'Beauty in the Backyard' online poetry course begins April 9 in Mendocino County

Plant foods can help fight viruses – The Ukiah Daily Journal

  • April 4, 2020

By Anna Herby, RD, CDE and Petra Schulte, nutrition educator

A healthy diet, in addition to good hand washing and social distancing, is key to help your body fight a viral threat.

Here are a few tips to start with:

-Hydrate with water. Drinking water supports your immune system.

-Get enough rest. Your body works best when it is rested.

-Exercise. Exercise reduces upper-respiratory infections.

-Reduce added sugar. Added sugar lowers your immune system.

-Eat immune-boosting foods like kale, broccoli, berries and mushrooms.

-Eat anti-viral foods like garlic, ginger and spices.

-Eat fiber-rich foods like legumes (beans, lentils, dried peas), whole grains (especially intact grains) and fruits and vegetables as they feed healthy gut bacteria (probiotics). Studies show that people who take probiotic supplements or eat foods for our friendly gut bacteria have fewer colds.

We can boost our immunity by eating a healthful diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain phytonutrients. These are plant chemicals that protect our bodies from disease. Specific foods that make your immune system stronger include kale, broccoli, berries, kiwis, nutritional yeast and mushrooms.

Keep your immune system functioning at peak performance with a healthy diet and lifestyle. While some people may be more vulnerable to viruses such as COVID-19, everyone can benefit from eating a healthy diet to strengthen their immune system. Fruits and vegetables, especially kale, broccoli, berries, kiwis and mushrooms, have been shown to improve immune function. Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day is ideal.

Your body‘s greatest exposure to the outside world is through the lining of your gut. Much of the immune system is located in your gut, so eating a high fiber diet is essential. Also, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts have nutrients that maintain the body‘s gut defense system. Cooked mushrooms, especially white button mushrooms, increase a type of cell in your body that fights viruses. The key is to eat them regularly.

Berries may boost your levels of natural killer cells, another important cell for fighting viruses and cancer. Lastly, vitamin C keeps your immune system at full strength, but it’s better to get it through food than a pill. Eat vitamin C rich foods like kiwis, tomatoes, bell peppers and citrus fruit.

Regular exercise improves immune function and lowers risk of infection. Immune cells need to circulate everywhere in the body in order to fight off invaders, so getting your body moving is essential. A half-hour-a-day walk can significantly drop your risk of getting an upper-respiratory illness as even moderate exercise may boost the number of immune cells in your body.

To download a flier with this information go to http://wholeplantfoods.info and click on Boost Immunity Now or contact nutrition educator Petra Schulte at petra@wholeplantfoods.info or call her at 707-397-5575.

Stock up on these 9 healthy foods to boost your immune system during coronavirus

Stock up on these 9 healthy foods to boost your immune system during coronavirus

  • April 4, 2020

As cases of coronavirus continue to rise, taking daily precautions such as washing your hands, social distancing, exercising and getting enough sleep is key to lowering risk of infection.

But maintaining a healthy diet to help boost your immune system may also give you an edge. It’s important to note that no research has been done on foods that help fight against COVID-19 specifically.

However, previous studies have found that eating certain foods can improve your health and strengthen your body’s ability to fight other invasive viruses.

Here are nine expert-approved foods to stock up on during your next grocery store trip, along with creative ideas on how to add them to your diet:

1. Red bell peppers

2. Broccoli

Broccoli is also rich in vitamin C. Just half a cup contains 43% of your daily value of vitamin C, according to the NIH.

“Broccoli is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that support our immune system,” says Sarin. It also contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that can help fight off bacteria and viruses.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, vitamin C is one nutrient Americans aren’t getting enough of in their diet, so finding simple ways to add it in is crucial.

“To get the most out of this powerhouse vegetable, eat it raw or just slightly cooked,” says Sarin. “I love sauteing broccoli with garlic and Parmesan, or stir-frying with bell peppers, ginger, garlic and mushrooms.”

3. Chickpeas

Chickpeas contain a lot of protein, an essential nutrient made of amino acids that help grow and repair the body’s tissues. It’s also involved in synthesizing and maintaining enzymes to keep our systems functioning properly, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Chickpeas are also packed with zinc, which helps the immune system control and regulate immune responses,” Emily Wunder, a dietitian and founder of the nutritious recipes site Healthier Taste, tells CNBC Make It.

Roasted chickpeas are great as a quick great snack or salad topper. Make sure they’re completely dry before roasting. Then add a few tablespoons of oil (vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil all work well) and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring halfway through until they’re crispy.

For a nice kick, Wunder suggests adding some salt and paprika. If you’re using canned chickpeas, she says you’ll want to rinse them thoroughly to cut down on sodium content.

4. Strawberries

Wunder enjoys half a cup of strawberries to get 50% of her vitamin C needs for the day.

“Vitamin C is great for strengthening your immune system,” she says, because it can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals that we’re often exposed to in the environment.

Wunder recommends adding chopped strawberries to yogurt, oatmeal or on top of whole wheat toast with peanut butter. “Of course, they go well with smoothies, too,” she says.

5. Garlic

“Not only is garlic full of flavor, but it’s packed with health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and reducing risk of heart disease,” according to Sarin. “Garlic’s immunity-boosting abilities come from its heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, which can help fight off some infections.”

Garlic has been shown in the past to help ward off the common cold. In a 2001 study published in Advances in Therapy, participants who took garlic supplements were less likely to catch a cold. And those who did get infected recovered faster than participants in the placebo group.

It’s an easy vegetable to work into your diet, says Sarin. You can add to it anything — from pasta sauce and salad dressings to soups and stir-fry dishes. She suggests aiming to consume two to three cloves per day.

6. Mushrooms

“While sun exposure is the best source of vitamin D, it can also be provided by some foods, including mushrooms,” says Wunder.

A 2018 review of mushrooms as a vitamin D source found that the “sunshine vitamin” can help enhance the absorption of calcium, which is good for bone health, and may also protect against some cancers and respiratory diseases.

Mushrooms are great as a side dish or appetizer. Wunder recommends roasting them at about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, using one to two tablespoons of oil, minced garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. For something more flavorful, bake button mushrooms stuffed with cheese, onion and artichoke hearts.

7. Spinach

“Spinach is rich in vitamin C and full of antioxidants that help shield our immune cells from environmental damage,” says Sarin. “Plus, it has beta carotene, which is the main dietary source of vitamin A — an essential component of proper immune function.”

Like broccoli, it’s best to consume spinach raw or slightly cooked. To incorporate more spinach into your diet, Sarin suggests blending it in a smoothie, cooking it with your morning eggs or, as an easy side dish, lightly sauteing with garlic.

8. Yogurt

“Yogurt is a great source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that can help promote a healthy gut and immune system,” says Sarin. Recent studies have also found probiotics to be effective for fighting the common cold and influenza-like respiratory infections.

Sarin recommends choosing plain yogurt — rather than anything too flavored or sweetened — and topping it with fruit and honey. “Or, you can add it to your favorite post-workout smoothie,” she says.

Those on a dairy-free diet can still benefit from almond-milk and coconut-milk yogurt options.

9. Sunflower seeds

“Sunflower seeds are high in vitamin E, which works as an antioxidant and helps boosts the immune system,” says Wunder.

Small but mighty, just one ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds can give you 49% of your daily value of vitamin E, according to the NIH.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and roast unshelled sunflower seeds at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until they’re lightly browned. Then add the seeds to your salad or toss them with roasted vegetables. You can also use raw seeds in place of pine nuts for some homemade pesto.

Brittany Anas is a health and nutrition reporter. She has written for HealthDay, Women’s Health and The Denver Post. Follow her on Twitter @BrittanyAnas.

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18 Superfoods That Can Boost Your Immune System

18 Superfoods That Can Boost Your Immune System

  • April 4, 2020
Credit: Marko Verch., CC2.0.

The term ‘superfoods’ might conjure the image of some all-powerful food with special, almost magical abilities. While there isn’t any regulated or scientifically-backed definition for superfoods, in the marketplace a product is promoted to superfood status if it can offer high levels of desirable nutrients.

These nutrients may be linked to the prevention of disease or may offer other simultaneous health benefits, such as antioxidation or an immune system boost.

Listed below are some of the most popular superfoods.

It is a well-known fact that citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C and vitamin A which strengthens the immune system and keeps your skin smooth and soft. It is important to have citrus fruits on a regular basis as our body does not produce vitamin C, hence consuming a citrus fruit daily will give your body the nutrients it needs. There are many different types of citrus fruits such as:

  • Oranges
  • Lime
  • Clementines
  • Lemon
  • Tangerine
  • Grapefruits

Broccoli is a superfood that is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, alongside many other anti-oxidants and fibers. With so much to offer, it is a good option for you to put on your plate. It is completely packed with minerals and the best way to retain all its nutrients is to cook is as less as possible, even better if not cooked at all.

Another superfood that people turn towards for aid when they fall ill. The medicinal properties of gingers are no mystery to mankind. Ginger helps in reducing sore throat by reducing inflammation and also helps in decreasing nausea. There’s evidence that ginger can reduce chronic pain. Also according to recent animal research, it may even have cholesterol-lowering properties.

As one of the most used ingredients all over the world, no doubt garlic adds a certain distinct flavor to the food, but there is more to it than meets the eye. As per the “National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health”, garlic may play quite a big role in lowering blood pressure and helps in slowing down the hardening of the arteries. Huge concentrations of sulfur-containing compounds, like allicin, seem to be the reason for the immune-boosting properties found in Garlic.

Even though citrus fruits are considered to be the best source of vitamin C, interestingly, the red bell pepper also houses vitamin C. In fact, they contain twice as much as citrus fruits. Apart from that, they are also a good source of beta carotene. Beta carotene is responsible for improving the health of the skin and the eyes.

Vitamin E is also vital to the immune system. Basically, it is a soluble vitamin, which means that it needs fat in order to be absorbed. Almonds and other nuts are packed with Vitamin E and healthy fats. About half a cup of whole shelled almonds is enough to provide sufficient amounts of vitamin E required by the human body.

With magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B-6 and E, they are a good choice of food to opt for. Vitamin E plays an important role in the maintaining of the immune system. Avocados and dark leafy greens are other good sources of vitamin E.

Wolfberries or Goji Berries are a good source of vitamin C and B, amino acids, fatty acids and a lot of minerals. You can have them with your breakfast or add in your smoothies, regardless, they are a great source of good minerals and it is wise to add it to your diet.

Originating from Mexico, Chia seeds were used by Aztecs and the Mayas. There are a lot of benefits of consuming chia seeds as they produce copious amounts of vegetable proteins and also they are highly rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Ground green tea is known as Matcha and is just as popular as coffee. Matcha contains copious amounts of vitamins and minerals, making it a very beneficial beverage to consume. The Matcha green tea powder can act as a great addition to baked items.

The antioxidant properties found in Kale aids in strengthening your body’s immune system. It helps in protecting you against diseases like Arteriosclerosis and Alzheimer’s. You add it raw to your smoothies or salads for consumption. 

Packed with potassium, vitamin C and other vitamins, blueberries are one of the best and tastiest superfoods. They are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties which help in protecting your body against various diseases.  

Known for being used in Indian curries, turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat a variety of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. The high concentration of curcumin is the reason for the yellow color that turmeric, which helps to decrease muscle soreness caused by intense exercise.

Chicken soup has been known to treat fevers and colds. It also prevents you from getting sick apart from just helping you recover from a fever. Turkey and chicken contain high amounts of vitamin B-6. Let’s just say, about 3 ounces of chicken meat or turkey meat contains about 50% – 60% of vitamin B-6 that our body requires on a daily basis.

Spinach harbors high amounts of antioxidants, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. When cooked lightly, it helps in bringing out the minerals and vitamin A.

Yogurts with live cultures like Greek Yogurt is what you should keep an eye out for. Yogurt without live cultures usually has a lot of sweeteners in them. Yogurt with live cultures is a probiotic supplement and is usually rich in vitamin D. They can also help in increasing the absorption of nutrients from foods.

The citrulline present in watermelons helps in keeping your heart healthy. Apart from that they also hoard a large amount of vitamin C, B-6 and A. They also help in keeping the immune system balanced and provides the body with lycopene that aids in strengthening the bones.

The astaxanthin present in salmon is responsible for the pink pigmentation of the salmon’s meat. These substances help in the healthy maintenance of the body’s immune system.

There are many more things that can be done to improve your body’s immune system and many more foods that help in the same. Good research can help you figure out what you can eat on a regular basis. You can check reviews of different superfoods by Health Trends or any other health blog/magazine.

DessertsRx® and CV Local Juicery™ Partner to Deliver Immune Boosting Nutrition to First Responders

DessertsRx® and CV Local Juicery™ Partner to Deliver Immune Boosting Nutrition to First Responders

  • April 4, 2020

CV Local Juicery (organic cold pressed juices – full of vitamins, minerals and superfoods to boost ones immune system) and DessertsRx® (organic plant based desserts, full of superfoods, rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats-can be eaten for breakfast, snack or as a meal replacement) are closed to help stop the spread of the pandemic, but they are donating 200 noCheeseCake jars & 200 juices to the men and women serving the city of Colleyville: the police, the firefighters, and city employees. Those will be delivered Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

These people, who are performing an incredibly important public service, are working under a great deal of stress. Now more than ever they need — not just any kind of food — but healthy and nutritious foods and beverages that will boost their immune systems and keep them in top shape to stay in the fight until the battle against this dreaded disease is finally won.

The business owners have set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for this much-needed nutritional boost for the First Responders in our community. The donations will allow to continue the production and delivery of the items every week until the end of April 2020. All money raised will be used solely for this life-saving purpose. To find out more details and to donate go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/OrganicForFirstRespondersColleyvilleTX  

Contact:

Dorothy & Simon Warda, owners, DessertsRx® 817-966-6676 ; [email protected]

Kylie & Santiago Ramirez, owners, CV Local Juicery™   817-905-3625; [email protected]

SOURCE DessertsRx

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Wellness Influencers Sell False Promises As Coronavirus Fears Soar

Wellness Influencers Sell False Promises As Coronavirus Fears Soar

  • April 4, 2020

Ingrid De La Mare Kenny was vacationing in the French Alps in early March when cities across Italy started to shut down, alarmed by the climbing death toll from the new coronavirus. On Instagram, where De La Mare Kenny has over 55,000 followers, she posed with oysters and champagne, her mirrored sunglasses reflecting the mountain snow. Yes, she had gone skiing in the midst of the coronavirus, she told her followers in the caption, and she was ready to acknowledge it. “I can’t keep posting about health and flat tummies and ignore the pink elephant in the room. Corona virus is not a gimmick, it’s happening, and you need to be educated about your immune system to avoid falling victim to it,” she wrote. Then she recommended that her followers try Simply Inulin, a dietary supplement she sells on her website for €26.99.

De La Mare Kenny has all the trappings of a certain type of wellness influencer: her own Pilates-inspired workout regimen, her own line of holistic products, and a robust social media presence to promote it all. With this formula, she’s gained a moderate Instagram following. Other women, and men, have turned their healthy lifestyles into platforms that reach millions. It’s a world of never-ending detoxes, athleisure couture, and #fitspo with a side of body-enhancing supplements. Some of the products are so ubiquitous that they’ve become a punch line: Did you hear the one about the celebrity with the flat-tummy tea?

Simply Inulin is a powder, not a tea, but its webpage still promises a “flatter tummy fast.” On Instagram, it’s now been repurposed as a solution to Covid-19. “The immune system is within us, we can’t buy it, but we sure can boost it and make it bullet proof to Corona,” De La Mare Kenny wrote in a post. “Simply Inulin is the very weapon to boost your immune system and fight off Corona Virus. It’s science and it will fight it off much better than a mask can.”

Except it’s not science. The US Food and Drug Administration recognizes inulin as a dietary fiber, but that’s it. Any claim that inulin could “fight off” the virus? “We don’t have any evidence for that,” says Walter Willett, a nutrition scientist at Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

And it isn’t just inulin. Around the web, staples of the wellness scene—vitamin gummies, CBD tinctures, diet pills, turmeric—are getting mentioned with renewed urgency “during these times” (hashtag coronavirus). There are currently no vaccines or drugs with FDA approval to prevent or cure Covid-19. Researchers are investigating vaccines and treatments, but even promising candidates still need to undergo clinical testing, which can take a while. In the meantime, authorities like the World Health Organization recommend measures like social distancing and hand washing.

Read all of our coronavirus coverage here.

Plenty of wellness influencers are following the WHO’s lead, providing calm and soothing content about staying healthy while staying at home. But some have used their platforms to push claims about Covid-19 that lack scientific support and products that could be potentially harmful.

Krystal Nielson—a former Bachelor contestant turned fitness coach with over 600,000 followers on Instagram—posted a video several weeks ago reciting an unsubstantiated claim about the links between processed foods, inflammation, and Covid-19. Then she plugged her body detox program, which can cost between $97 and $494. The video, which was covered at the time by outlets like Buzzfeed, has since been deleted.

More recently, Ben Greenfield, a former bodybuilder with an Instagram following of nearly 250,000, posted about ozone therapy, an alternative medicine he claims is “proven to kill the SARS coronavirus” and “could also work on the new virus.” Greenfield’s post included a link to buy a $6,000 at-home ozone generator—with code BEN100 for a $100 discount.

“I bought their Quantum 5 Ozone Generator, and have been doing daily rectal ozone insufflation for myself and my family with it,” Greenfield wrote. “These are disappearing as people find out about how potent they are for viruses and for strengthening the immune system so I had to get this post out quickly. They will likely be sold out by the end of this week.”

Ozone, a molecular form of oxygen, can be used as a disinfectant. But “the idea of using a disinfectant internally is a flawed one,” says Michael Starnbach, whose lab at Harvard focuses on microbiology and immunobiology. It’s about as logical as a Lysol enema, and possibly dangerous.

In an interview, Greenfield said he bought his ozone generator at the encouragement of a functional medicine doctor, a type of alternative health practice. “I realize this is anecdotal, but many of the functional medicine docs I speak to are using ozone and I’m pretty compelled as far as what I’ve seen,” he said. But FDA regulations warn that “ozone is a toxic gas with no known useful medical application in specific, adjunctive, or preventive therapy. In order for ozone to be effective as a germicide, it must be present in a concentration far greater than that which can be safely tolerated by man and animals.”

Greenfield stands by his post about ozone therapy and says he tries to provide his following with as much of the research as possible. “I’m pretty careful with what I stick up my ass,” he says.

Posts like Greenfield’s are less common than those with claims, like De La Mare Kenny’s, about “boosting immunity” in order to protect against the coronavirus. De La Mare Kenny declined to be interviewed for this piece but wrote in an email that “inulin is very helpful to the immune system.” A lot of things are helpful to the immune system, according to influencers. In a video called “How to build immunity for the CORONAVIRUS,” the YouTuber Holly Dolke recommends a number of vitamins and supplements that she believes will “help prevent the infection.” Among them: vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc. Sergi Constance, a Spanish bodybuilder with more than 4 million followers on Instagram, has spent the past week recommending his company’s newest product, Immune Complex, to “help prevent virus infection.” One post’s graphic shows bottles of the supplement surrounded by the now infamous spiky coronavirus itself, as if to drive the point home.

Studies do suggest that having sufficient nutrition can improve the body’s ability to fight off infections; adequate levels of vitamin D, for example, have been linked to a modest reduction in infections like the common cold. But that doesn’t mean taking loads of vitamin D, or any other supplement, can prevent a viral illness. “There is no data on how we boost our immunity with supplements or diet, specifically for Covid-19,” Willett says. Part of what makes this novel coronavirus so dangerous is that it’s brand-new, and scientists are still trying to understand how it spreads. People with weakened immune systems may be at higher risk for severe complications of the disease, according to the CDC, but even someone in perfect health can still get infected with the virus.

Coronavirus Tips To Boost Your Immunity In Lockdown Period

Coronavirus Tips To Boost Your Immunity In Lockdown Period

  • April 3, 2020

COVID-19 has spread across all countries while taking precautions, we can also work on boosting our immunity with vitamin C and easily available Ayurvedic Herbs.


New Delhi: COVID-19 has spread across all countries around the world except for Antarctica.  While there are some cases of people recovering, the death toll is also on the rise. Scientists around the world are in a race against the time trying to develop a vaccine. At any given time, prevention is better than cure when it comes to any disease. While taking precautions, we can all work on boosting our immunity with vitamin C and easily available Ayurvedic Herbs. We are blessed Indians as the land of Yoga and Ayurveda harbours numerous easy and low-cost ingredients to boost immunity while staying indoor.

Khushboo Jain

Here are a few tips to boost your immunity.

Vitamin C is a well-known immunity-boosting properties. A regular intake of Vitamin C ensures a better defense mechanism. Taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid as the best nutritional supplement for increasing one’s immunity. National Pharma Pricing Authority has put it under a list of essential medicines. You can find Vitamin C in a very simple household ingredient:

Lemon Zest: Each time you use a lemon, do not throw the lemon peel. Each 100gm peel gives you about 129 mg of Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. This lemon zest which is raw and natural can help in protecting us from various issues including cancer. It contains Salvestrol, Q40, and Limonene which are known to help fight cancer cells.  You can consume the peel as soothing lemon tea or as an alternative to the seasoning Amchoor while cooking. Remember how our grandmothers would give lemon pickles with the peels on?

Kadha, Ayurvedic Concoction Immunity Booster

Spend just 15 minutes in the kitchen to make one of the best immunity booster shot. Kadha is an Ayurvedic drink which has various herbs and spices that have been boiled in water for about 15-20 minutes, allowing all of the medicinal benefits to be extracted. Boil in a saucepan 1 inch of turmeric root, 3/4 inch of ginger root (peeled and sliced), a dash of freshly ground Black Pepper, Cinnamon powder, a bunch of Tulsi leaves, 4 cloves and a bunch Mint leaves.  Once boiled, you can sip the Kadha multiple times during the day. You can even store it and then reheat just before consuming it. You can add some honey and lemon juice for a good taste before consuming it. All the ingredients are immunity boosters. Besides this Kadha will also stimulate digestion, detox the liver and your body.

Neem Chutney: Neem has a bitter taste but the leaves are a reservoir of goodness. Neem helps reduce inflammation in the body, improve liver health, cardiovascular health, eyesight, and basically just give your immune system a boost. Research also suggests that ayurvedic properties help in treating ailments like ulcers, skin diseases, and dental disorders. Wash the neem leaves thoroughly, crush it into a chutney paste and add jaggery, saunth and some honey to balance the bitter taste. Jaggery is a rich source of iron, zinc, and selenium. It’ll help with the bitter taste and help detoxify the body by aiding digestion. Honey is also known to have Vitamin C and anti-bacterial properties.

Coconut Oil: Consume coconut oil in your black coffee or alternate your cooking oil with it. This oil and its derivatives have a significant amount of Lauric acid which is known to have “antiviral properties”.  You can make a concoction or Kadha of herbs like Cinnamon, Ginger, Sage, Rosemary and add a tablespoon of coconut oil to it. Coconut oil is affordable and has enormous benefits.

Intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting or not eating anything for a minimum of 12-16 hours is very to help prevent infections from multiplying. Fasting enhances autophagy which means our immune system starts metabolizing damaged proteins in our body. It’s not only a great anti-aging method but also a great way to improve your health. Fasting gives our organs some resting time which thereby enhances their functional capacity.

(Watch Khushboo Jain explain how to boost your immunity)

Hot Beverages: Consuming hot beverages to stay hydrated will help you avoid constipation to prevent toxins from building up in your body. Keep sipping hot beverages like tea, coffee, Green tea, Dal soup, Tomato soup or just plain hot water as it will improve your digestive system and keep sinus issues at bay!

(By Khushboo Jain Founder, MadAboutWellness | Spas & Wellness Expert. Follow on Instagram -@khushboospas, www.khushboojain.co.in )

 

Supporting Your Immune System Is Simple

Supporting Your Immune System Is Simple

  • April 3, 2020

As the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, so is a lot of misinformation about how people can protect themselves. Predictably, the pandemic has energized brands and influencers hawking nutritional supplements and other products that they claim can give immune systems a quick and easy “boost” to ward off this coronavirus and the resulting disease, COVID-19.

Such marketing often exasperates immunologists, who stress that it’s not really possible to boost otherwise healthy immune systems, explains Sheena Cruickshank, an immunologist at the UK’s University of Manchester. Nor is that something you’d want, even if it were a possibility: when people develop severe forms of COVID-19, many experts believe it’s because their immune systems are spiraling into overdrive and overwhelming their bodies.

We just need the nuts and bolts of our immune machinery to work normally. People should strive to have a healthy baseline, says Lisa Gralinksi, a virologist who studies coronaviruses at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “If they do unfortunately get infected, they’ll be in the best possible situation to fight off this infection and stay healthy,” she says. Thankfully, there are some solid, science-backed ways to do that.

Get Moving

The first item on the list won’t surprise you: exercise. Studies overwhelmingly agree that people who exercise regularly are less likely to develop seasonal colds and flus, explains David Nieman, an exercise physiologist at the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University. For instance, in a 2011 study, Nieman and his colleagues tracked over 1,000 adults through the fall and winter and monitored whether they caught a cold and how many days they were sick. They found that those who were most physically active—doing at least 20 minutes of walking, cycling, or other exercise five or more times a week—reported 43 percent fewer sick days than those with largely sedentary lifestyles.

Muscle contractions increase blood flow and raise body temperature, which are both thought to mobilize immune cells that are usually tucked away in our spleens or lymph tissues. The group of immune cells that surge during and after short bouts of exercise, which include neutrophils and natural-killer cells, serve as our frontline defense against invading viruses.

It’s a transient effect, though, so regular exercise is important. (For people in locked-down parts of the world, there are a lot of options for at-home workouts.) 

However, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. After an hour or so of high-intensity exercise, the body starts to suffer from stress, which can impair immune function. Elite athletes across many disciplines can be particularly susceptible to falling ill, so don’t push yourself too hard. And obviously, for those who are already sick, that’s the time to rest, not exercise, Nieman adds.

Eat Whole Foods

The second step toward a happy immune system is eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. Since your grocery trips may be few and far between, it’s advisable to buy frozen fruits and veggies and more shelf-stable items, like apples, oranges, and sturdy greens, to hold you over until your next outing.

The emphasis here is on balanced, Cruickshank explains. Immunologists don’t know of any one food that does the trick. Not only does a diverse diet provide the vitamins and minerals that immune cells need to function normally, but it’s also good for the bacteria that live in the gut, which play an important role in keeping your immune system working properly, she adds. Do your best not to drink too much, either—alcohol is linked to poor immune function.

There’s little conclusive evidence that nutritional supplements like vitamins, iron, or zinc substantially improve immune function. A recent analysis of 25 clinical studies on vitamin D,​​​​ which included over 10,000 patients, did show that the vitamin has a modest effect in protecting against colds. But there was a lot of variation across studies: some showed no effect whatsoever, explains Adrian Martineau, an immunologist at Queen Mary University of London. It may only be useful to supplement if you are deficient in the vitamin

Generally speaking, if you’re getting enough vitamins from your diet, supplements are unlikely to help much, Nieman says. In previous research, he and his colleagues tried giving large doses of vitamin C and E supplements to elite athletes. Neither produced much of an improvement in immune function. “The body doesn’t work that way,” he explains. “I’d tell people to be very wary of any pill or capsule that contains something that supposedly will magically boost the immune system to do its job better.”

Give Your Brain a Break

Getting enough sleep could help, too. In research by Carnegie Mellon University professor Sheldon Cohen and others, people who got less than seven hours of sleep a night were more likely to develop a cold when the researchers exposed them to a cold-causing virus—a finding echoed by some other studies.

Managing stress may also be important. Another study of Cohen’s showed that those who reported more stress in their lives were more likely to develop cold symptoms. One reason for this effect is that the stress hormone cortisol can suppress certain parts of the immune system, Cruickshank says. She recommends simple practices like spending time in nature (if possible) and appreciating small things.

A lot of these habits are understandably difficult to maintain in the midst of a pandemic. And scientists aren’t entirely sure whether this advice will necessarily help against this particular coronavirus, since studies have largely focused on less harmful pathogens. However, many health professionals agree that following sane advice to keep our immune systems healthy—engaging in moderate exercise, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding stressing out—is probably our best bet. And that’s not a replacement for the stuff that can help stop COVID-19 from spreading: washing your hands, staying at home, and keeping up with the latest official advice.

Lead Photo: VeaVea/Stocksy

ICE reports COVID-19 cases among NJ detainees, lets 2 more go

ICE reports COVID-19 cases among NJ detainees, lets 2 more go

  • April 3, 2020

Two men with preexisting medical conditions have been released from custody by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, which confirmed more COVID-19 cases at New Jersey facilities.

Both men, who are fathers, were being detained at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark.

The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed an emergency motion in federal court on March 29 seeking their release.

According to the ACLU, the first man, who arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Russia over two decades ago, had open-heart surgery before entering detention and has diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The second man, also living illegally in New Jersey for more than a decade, has diabetes and high cholesterol and has been coughing up blood, the ACLU said.

Both men were released to follow the state-issued “Stay at Home” directive as of Wednesday, April 1.

By April 2, ICE had listed at least five cases of COVID-19 among detainees in New Jersey, and another two among ICE employees at facilities in NJ.

The most recent included a 33-year-old Dominican national and a 22-year-old Salvadoran national, both in custody at Hudson County Jail in Kearny, as well as a 40-year-old Salvadoran national in custody at Bergen County Jail.

That’s in addition to single confirmed cases at Bergen County Jail and in Essex County on March 24 and 26, respectively. The 31-year-old Mexican national was released from custody in Bergen County shortly after, according to county officials.

As of April 1, an ICE employee at the Elizabeth Contract Detention Facility in Union County and an ICE worker at the Hudson County Jail also had tested positive.

In a letter dated March 30, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J, asked that ICE “release non-violent detainees, who pose no public safety threat and those at high risk of getting severely sick” from the novel coronavirus.

“Reducing the number of those in detention is necessary to fight community spread of the virus and save lives,” Menendez said in his letter to the Acting Director of ICE and the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

On March 26, at least 10 detainees with underlying medical conditions were released from ICE custody in New Jersey under a separate court order.

In his letter, Menendez cited a report that of “38,000 detainees in ICE custody, more than ‘60% of those detainees,'” or 22,936 people, do not have criminal convictions.”

“Immigration detention should not be a death sentence, but for our clients, it almost certainly is,” ACLU National Prison Project senior staff attorney Eunice Cho said in a written statement. “It is unconscionable to keep people in civil detention under these circumstances.”

KEEP READING: See 25 natural ways to boost your immune system

can it boost the immune system?

can it boost the immune system?

  • April 3, 2020

Lemon juice, mosquito bites and blood donations? There are plenty of coronavirus health myths circulating online​, which ConfectioneryNews doesn’t wish to perpetuate in any shape or form, but there is case for cocoa right now to help boost the human body’s immune system.

Let’s be clear: cocoa is not a cure for coronavirus, The Covid-19 outbreak is a new illness and scientists are still assessing how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses tend to spread via cough and sneeze droplets. Only a vaccine can prevent people from getting sick and the World Health Organization says approximately 35 companies and academic institutions are racing to create such a vaccine.

However, in a 2015 medical study*, it was revealed that cocoa contains biologically active ingredients that have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, which includes an inhibitory effect on influenza virus infection.

The report’s conclusion: ‘Drinking cocoa activates natural immunity and enhances vaccination-induced immune response, providing stronger protection against influenza virus infection and disease onset’.

Dr Edward Ampofo of Ghana’s Cocoa Clinic has also claimed that cocoa does not only help to boost the immune system but equally helps to protect the human body against infection.

In a video posted on ghanaweb.com​, he explained that the immune functions of cocoa are mainly related to what he called its polyphenol content and methylxanthine-theobromine.

The immune system protects the body against germs and foreign materials​,” he explained, saying “it is made up of two components – innate and adaptive. The innate immune response is inborn or natural​.”

How Can Foods Boost the Immune System of Pancreatic Cancer Patients? – Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

How Can Foods Boost the Immune System of Pancreatic Cancer Patients? – Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

  • April 3, 2020
Purple grapes can be an immune-healthy food choice for pancreatic cancer patients

Dark-colored grapes can be a good source of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which can be components of an immune-healthy diet.

Editor’s note: Because of the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, we’re focusing this week’s Friday Fix on foods and behaviors that may be able to help boost your immune system.

Many people – especially those who may have weakened immune systems from diseases like pancreatic cancer or its treatment – are hoping to find ways to boost their immune systems right now. But, there is no single food that can strengthen someone’s immune function, according to Jeannine Mills, MS, RD, CSO, LD.

Mills, a clinical oncology dietitian at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and member of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) Scientific & Medical Advisory Board, added, “But, lack of calorie intake (and lack of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals) may depress immune function.

“Those who are malnourished may become more susceptible to infections.”

Mills also noted that the internet is full of myths and misconceptions about how food or components of food can impact the immune system. “More recently, sales in supplements (herbal, vitamins, minerals) have increased with COVID-19, although there is no evidence to support the use of supplements,” she said.

So, what can we do? Mills provided the following guidelines:

Incorporate a variety of foods into your diet. This is helpful, because varying nutrients (phytonutrients, natural antioxidants, vitamins and minerals) are available in whole foods.

  • These nutrients often work together to provide health benefits, as opposed to taking supplements that only provide a single type of nutrient at a time.

Keep your blood counts up. This is especially important for patients with pancreatic cancer who are currently on treatment, which may lower their white blood count or absolute neutrophil count, which are both important in fighting infections.

  • These patients and their caregivers should be particularly diligent (now more than ever) about practicing good hygiene, handwashing and safe food practices.
  • Safe food practices may include avoiding raw meat or raw eggs or consuming unpasteurized foods.
  • You do not need to avoid fresh fruit and vegetables, but it is advised that they are washed thoroughly – and thrown out if they appear moldy or bruised.

Get enough protein. Protein continues to be important for patients on treatment or following surgery as it provides the building blocks to support blood cells.

  • Some of the B vitamins, like vitamin B12 and folate, can also help with regards to supporting blood cells.
  • It’s important that you talk with your healthcare team before you consider starting to take any vitamin or mineral or supplement.

Limit trips to the grocery store. Under current restrictions, it’s best to purchase what you need for a week or two at a time.

  • Some foods can be safely frozen, like breads for three to six months, or milk, for up to three months.
  • Many frozen vegetables and fruit retain quality comparable to their fresh counterparts. Bananas can be frozen to add to fruit smoothies later.

Take good care of your overall health. General ways to take care of yourself – get good sleep, limit alcohol consumption, make sure to get activity or movement within or outside of the home – can also support immune function.

While there isn’t any one food to eat or behavior to adopt to boost your immune system, good nutritional choices can help keep your body healthy and strong. And during this time of uncertainty and fear, we can all help keep each other safe by following federal and regional regulations and restrictions and staying home when we can.

Contact a Patient Central Associate
Contact PanCAN’s Patient Central for comprehensive, free information and resources about pancreatic cancer, including diet and nutrition tips and ways to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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