A Better Way to Win the Fight Against Flu and Colds and More!

A Better Way to Win the Fight Against Flu and Colds and More!

This is flu season, and it’s on everyone’s mind how to fight the bug that seems to be so rampant today. Most days at the practice I get questions about flu jabs and things.

Today I’m going to share with you something that is better than any flu jab, and with no side effects either!

Meet the humble vitamin, the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D.

This vitamin is well known for it’s role in healthy bone development and calcium metabolism. However, for the past 30 years, other roles for Vitamin D have been emerging and some recent, well-conducted studies are coming to the fore now and we now know that:

– There is a vitamin D deficiency epidemic worldwide.

– This deficiency is worse in the winter months because there’s not enough sunlight for our skin to make its own vitamin D.

– Vitamin D boosts your immune system and helps it work better.

– Vitamin D has been shown to be protective against colds and flu when taken in adequate amounts, therefore in winter months, when vitamin D levels are particularly low, colds and flu are more common.

– Vitamin D in appropriate levels, is also protective against several forms of cancer.

– Vitamin D deficiency symptoms cause, among other things, depression, joint pain, tiredness (which has often been ‘diagnosed’ as chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia), muscle ache, diabetes (Vitamin D helps regulate insulin activity), osteomalacia, osteoporosis, rickets, heart disease.

– The current recommended daily allowance of 400IU/day is not enough to protect you from the major illnesses and symptoms mentioned above – it will protect you from rickets though.

– The level of Vitamin D in your blood should be in a range between 75-150nmol/l. (Get your Dr to test your level asap, to know if you need more vitamin D).

You need to make sure you are well stocked up on Vitamin D, especially in the winter months.

Those at most risk of suffering from dangerous Vitamin D deficiency are: Dark skinned people, obese people, people suffering from malabsorption syndromes eg coeliac, inflammatory bowel disease, the elderly, housebound, excess use of sunscreen, anyone who’s not getting enough dietary Vitamin D.

How To Get Enough Vitamin D:

1) Stay out in the sun (sunbathe) for 30 mins each day (this makes your body produce 20,000IU of vitamin D per day.) Clearly not practical though. However, do get as much sun as you can manage.

2) Eat loads of foods containing Vitamin D. Foods like Oily fish, cod liver oil, egg yolk. Still won’t give you enough per day, but these things all add up so do this as well.

3) Take a high quality Vitamin D3 supplement (there’s a cheaper counterpart, Vitamin D2, but this form is less effective so you want to avoid it). If you decide to go this route, you’d need to take at least 2000IU of vitamin D3 per day, and depending on your blood level of Vitamin D, you may need to go as high as 5000IU/day. Don’t worry, that’s not a toxic level – studies show that your body can easily tolerate 10,000IU/L (not surprising, considering the body itself can easily make up to 20,000IU per day – a far cry from the 400IU found in many supplements today). If you decide to take a supplement (pure Vitamin D3, the active form of the vitamin), then you definitely need to do a blood test before and after to make sure you remain within the normal range of the vitamin. Ask me which one I recommend if you are interested.

Take home tips: – If you want to win the fight against flu this year, increase your vitamin D levels.

– Get your Dr to request Vitamin D levels for you. Ask for the ‘serum 25-OH Vitamin D’ blood test. Optimise your intake such that you’re well within healthy levels of Vitamin D.

– Take control of your health! Continue eating your veg and fruit (ratio of 3 veg to 2 fruit, mind you)…

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Anti-Aging Properties in Tree Bark

Anti-Aging Properties in Tree Bark

Back in the Middle Ages, witches, the original healers, would boil up a piece of bark from the English willow tree and give the resulting liquid to sick people to cure pain and fever. Today we call it aspirin.

And today we have discovered another tree bark with healing properties. On the west coast of France, cleansed by the fresh winds from the Atlantic Ocean, there is a vast plantation of maritime pine trees, grown especially for a special substance in their bark.

This component of the bark of the French maritime pine tree is one of the most studied of all natural supplements and it appears to impact many diseases because of the way it improves the condition of the blood. By increasing the oxygenation of the blood and destroying free radicals, it helps the body to heal itself. Studies have shown a significant impact on autoimmune diseases that are a major function of aging, like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint conditions.

Double blind studies around the world have shown that it impacts most of the known risk factors for cardiovascular disease, blocking the damage to the lining of the arteries caused by a fatty diet, assisting in lowering high blood pressure, lowering LDL cholesterol and raising healthy HDL. It relaxes constricted arteries and improves circulation. It reduces the aggregation of platelets that causes blood clots. It helps to offset the damage of smoking on the cardiovascular system.

It has been shown in the laboratory to have a preventative effect on the progression of malignant ovarian cancer cells and an ability to inhibit the growth of leukemia cells.

The good news is that this is a completely natural substance needing no prescription and has no apparent side effects other than an occasional laxative action. Given its beneficial impact on so many diseases of aging, including many not listed here, it is probably going to achieve just as solid and long-lasting a reputation as aspirin. Its name is Pycnogenol.…

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How to Lose Your Belly Fat After Pregnancy

How to Lose Your Belly Fat After Pregnancy

It may not be realistic for you to burn fat quickly a few weeks after giving birth. Moreover, you cannot get rid of fats by exercising selectively on your problem areas. Based on research by the American Council on Exercise, you can lose belly fat effectively by combining regular exercise and the right diet.

Tips on How to Lose Belly Fat after Pregnancy

It is important that you eat the right foods and include an adequate serving of vegetables and fruits in your regular diet. Choose lean protein sources and whole grains, which are packed with essential nutrients. However, make sure you have a sufficient supply of “good fat” or mono and polyunsaturated varieties in your diet. Excellent sources include olive oil, nuts, avocado seeds, and canola oil. You should also consider eating low-dairy food items, as these are not sources of extra calories. Typically, your goal is to consume at least 2200 calories daily, particularly if you are breastfeeding your child.

While exercising can help you lose weight effectively, you should avoid getting into any workout routine if you have given birth recently. You need to give your body some time to heal and establish the milk supply, which your baby needs for optimum health. After you have received a recommendation from your doctor to start a fitness routine, you may already engage in several cardio exercises such as swimming, cycling and walking. Keep in mind to take short breaks if you begin feeling exhausted, and it is not ideal for you to push yourself when your body is very tired.

As you exercise, you may increase the intensity and duration of each workout, so you can improve your endurance. For instance, you may devote at least 45 minutes per day for moderate aerobic exercises, and do this thrice a day. If you think you cannot allot long hours for your workout sessions, then you should maintain two to three sessions each day to eliminate belly fat. You may also include exercises that target the muscles in your abdomen such as crunches, reverse curls and stretches. Consider performing at least 10 minutes for each ab exercise thrice a week. Then, allow your body to recover if you think your body feels sore due to your intensive workout sessions the other day.

Important Considerations

You should remember that a restrictive or strict type of diet is never advisable, specifically for breastfeeding mothers. Ideally, women need at least 1,200 calories each day to ensure good health while others should receive about 2,200 calories, depending on their activity levels. In addition, nursing moms need over 2,000 calories per day to nourish themselves and their baby. Rapid weight loss can lead to a decrease or poor quality in the milk supply. This can also simulate a release of toxins into the bloodstream and into your body’s supply of milk. These toxic elements that can make their way into the bloodstream include persistent organic pollutants and environmental contaminants. With this in mind, you need to follow carefully your doctor’s advice in losing weight effectively, naturally and safely.…

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Espresso Coffee Terminology and History

Espresso Coffee Terminology and History

The original term for the modern word espresso, coffee extracted under pressure, was cream coffee from the Italian caffe crema or the variant, crema caffe. Due to the crema, which is now the light-colored, orangish head of foam on a cup of espresso, these terms were seen on the first modern Achille Gaggia steamless coffee machine in 1938. These terms were used commercially in his coffee bar, but are no longer used.

Today, espresso is known as a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot water under a high countable pressure, known as a Bar pressure, through finely ground coffee. Today, we also drink this concentrated coffee beverage as coffee breve, which comes from the Italian word for short. Thus, short cream becomes half and half, cream short of full cream is known as whole milk. This quick different coffee brewing method often has a thicker consistency, a higher concentration of suspended solids and crema (foam). As a result of the pressurized brewing process, all of the flavors, a chemical sense of taste and smell, in a typical cup of coffee is very concentrated. For this reason, espresso has become the base for other drinks.

These drinks include lattes, which comes from the Italian word for coffee, caff?�. In Italy, the word for milk is latte. When hot milk or warm half-and-half is added it becomes caff?� latte or caffellatte in Italian. These drinks are often called lattes in America as well. A cappuccino is a latte with a steamed milk froth on the top of the drink. The light color of the robes of Capuchin friars inspired a derivation of the word Capuchin as cappuccino. The word macchiato means marked or stained. Thus a macchiato is an espresso that is marked or stained with milk on the top. This is usually an elegant drink with a design made with milk on the top. Baristas love to show off their artistic ability with fancy milk designs. Mocha is an American invention that was inspired by an old Italian drink in Turin, Italy. This drink is made in layers of drinking chocolate, whole milk or half-and- half milk and espresso. This drink is served in small round glasses, like Italians do, to show off the three layers. The word Americano comes from American GIs who toned down the strength of drinks in Italy to match the strength of their drip coffee they drank at home. The Americano was made by adding hot water to their cup after the espresso was poured. Today, an Americano is made by adding water before or after the espresso is put in the cup.

The original espresso to the present espresso and its variations all stem from Italy in one way or another. Many Americans today drink the Italian styles and strengths of Italian coffee. In fact, you can find not only the Italian espresso drinks, but there variations all over the world.…

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Are These 3 Hidden Hazards in Your Home?

When you have a family, you try hard to keep them safe. Unfortunately, there are times when dangers are hidden from view, which makes it much more difficult to protect those you love. To be extra safe, it’s a good idea to check for these three hidden risks that may be lurking in your home.

1. Clogged Vents

If anyone in your household suffers from persistent allergies or respiratory symptoms, the cause may be inside your walls. Air ducts and vents collect huge amounts of dust, pollen and lint over time. As air moves through them, it spreads these microscopic contaminants throughout your entire house.

Vents can be hazardous in other ways, too. For example, dryer vents are one of the leading causes of house fires. Clear dryer vents St Louis MO are much safer than dirty and clogged ones, so have the hoses cleaned or replaced at least once per year to minimize the risk of fire.

2. Toxic Mold

Mold doesn’t always show up as black spots or a musty smell. If there are any leaks in pipes or moisture accumulates in your basement, you could have a problem without even realizing it. Testing for mold is relatively straightforward and can be a good idea if you suspect mold may be causing health issues in your family.

3. Lead Paint

There are two main sources of lead contamination in homes: older paint and the water supply. Testing the water is relatively straightforward, and can be done with an at-home kit. Lead paint can be harder to detect, but if your house was built before the mid-1970s, it probably has lead paint in it somewhere. Left alone in good condition, it is relatively harmless. However, contact with disrupted paint can lead to lead poisoning. If you suspect lead paint, have a remediation professional remove it.

Dangers can be hidden in plain sight. Knowing what to look for is a good first step to removing these hazards from your home.…

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3 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy

Most parents strive to make the lives of their children better even if it means sacrificing their own well-being. Although you should certainly look out for yourself, here are a few ways you can dedicate your time to helping your child grow up healthy and happy.

1. Make Regularly Scheduled Dental Appointments

Many adults discuss how they wish they had taken better care of their teeth as they grew up. Most dentists recommend taking children for routine exams every six months. It is even advisable to schedule a visit when the baby’s first tooth arrives. From there, any signs of tooth decay such as bleeding gums or excessive stains should warrant a trip to the clinic. With more options than ever before, it is very easy to find a trustworthy pediatric dentist Jacksonville FL.

Obviously, it is also crucial to take care of their oral hygiene at home. Kids should be brushing twice a day along with flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

2. Sign Them Up for Sports Leagues

According to Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, playing organized sports lead to the following advantages for youth:

  • Better vision
  • Healthy weight
  • Motor skills development
  • Social skills development
  • Self-confidence
  • Sportsmanship
  • Fun and enjoyment
  • Friendship

There is a wide range of sports they can get into including football, lacrosse and baseball/softball. If you are looking for more budget-friendly options, you can look at soccer, cross country and swimming.

3. Encourage Their Artistic Streaks

In addition to physical health, the mental well-being of your offspring should be a priority as well. Arts and crafts offer many of the same benefits as playing sports. In addition to those, activities such as painting and sculpting allow young ones to express themselves when they might not be able to do so verbally.

The great thing is that you may end up with items you can actually use such as mugs or picture frames. Finally, creative students tend to score higher on standardized tests, win awards at school and run for class offices.

Caring for your progeny is certainly not easy. However, the positive aspects far outweigh the negative ones.…

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Avoiding Bearded Dragon Diseases

Avoiding Bearded Dragon Diseases

Preventing bearded dragon disease and illness should be pretty easy if you are maintaining proper cleaning schedules and providing the proper diet and nutrition. This will greatly reduce the chances of your dragon getting sick, but won’t completely eliminate the threat. Your lizard can still suffer an injury, burn, or even become obese if you don’t keep a close eye on them.

A common cause of injury comes from the set-up of the enclosure itself. A lizard can be seriously harmed by an unstable accessory that may fall on them. When arranging your “furniture” within the enclosure, be sure that everything is nice and stable. Beardies tend to jump on and off of things, which can easily knock over unstable items. After I am finished arranging everything, I will give them a “jiggle” to see how secure they are.

Another frequent health risk are burns. Many owners do not realize that heat rocks and pads are dangerous. They see them in the reptile section when purchasing their first dragon, and assume they are safe. The truth is, bearded dragons are cold-blooded and thus cannot feel how hot they are getting until they are already burned. Another source of burns are lights that are arranged too close to the pet. If your lizard has a way to get too close to your light, it will. Make sure all lights are at a safe distance and cannot be reached via climbing. There are safety covers available to purchase if need be.

Bacterial growth is also a big problem with these reptiles. Coccidia is a bacteria that usually helps a dragon with breaking down their meals and help with digestion. However, if your pet isn’t performing regular bowel movements each day, the amount of coccidia can grow to dangerous levels and even cause death. Make sure you have proper temperatures, the right size food items, adequate hydration, and proper feeding times to avoid this issue.

There are many more bearded dragon diseases out there waiting to affect our beloved lizards. Remember to observe your pet daily and take note of how they act. Doing this will make it easy to notice when something isn’t quite right, and enable you to take quick action to resolve any issues. Also keep up on your stool, and physical check-ups. A fecal examine twice a year, and a physical once a year will also help to catch any illnesses in their infant stages. These tips along with regular and thorough cage cleaning will keep your pet alive and thriving for years to come.…

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