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Tips for staying well this Winter

naturopathy cold fluIt’s always a sad time of year for me when the days start to get shorter and colder! It can also be a difficult time with people that are prone to cold and flu symptoms such as coughs, sore throats, headaches, sneezing and blocked noses, and muscular aches.

If you or your family dread this time of year as you seem to be afflicted with illness, it might be a good time to reassess your diet and lifestyle, and possibly go that step further and see a qualified Naturopath to help you whilst coming in to those colder months.

 

Include these to help boost your Immune System.

  • Zinc – this mineral is found in most protein containing foods, eg chicken, beef, fish, nuts, seeds (pumpkin seeds are an excellent source). Zinc deficiency can be one of many reasons for repetitive illness, poor wound healing, skin disorders and white spots on your nails. Zinc and Copper are competing minerals, so if one is low then the other may be high, which can then drive the deficiency down further. Another problem can be low stomach acid, which means you are not breaking down proteins efficiently and therefore not absorbing the zinc.
  • Vitamin C – this vitamin is important in preventing illness as well as speeding up recovery times, as it increases the activity of infection fighting white blood cells. Good sources of vitamin C are berries, oranges, kiwifruit, guava, tomatoes, capsicum, dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli.
  • Mushrooms – are also an excellent food source for improving the function the immune system, the best varieties are shiitake, maitake and reishi so add as many of these as possible.
  • Add lots of ginger, garlic and onion to your diet – they have great pathogen fighting properties and are very beneficial to the immune system.
  • Probiotic foods – such as yoghurt (if tolerated), miso, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. A big part of the immune system is in the gut, so ensuring sufficient good bacteria is another way to maximise your immune function.
  • Get outside more – part of the problem with the colder months is that we stay inside to keep warm. By doing this we are missing out on the benefits of sunshine and fresh air, and allowing exposure to harmful pathogens that others in the room may have.

 

Avoid these if you are prone to infections.

Sugar – it is very important to minimise or eliminate sugar from your diet, as it reduces the capacity of your white blood cells to engulf invading pathogens. This effect has been proven to last for up to 5 hours after eating a high sugar food.

Mucus forming foods – especially if you are prone to congestion and phlegm, the foods to avoid are mostly dairy, sugar and refined foods.

 

Avoiding illness this winter.

The best thing you can do is to prevent infection. However if you have made all of the mentioned changes to your diet and lifestyle and are still getting sick, it may be time to see a Naturopath that can investigate further and prescribe a herbal remedy and/or appropriate supplementation.

 

Why do we get Back Pain?

Pain is very important to us. It is the body’s warning signal to us that something is not right. It is a signal that usually makes us stop and take notice and then hopefully take action to change it.
Health In The Bay spoonBack pain can come from several structures. The spine is made of 24 moving bones which are interconnected at joints, called Facet Joints, along the back of the spine. Between the ends of the bones in the spine there is a disc which is soft to allow mobility as well as shock absorption.
If the Facet Joints are not moving freely then there will be irritation at these nerve-rich joints, resulting in pain.
The same change in movement in the joints, or acute trauma, can result in the dics becoming inflamed and swollen, or even ruptured. The disc can then push on the nerve exiting the spine, again resulting in pain.
Together with these issues the muscles along the spine will spasm which is again a common source of back pain and stiffness.
Chiropractic care has helped many people with these problems by utilising appropriate techniques which improve the movement of the facet joints and the relationship between the vertebrae of the spine, hence reduce any of these sources of pain. If you don’t already have a Chiropractor, or would like to try a different approach schedule an appointment today.