• 10Oct

    When I was exclusively breastfeeding my third and youngest daughter 9 years ago, falling sick every other month was a norm. I reckon that my baby sucked away all my nutrients, plus with the lack of sleep and stress of caring for a baby, my immune system weakened.  On top of breastfeeding, I was stressed out with my baby’s health issue, which only resolved after her surgery 13 months later.  I also had 2 older pre-school kids then who kept bringing the bad bugs back from school, which only made matter worse.

    To stay healthy, energetic and sick-day-free, we have to strengthen our immune systems.

    Here’s how the immune system works:

    Our body’s battle for immunity begins in the mouth. Bet you didn’t know that your saliva contains powerful antimicrobials like lysozyme, alpha-amylase and lactoferrin.

    Any germs that sneak past those will confront our stomach’s hydrochloric acid.

    Then, should they survive, they’ll go up against the proteins and chemical compounds in our digestive system that break down bad bacteria.

    Finally, our own personal good bacterial population goes to work. They prevent bad bacteria from entering our bloodstream or taking root in our small intestine and colon. Those good bacteria are called probiotics. Think of them as an army against illness.

    Your immune system is an incredible thing. The bacteria in your gut is actually a powerful army willing to fight on your behalf, but only if you feed them properly. And if you do get sick, certain foods can help you recover quicker. What you eat today can determine whether or not you get sick tomorrow.

    Should you really feed a cold and starve a fever?

    Feed your bacteria army
    The GI tract comprises over 70 percent of the immune system. That’s home to our good gut bacteria, which fight off a whole lot of yucky stuff.

    If you want those bacteria to work for you, you’ve got to feed them well. They love to chow down on nutrient-dense, fiber-rich whole foods. Steer clear of processed foods, fats and sugars. That’s why a balanced whole-foods diet is your best insurance against all kinds of viruses and infections.

    If you’re healthy, aim for one to two servings of probiotic-rich foods each day (more if you are trying to prevent or alleviate a medical problem).

    Some of the best whole-food sources of probiotics are:

    * Dairy: yogurt and kefir with live and active cultures
    * Fermented vegetables: pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi
    * Fermented soy: miso, tempeh

    Other superfoods to superpower your immune system:

    Chicken soup
    Chicken soup isn’t just good for the soul. It’s good if you’re feeling under the weather, too. Research has found that chicken soup helps to prevent inflammatory white cells from moving to other parts of your body, which can decrease your cold symptoms.
    The bone broth in chicken soup contains collagen, which can help boost your immune system, in addition to amino acids and nutrients that help prevent inflammation. Chicken soup’s illness-fighting ability is thought to be related to cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken during cooking

    Simple Chicken Soup

    Fatty Fish
    Your heart isn’t the only thing that can benefit from a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help control inflammation in your body. It’s important to consume inflammation-fighting foods on a regular basis, but especially when you’re feeling under the weather. That’s because chronic inflammation can weaken and disrupt the function of your immune system.

    Garlic
    Garlic contains allicin, a compound that can help fight infection and bacteria. One study showed that people who ate garlic daily were less likely to catch a cold.  Eat raw garlic if you’re feeling really daring, or add it to soups and other cooked meals to reap the benefits without the vampire-slaying breath.

    Foods Rich In Zinc
    Zinc isn’t a mineral you want to do away with. Some studies show that zinc may help reduce the duration of a cold if taken right away.  Zinc helps regulate the immune system, build and maintain lean body mass and heal wounds. Foods high in zinc include oysters, red meat, eggs, fortified cereal, beans and pumpkin seeds.

    Turmeric
    This flavorful spice is considered a superfood for a good reason. It’s rich in antioxidants and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests these qualities make turmeric a strong defense against colds, coughs, and congestion. Try it in a turmeric latte, aka golden milk, or use it to season lean meats, grains and other healthy foods.

    Turmeric2

    Fruits and Vegetables
    Vitamin-rich foods are key to maintaining a strong immune system.  Vitamins A, C, and E are particularly useful in building immunity. Fruits and vegetables are some of the best sources of these nutrients. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes.
    Vitamin C can be found in high quantities in citrus fruits, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Dark leafy greens, butternut squash and avocado are excellent sources of vitamin E.  Pairing these and other fruits and vegetables with adequate protein intake will help supercharge your immunity.

    Plenty of liquids
    In addition to consuming healthy foods, it’s also critical to stay hydrated in order to help keep your throat and airways clear. But not all beverages help fight illness. Steer clear of sugary drinks and sodas as too much sugar in your body can cause inflammation… which further weakens your immune system.
    getting-back-into-exercise.jpg
    Lastly, the old adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” always applies. The best way to stave off the cold and flu is try to stay as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthy diet, being physically active and practicing good hygiene. There is no miracle food that can help prevent a cold, but lacking in certain nutrients can contribute to a compromised immune system.  So for the best cold prevention, focus on eating balanced healthy meals and exercise regularly all year-round.

     

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  • 10Oct

    Parents who want their children to lead lives of profound wellness should know that there are many steps they can take to make this happen. Below you’ll find several simple techniques you can implement to ensure that your child begins cultivating the type of mental and physical well-being that is conducive to healthy, happy living:

    1. Provide Your Child With Exercise Options
    One great way to help your child cultivate a healthy lifestyle is by providing her or him with exercise options. Children need to know that exercise is important, and they should also understand which options they have when it comes to selecting physical activities to engage in. Help your child with this by implementing strategies such as walking or cycling through the neighborhood, purchasing her or him a gym membership, etc. Pay careful attention to your child so that you can understand which physical activities she or he truly enjoys and when they’re just going through the motions to please you or get it done. Make sure your child knows that exercise adherence is frequently contingent upon engaging in activities that they find truly enjoyable.

    child climbing

    2. Stock Your Home With Healthy Food Choices
    Many parents know that teaching their children healthy eating habits is a big key to promoting their mental and physical equilibrium. Yet in many cases, these same parents are models for poor eating. Children are oftentimes enabled by this poor modeling such that they feel justified in making poor food decisions if their parents do so as well. To ensure that this doesn’t happen in your home, make sure that the pantry, refrigerator, and kitchen counters are always filled with nutritious, delicious items. One simple way to make it happen is by keeping a big bowl with your child’s favorite fruits on the counter top. Eat these foods with your children so that they understand that you value health and want to share the joy of wellness with them!

    delicious food salad 03 hd picture

    3. Consider Utilizing Behavioral Health Services
    In addition to stocking your home with healthy food choices, make sure that you consider utilizing behavioral health services. These services can be helpful for children who experience behavioral health issues such as incessant or inappropriate talking. If you’re looking for a behavioral therapy Alexandria VA company, note that the professionals of Engage Behavioral Health can assist you.

    Start Emphasizing Health Now!
    If you’re ready to help your child start cultivating a healthy lifestyle, don’t delay her or his growth process. Instead, begin making health a reality in your child’s life by using the tips outlined above!

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  • 06Oct

    Watermelon seeds are one of my favorite seeds to munch on as snacks to quell hunger pangs. They are delicious, gentler to my teeth than other hard nuts, easy to eat (yes I am that lazy!), easily accessible and cheaper than most nuts and seeds.  Watermelon seeds are a staple in my kitchen. I eat them straight out of the box or toss them  into granola or yoghurt.

    Watermelon seeds and also others like melon seeds and flax seeds are rich in micro-nutrients like selenium, potassium, copper and zinc which you may not derive from your daily diet in adequate quantities

    These protein-packed treasures with a distinct nutty flavor could be the first snack you reach for at your desk, between meals or even when you’re bored.  Watermelon seeds are also a valuable source of macro-nutrients like vitamin B, protein and the healthy fats.

     

     

    Watermelon Seeds

     

    Here’s the catch – watermelon seeds shouldn’t be eaten straight from the fruit. To make the most of them, the seeds need to be sprouted and shelled.  Once sprouted, shelled and dried, watermelon seeds become edible, protein-packed treasures.

    Sprouting is a process where the seeds are soaked and germinated. Sprouted seeds, nuts or legumes are known to be higher in nutrition than others. Soaking, fermenting and sprouting also breaks down gluten and other proteins that are hard to digest into simple compounds that are easily absorbed by the body. Any food in its fermented form is most nutritious.

    Sprouted seeds are germinated and oftentimes are higher in nutrients than their non-sprouted versions. Sprouting removes compounds in the food that make it difficult to absorb all of its nutrients, increases nutrient density and makes the food easier to digest. In the case of watermelon, the seeds are stripped of their black shells and resemble seeds.

    Health Benefits Of Watermelon Seeds

    Some of the most surprising and impressive benefits of watermelon seeds includes their ability to boost hair health, support beautiful skin, increase energy, lower blood pressure, stimulate digestion, regulate blood sugar, build strong bones, treat infertility and lower cholesterol levels.

    Watermelon seeds are packed with protein, vitamin B, magnesium, and monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, inflammation and risk for heart disease and stroke.

    If you’re not into the whole homespun sprouting process, you can purchase sprouted watermelon seeds from the supermarket.

    Watermelon seeds shouldn’t be roasted. Most nutrients are destroyed on exposure to heat which can change the chemical composition of these seeds. Flax seeds are one of the few seeds that may retain their nutrient density, for the others it is best to avoid roasting.

    The next time you feel like melting into a puddle, dive into some juicy watermelons.  Remember not to spit out and toss the seeds away. Sun-dry the seeds and enjoy these super seeds as a  healthy snack or sprout them to make the most of them.

     

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  • 06Oct

    Although the old maxim “Health is wealth” may seem trite, it is certainly true. When an individual is healthy, she or he has a ton of energy, confidence, and the mood stability necessary to work productively and enjoy an active social life. Unfortunately, many people fail to implement the wellness strategies and standards necessary to facilitate optimal health. If this is your current dilemma, now is the time to implement the behavioral changes necessary to make great health yours. Here are two strategies that can help you make it happen:

    1. Optimize Your Diet.

    One of the best ways to get rich in wellness is by optimizing your diet. Unfortunately, many people put this important activity on the backburner and find themselves eating foods that detract from their appearance and vitality. Don’t conform to this cultural pattern. Instead, give your body the nutrients it needs to make you look and feel great every day. Although there’s no general consensus regarding which type of diet is ideal, most medical and wellness professionals agree that the majority of people could greatly benefit from incorporating more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Also note that recognizing which foods you’re sensitive to will play an integral role in helping you eat appropriately. If you feel that you may be in need of a food intolerance test Hillsborough NJ residents can rely on, note that the professionals of Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center can assist you.

    natural and heatlhy food

    2. Meditate Every Morning.

    One of the reasons that people fail to attain and maintain health is because of their mentality. Whether it’s frenetic thinking or negative cognitive patterns that lower your self-esteem or give you a cynical outlook, correcting your mental habits is important if you’re serious about wellness. Luckily, there are a wide range of incredibly effective meditation modalities you can use to develop mental health. Some of them include:

    • Zazen
    • Vipassana, or mindfulness
    • Transcendental Meditation
    • Japa Mala Meditation
    • Mettha Bhavana
    • Guided visualizations
    • Moving meditation

    adult coloring

    One specific meditation you might consider is referred to as the blue sky meditation. With this modality, you transfer your mental focus from your mind to your body and imagine that you are lying on your back looking up at the clear blue sky. When distracting thoughts materialize in the mind, image that they are puffy clouds blowing across the blue sky. Once the cloud has passed, resume visualizing the beauty and infinite nature of the clear blue sky.

    Begin Implementing These Suggestions Immediately!

    Feeling great and looking good are just two of many wonderful outcomes that result from maintaining great health. To ensure that you can attain these life-enhancing outcomes, start implementing the wellness suggestions outlined above!

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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