Keeping your Family Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

by Dr. Heather Manley on December 18, 2014

Every year I try to write a little bit more about simple ways to keep your family healthy to to prevent the dreaded seasonal cold or flu; in addition, ways to treat yourself if you have come down with the chills, body aches and fever. Of course, the best approach to prevention is eating nourishing whole colorful foods, getting good nights of sleep and keeping your body active – think 30 minute walk everyday. All of the above, keep your immune system strong and fueled, and lack of any, may increase your risk of those pesky viruses and bacteria from entering your body.

I am adding a few more tips that may help prevent some sick days.

1. Bring on the cold… water.

I adore hydrotherapy and I speak to all my patients, friends, social media friends all about it; powerful stuff that is FREE.

how to: After every hot shower you take, end it with a blast of cold water.

why: It basically increases blood and lymph circulation and we want this to make sure that toxins/unwanted wastes are moving out of the body and nutrients are getting to the cells they need to go to.

ps: I guaranteed you will love it and become quite addicted.

pss: to learn more journey over to drheathernd.com

Here is little Pearl and Merrin demonstrating Magic Socks:

2. Brew some tea… herbal.

I wrote about the Yogi Tea that we drink during the holidays in a previous post ( find the recipe here). I love steeping this simple warming tea. It keeps my body nourished and hydrated in every yummy sip I take.

why: During the winter many people forget to drink water and become dehydrated quite fast ( especially if they coffee drinkers). Although I enjoy a good cup of joe, I really enjoy sipping herbal tea during the day; the herbs are packed with antioxidants that feed the body’s cells and the hydrating effects are strong.

3. Take 5.

I realize all too well that this is super hard for most people ( me included). The only time that I can be quiet, with no kid interruptions, is the minute I lay my head down for the night. I will do 1 or a combo of: Listen to Gabrielle Bernstein meditations, take deep breaths, mediate or do a mental prayer ( giving thanks, what I am grateful for etc).

why: Stress in the body has numerous negative effects; one being on the immune system. Finding quiet ways to release stresses, can make a profound difference in your overall health.

Ugggg you are sick

1. Take a supplement: pill, capsule or tincture.

why: Supplements will help strengthen your immune system and not suppress it.

how: Check here to learn more of my suggestions on different brands and combinations.

2. Go to bed asap!

why: One day of rest may prevent 5 days in bed feeling miserable.

3. Take your supplements even if you feel better

why: I notice most people will stop taking their supplements right when they feel better. When people do this, there is usually a larger chance of them getting sick again. I suggest to have a 7 day plan: the first 3 days, be aggressive with recommended dosage, and the last 4 days take half the recommended dose.

It is always best to visit your doctor to guide you with the best treatment plan suitable for you. If symptoms do not get better after a day or two, it is important to visit your doctor again.

Wishing you all a Happy Healthy New Year!

More reads on cold and flu

Keeping Healthy during the Holiday Season

Health Question: I want my family to be cold and flu free this season

Top 3 Supplements for Kids

Being Supplement Savvy

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Everything You Need to Know About Inflammation

by Dr. Heather Manley on December 14, 2014

Inflammation understanding is basics; however, critical to learn how to prevent; many diseases arise from long-term chronic inflammation.

Inflammation means to, “set on fire” and here is the deal…

If there was no inflammation, wounds and cuts would never heal properly. However, on-going inflammation or chronic inflammation can lead to a wide range of diseases – hay fever, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Physiologically this is what is happening:

Acute inflammation: is the first bodily response to a harmful stimuli or foreign invader. It is primarily responded by the immune system with leukocytes ( HBD: Battle with the Bugs) and the circulatory system ( HBD: A Heart Pumping Adventure)  from the blood into the injured tissues. For example, if you sprain your ankle, chemicals form and  the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood in attempt to “fight off’ the foreign substance. This  causes redness, heat and swelling. In the short run, this is a good thing… protecting us form germs like bacteria and viruses.

Chronic inflammation: A prolonged exposure with the inflammatory pathway being stimulated constantly or if the body triggers the inflammatory response with no reason, the inflammatory system may cause damage to its own tissues ( these are called autoimmune disease). And not only does damage occur, it  is much more difficultly for the circulatory system do deliver important nutrients throughout the body if tissues are inflamed.

Best Ways to Prevent INFLAMMATION

Be active

A sedentary lifestyle – hanging out in front of the tv or non stop computer work – has shown to increase inflammation in the body. The body wants and needs to move; get the blood circulating to transport nutrients to vital organs and give you a sense of well being. ( Hydrotherapy: Ending a hot shower with cold water is another great way to increase circulation).

Nutrition

1. Avoid pro-inflammatory foods:

  • junk and fast foods, high-fat meats, white foods, processed foods
  • diets high in sugar have been associated with inflammation, obesity and chronic disease

* One way sugar contributes to inflammation is by means of the liver; if the liver becomes overworked by too much sugar intake, and will result in a fatty liver. Fat cells release and encourage the pro-inflammatory pathways in the body.

* increase sugar also disrupts the balance of the pancreas by creating more insulin and insulin is pro-inflammatory. ( learn more about Diabetes 101 by clicking here).

  • limiting nightshade family of plants because of their chemical makeup of alkaloid solamine which can trigger inflammation pathway in the body. These foods include: pepper, potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes

2. Eat anti-inflammatory foods:

  • olive oil, cold-water fish, walnuts, seeds ( omega 3s)

* these omega 3 fatty acids ( learn more here ) have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers, depression, ADHD amongst other things.

  • lean poultry, fish, soybeans, tofu
  • whole grains
  • colorful fruits and vegetables ( especially berries and green leafy vegetables)

Be well,

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