11 immune boosters to keep the flu out in the cold

Posted by Rita Texeira on 24 April 2014
11 immune boosters to keep the flu out in the cold

As lovely as it is when the fluffy doonas, woolly clothes and snuggly uggboots come out in winter, it also brings the inevitable sniffles, sore throat, aches and the endless trail of tissues.

Not in your house though! This flu season we’ve got you covered with 11 immune boosting tips to ensure those nasty colds and flu are left out in the cold.

1. Eat healthy

Healthy eating will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs to boost energy, control and prevent sickness and speed up recovery.

This flu season be sure to boost your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially greens, garlic, mushrooms, ginger, yoghurt and almonds. Also drink more black and green tea, which are said to strengthen your immune system and get rid of free radicals in your body.

2. Drink more water

Water is vital for your body’s health and wellness. Itflushes out toxins, ensures your organs are functioning at their best, reduces headaches often caused from dehydration, aids in digestion, prevents constipation and raises your metabolism. So make sure you are getting 8-10 glasses a day.

3. Have extra Vitamin C

While we all know the benefits of Vitamin C, most of us don’t take it until after we are sick to aid recovery. But taking extra Vitamin C during winter months is a great way to keep colds and flus at bay.

Acting as a natural anti-histamine, anti-viral, bactericidal and detoxifier, Vitamin C also boosts the prostaglandin production in your blood platelets, which also increases T cell production.  

While you can increase your Vitamin C intake through tablets and supplements, broccoli, kiwi fruit and dark green leafy vegetables are also high in Vitamin C.

4. See the light of day

Vitamin D or “the sunshine vitamin" as it’s often called plays an important role in building our immunity. Without sufficient vitamin D (around 2-3 hours in the sun a week in winter) we increase our risk of developing a range of diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

While sunlight is the easiest and healthiest way to get sufficient vitamin D, you can also eat foods rich in vitamin Dlike egg yolk, cod liver oil, oily fish (salmon, trout, mackerel) and fortified milk (cow, soy or rice).

5. Make sure you are getting enough zinc

Zinc increases your production of white blood cells and helps them fight infection more effectively. It also increases cells that combat cancer, helps your immune system release more antibodies, supports wound healing and is a powerful anti-viral.

But with no way to store zinc your body depends on a daily supply through your diet with foods like seafood (oysters, crab and lobster), beef and lamb, spinach, pumpkin seeds and cashews. You need just the right amount though as too much can be just as harmful as not enough.

6. Have the right balance of copper

Copper is a powerful bactericidal that protects your immune system and helps you to maintain good defences against infectious diseases. While a balanced diet usually provides an adequate daily intake, there are cases where copper supplements are needed, particularly if suffering from celiac and crohn’s disease.

Normally copper supplements also include zinc as it is important to maintain a ratio of 1:1 zinc and copper for a healthy immune system.

7. Restore your immune system with probiotics

With the majority of your immune system located in your gut, a strong, healthy immune system depends heavily on having a well-functioning, healthy gut. For this reason it is important to support your system with probiotics that are specifically designed to heal your gut and restore your immune system to its natural function.

Restoring this balance in your body can help you cope more easily with stressors, toxins and allergens and reduce the severity of sickness.

8. Take time to rest and unwind

With such busy schedules stress is a regular occurrence in our daily lives, but too much stress and not enough rest can decrease our immune system and leave us more susceptible to infections.

So as tempting as it can be to stay up late to get through your work or to catch up on tasks around your home, it's important to build in time to unwind and get your rest as this will give your system the opportunity it needs to build up defences again and fight infections faster.

9. Get moving

While regular exercise is an area most of us struggle with, particularly on those cold winter days, it is proven to prevent many life-threatening conditions, boost oxygen and nutrient supply to all the cells in your body, increase sleep, decrease stress, strengthen your immune system, improve your muscle strength and joint function and of course help you become fitter and leaner.

10. Try herbal remedies

Herbals can also deliver fantastic immune boosting benefits and what’s more they are personalised for your own individual situation.

When it comes to avoiding colds and the flu the most beneficial herbs are Astragalus as an immune stimulatory herb, Echinacea, Five Mushroom Formulations, Andrographis Colostrum a protein-rich whey extract particularly use full to support mucous membrane health, Olive Leaf shows strong antimicrobial properties against viruses but only in high dosages and Bioeffective A (pine needle extract) is a very effective antiviral formula.

11. Watch your sugar intake

Sugar lowers your immune system and can leave you more susceptible to illness so try to minimise it in your diet as much as possible, particularly over winter. While it can give you the "pick me up" you're looking for its effects are temporary and the crash that comes when it wears off can leave you feeling worse.Instead try eating foods that are low GI as this will provide more constant energy levels as opposed to the highs then lows that come from sugar.

How do you keep colds and flus away?
Posted in: Immune Boosters Wellbeing Building Your Immune System Health Cold and Flu  

Childhood eczema and the role of food allergies and intolerances

Posted by Rita Texeira on 19 March 2014
Childhood eczema and the role of food allergies and intolerances

There is nothing worse than watching little ones suffer with eczema. Their cries of pain as their little hands scratch frantically at their red, inflamed, dreadfully itchy skin. As a parent you can feel so helpless, trying endless creams, ointments and lotions in a desperate bid to give them some relief.

Unfortunately, eczema is as common as it is awful, affecting around 1 in 5 children under 2 years of age. With the skin barrier damaged, the moisture in their skin evaporates leaving it dry and more susceptible to allergens and irritants.

This irritation can trigger the skin to release chemicals that make the skin itchy, and the more they scratch, the more chemicals are released making eczema a highly uncomfortable and distressing cycle for your child. But thankfully there are ways to treat it.

The role of food allergies and food intolerances in eczema

While the causes can vary, eczema is most commonly the symptom of a food allergy or intolerance. While it can take time to diagnose their allergy or intolerance, it can at least mean their symptoms can be improved by treating what is infuriating or causing the eczema in the first place.

To understand the difference between a food allergy and intolerance, allergies are an immune response, where the body wrongly identifies the food as a foreign invader and triggers an allergic reaction to deal with the perceived toxin. Allergies cause an almost immediate response in the body (up to two hours after contact) and can have more severe symptoms like anaphylactic shock.

Food intolerances on the other hand are caused by chemical responses in the body and tend to be more subtle. While they can cause immediate reactions, they are usually delayed sometimes taking up to 6-24 hours to develop. In fact some people can go years without realising they have a food intolerance, putting symptoms down to stress, tiredness or a bout of sickness.

Obviously when symptoms appear within a few minutes of eating a particular food, identifying the allergy or intolerance is easy. However, if the cause is unknown, one or a number of diagnostic tests and treatments may be needed.

Treating central allergens

Often the eczema your child experiences will be the symptoms of an allergy or intolerance to a central allergen. Central allergens are foods that appear regularly in your child’s diet on a daily basis like dairy products, wheat and wheat products, food additives, chocolate, citrus fruits, corn, eggs, oats, nuts, gluten, yeast and glucose.

When their body is overloaded with central allergens, it becomes so busy dealing with these that it can’t cope with anything else, so it shows as an allergic reaction, in this case eczema. The good news is that once you identify and remove the foods that are upsetting your child, whether it is through a skin prick test, blood test or a process of elimination, their eczema symptoms can be dramatically reduced or disappear altogether.

The importance of healing their gut

When your child’s system is loaded with toxins or central allergens their immune system, the majority of which is located in their gut, does its job to fight off the foreign invaders. But when it has been battling for a long time without rest, their overstressed immune system can become overactive triggering allergic reactions.

To counteract this response, it is important to support their system with a series of supplements and probiotics that are specifically designed to heal their gut and restore their immune system to its natural function. Restoring this balance in their body can help them to cope more easily with stressors, toxins and allergens and reduce the severity of their reactions.

Using bioresonance therapy to treat eczema

Eczema can also be treated by using Bioresonance Therapy, a non-invasive, gentle therapy that uses biophysics - the physics of your body to reduce your toxin and stress load and restore your body's ability to heal itself.

Using electromagnetic waves and frequency patterns the BICOM machine identifies normal healthy cells and unhealthy viruses, bacteria, allergens and toxins. It then strengthens the healthy waves to increase normal functions, and turns unhealthy waves upside down with an electronic mirror circuit to cancel out the harmful waves that were stressing your body.

The process is obviously a lot more complicated and it can take a few therapies depending on the severity of symptoms, but the results have been quite simply, amazing.

So while there are great creams, ointments and lotions that can reduce the severity of your child’s eczema symptoms, taking a deeper look into their diet, identifying any allergies and intolerances, building their immune system and helping reduce their toxic load, can be the answer for drastically reducing or eliminating their eczema altogether.

Have a question about childhood eczema? Leave us a comment below or call us on 1300 744 123.

Posted in: Wellbeing Nutrition Allergies Eczema Childhood Eczema Healthy Eating Diet Health  

Seven tips to help you deal with lack of sleep

Posted by Rita Texeira on 19 March 2014
Seven tips to help you deal with lack of sleep

We’ve all experienced the ghastly effects of lack of sleep, the infamous red, puffy eyes, excessive yawning, the inability to think clearly or concentrate, irritability and a debilitating exhaustion that stops you from functioning properly.

While your sleep deprivation may be the result of a new baby, sick or fussy children, work deadlines, stress, medication, a big night or just a period of unexplained insomnia, one thing is sure, we all need to learn how to cope with it, hide the signs of it and where possible avoid it.

To help you, here are seven tips to help you deal with and treat lack of sleep so you are feeling more rested, relaxed and refreshed.

1. Eat well and regularly

When you don't get much sleep you can wake feeling ill and eating is often the last thing on my mind. But after a long fast overnight it's important to have a good breakfast and eat regularly throughout the day to maintain your energy levels. It's also a good idea to keep your meals light, often big heavy meals will leave you feeling more tired.

2. Watch your caffeine and sugar intake

When you're feeling tired normally the first thing you crave is sugar and caffeine. But while it can give you the "pick me up" you're looking for its effects are temporary and the crash that comes when it wears off can leave you feeling worse.

Instead try eating foods that are low GI as this will provide more constant energy levels as opposed to the highs then lows that come from caffeine and sugar. When you feel like you need a “pick me up” try an apple too. It has been said that the natural sugars in an apple can wake you up just as well as coffee and the energy burst will last longer.

3. Do some gentle exercise

According to research physical activity increases levels of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin, which decreases anxiety and can even help you sleep better.

So while exhaustion can leave you feeling lethargic and not wanting to do anything, pushing yourself to do some light exercise like taking a short brisk walk around the block or through the park or shops can help you feel a lot better.

4. Have an energy drink

A natural energy drink that is. If you find you’re getting tired in the afternoon and need a little “pick-me-up” instead of reaching for a coffee or chocolate bar try this natural energiser.

Take one litre of purified water and mix in:

  • 3 teaspoons of Vitamin C
  • 40mls of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 20mls of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 40mls of Apple Cider Vinegar

This simple drink activates your krebs cycle and will give you the burst of energy you need, naturally.

5. Use the “jet lag protocol”

Joey Hayes, one of Australia’s leading strength and conditioning experts, has developed a “jet lag protocol” in order to minimise the effects of jet lag, though it also beneficial in dealing with sleep deprivation.

He suggests setting your alarm clock at sunrise on three consecutive mornings. When the alarm goes off sit up in bed. While staring blankly, shine a flash light in your eyes for 30 seconds (not an LED light as these will damage your retina, just a simple torch) and then get up – do not go back to sleep. At noon go for a walk for twenty minutes without sunglasses and go to bed no later than 11.00pm. Also avoid eating 2 hours prior to bed.

This simple process has been proven to stimulate your brain, resets your body clock, regulates the hormone cortisol and induces natural sleeping patterns.

6. Try herbal remedies

Herbals can deliver fantastic results and what’s more they are personalised for your own individual situation. To minimise stress and help you sleep we recommend a mix of Withania, B5, B6 and a high, good quality dose of magnesium to help calm, relax and de-stress you.

Want to find out more about other beneficial herbals? Feel free to give us a call on 1300 744 123.

7. Take time to rest and unwind

Make sure you build in time to unwind in the evening and get an early night. While it can be tempting to stay up especially if you have a mountain of work to get through or to catch up on tasks around your home, it's important you get your rest. There is no treatment or trick that will ever beat the real thing!

If it is out of your control though, due to kids not settling, then ask for help. Share the load with your partner, a friend or colleague (if work related) so you can have a break and get some sleep. You won’t function effectively without your rest so let yourself have it whenever the opportunity presents itself.

How do you deal with lack of sleep?

Posted in: Wellbeing Tiredness Health  

Healthy Habits to Take into the New Year

Posted by Rita Texeira on 23 January 2014
Healthy Habits to Take into the New Year

For many of us a New Year brings a renewed lease on life, the opportunity to make lasting changes and a swell of motivation to see it through. Though knowing that keeping resolutions can be fleeting, I thought I would share with you seven healthy habits instead, habits that you can take into this new year to make 2014 your healthiest and fittest year yet.

1. Stop Dieting

You can cross this one off your New Year Resolution list right now. One of the best decisions you can make this year is to stop dieting. Diets are temporary, and because you give up so much when you diet, you think about food all the time. Then when you stop dieting you overeat to make up for what you missed. This year break the cycle.

2. Eat healthy

Healthy eating on the other hand is not temporary, it means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life. Not only is healthy eating more satisfying, it will help you get the right balance of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs, control and prevent many health issues, give you plenty of energy and help you look and feel great.

3. Drink more

Water that is. Water is vital for our body’s health and wellness. As your brain is mostly water, drinking it helps you think, focus and concentrate better and be more alert. Water also flushes out toxins, improves your complexion, moisturises your skin, reduces headaches (that are often caused from dehydration), aids in digestion, prevents constipation, raises your metabolism and aids in weight loss – plus it’s free!

4. Get moving

Okay so this is one most of us struggle with, but regular exercise has incredible health benefits and who says being active can’t be fun? Make getting active this year more exciting by choosing interesting activities like swimming, surfing, snorkelling, rock climbing and hiking. Partner exercise with something you love to do so it is more enjoyable. For example if you like being by the water, why not go for a 30-minute walk, run or bike ride beside it or take up rowing or kayaking?

Getting your body moving will not only make you look younger, fitter and thinner and feel more confident, you’ll prevent many life-threatening conditions, improve your muscle strength and joint function, boost oxygen and nutrient supply to all the cells in your body, you’ll sleep better, be less stressed and it can even boost your sex life.

5. Sleep more

Lack of sleep can really affect the way our bodies function and our quality of life, so this year make sleep a priority. When you get a good night’s sleep you concentrate better, make better decisions, remember things clearly, you’re in a better mood, your metabolism speeds up, you look more vibrant, you’re less likely to get ill and it’s proven to help us live longer. Pretty good incentive to turn off the television or put down that book a little earlier to get some more shut eye don’t you think?

6. Just breathe

Breathing deeply can do wonders for your body and your mindset. Did you know the body releases 70% of its toxins through breathing? Breathing also releases tension, brings clarity, relieves pain and it can help you control your emotions. Often when we are stressed we hold our breath, causing us to not think as clearly or concentrate as well, so this year take regular breaks to practice breathing deeply, I promise you, you’ll be more alert and you’ll feel more equipped to cope with whatever life has in store.

7. Do more of what you love

They say laughter is the best medicine and it really is. Life is too short not to be happy and do things you love with those you love. This coming year give yourself permission to have more fun, find what makes you happy and do it and most of all remember to laugh - a lot!

What healthy changes are you making this year? I’d love to hear them!
Posted in: Wellbeing Nutrition Healthy Eating Health  

A quick test to determine your thyroid health

Posted by Rita Texeira on 17 December 2013
A quick test to determine your thyroid health

It’s hard to believe that your thyroid, a small butterfly shaped gland in the front of your neck could be so important to your body. While we usually associate thyroid issues with weight loss or gain, there are so many other important body functions that can be affected when your thyroid is over or under-reactive.

Being an endocrine gland, your thyroid stores and produces hormones that affect the function of almost every organ in your body. Thyroid hormone (Triiodothyronine or T3) regulates your metabolism and is associated with changes in your mood, body weight and energy levels. The thyroid hormone also boosts the function of your heart, skeletal system and the workings of every cell.

Unfortunately thyroid conditions are becoming increasingly common in Australia. In fact some experts are saying that one in 20 people will experience some kind of thyroid dysfunction in their life with women 10 times more likely to have thyroid issues than men.

With our thyroid being so important to our overall wellbeing it's important we monitor it to ensure it is working effectively. To help you here is a quick test you can perform to help you determine your thyroid health.

Your basal temperature and thyroid health

Low thyroid function can cause weight gain, mood swings and excessive tiredness, it can also result in a low body temperature, making your resting, or ‘basal body temperature’ as it is termed, an easy way to test if your thyroid is functioning below what it should.

Your body works best within a very narrow temperature range. Enzymes, hormones, vitamins and minerals work best between 36.5°C -37.5°C. For this reason your basal body temperature readings should be between 36°C -37°C, 37°C being ideal.

How to test your basal temperature

Testing your basal temperature is a reliable and non-invasive test that can be performed in the comfort of your own bed. All you need is a good quality thermometer and to follow these five simple steps.

  1. Place a digital thermometer by your bed before going to sleep at night
  2. As soon as you wake up place the thermometer in your mouth. It is important to make as little movement as possible, lying and resting with your eyes closed is best
  3. Do not get up out of bed until you have completed the test
  4. Read and record the temperature and date
  5. Perform this test on at least five mornings, preferably at the same time of day

Menstruating women must avoid doing this test around the middle of their cycle as body temperature naturally rises at ovulation. Men and non-menstruating women can perform the test at any time.

If your temperature is lower than 36°C consistently it is best to discuss these findings with your health professional and naturopath Rita Teixeira to discuss other diagnostic methods and a treatment plan to restore your thyroid health. Call the Resolve Health and Wellness Centre today on 1300 744 123 to make an appointment.

Posted in: Thyroid Wellbeing Health  

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