week
LINK to Archive. I asked Gus Kotsanis, MD to explain if chemotherapy actually cures cancer and which cancers actually respond positively to chemo. We also talk about the role of natural treatments. He answered a question about thyroid. At the end, Andy and I had fun brainstorming about what to do with leftover Halloween Candy.

Please help spread the good word-forward this newsletter to friends and family.
My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book: Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Copyright 2012 Martie Whittekin, CCN

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