Food That Protects You From the Flu, the Sun, and Kidney Problems
Eating the Right Way to Avoid the Flu
The flu, or influenza, is a viral infection that is very contagious. Like colds, some symptoms include coughing, sneezing, stuffed nasal passages, and a sore throat. Other symptoms of the flu include headaches, muscle and joint pain, lethargy, fever, and a loss of appetite.
If you have fallen victim to the flu, it is important to eat. When you are sick, your body may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals. When you do not eat right, it will take you longer to recover. Eating the right types of food during cold and flu season will help speed up your recovery. You may avoid getting sick in the first place if you include these foods in your daily diet.
The first thing you have to do is see if you are getting enough vitamin D. One of the major reasons why people get sick is that they are deficient in vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D makes people more susceptible to catching the flu. Sunlight is an excellent source of this vitamin. Just by taking a fifteen-minute walk a day during the day or working in the garden, you build up the vitamin D in your body and reduce the risk of getting sick. However, during winter months, people prefer to stay indoors where it is warm. When they do this, they are opening up a can of worms since they are not exposing their bodies to sunlight. Usually, colds and the flu are more common during these months. One type of food to keep on hand includes oily fish. Major sources of vitamin D include:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if eggs are included. Just one egg gives you ten percent of your daily requirement of this vitamin.
Many herbs contain healing properties that are effective in treating upper respiratory infections. One herb is echinacea, which was used by Native Americans as an effective medicinal herb. Another herb is elderflower which is helpful in clearing sinuses. Ginger is an effective pain fighter and helps relieve you of nausea. Garlic contains antiviral properties and is an excellent infection fighter. These and many other flu-fighting herbs can be found as a tea in your local grocery store. You can even brew your own teas.
You need to make sure that you are getting enough vitamin C in your daily diet. Since this vitamin is water soluble, your body cannot store it. If you go one day without this vitamin, you can easily catch the flu. The following fruits and vegetables are high in this vitamin:
- Bell peppers
If you are not sure if you are getting enough vitamin C, you can always take it as a supplement. These can be purchased at your local pharmacy. Just one a day gives you more than the daily recommended allowance.
The above foods are just a few of the many flu-fighting foods. Always remember to eat right so you can avoid getting sick. Talk to you doctor about your eating plan and follow their recommendations for getting a flu vaccination.
Food Groups That Protect You From UV Radiation
As mentioned before, exposing yourself to sunlight helps build up the amount of vitamin D in your body. This vitamin is important for the overall health of your body. However, ultraviolet rays can cause damage as well if you are not careful. They can cause sunburns and skin cancer. They can cause you to become dehydrated which can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. They can cause eye damage which can lead to cataracts and, in some cases, blindness. So, if you want to be in the sunlight to build up your vitamin D or if you just enjoy being outdoors, there are things you can do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. Sunscreen, wearing a hat, and drinking plenty of water helps. However, there are certain food groups that will protect you as well.
The first thing you have to know about is there is a battle going on within your cells. Sometimes your body has damaged cells in your body. These are free radicals and they attack the healthy cells in your body and cause the healthy ones to become damaged. This can lead to a wide variety of diseases. There are foods that contain antioxidants. These fight against the free radicals and help protect the healthy cells and destroy the damaged ones.
Lutein is an excellent mineral that protects vision, especially when you get older. This includes preventing macular degeneration from occurring. This also helps slow down the aging process in skin. Food that contains lutein is excellent to eat if you want to prevent wrinkles and age spots. Foods that contain this include:
- Green, leafy vegetables
Selenium is another important mineral that helps the antioxidants to work within your body. It is excellent in protecting your skin from the harmful effect of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Foods that contain this mineral include:
- Dairy products
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Whole grain cereals
Flavonoids are very powerful antioxidants. They can be found in high quantities in major sources of food. These include many herbs and spices as well as:
- Leaf vegetables
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
Food that contains essential fatty acids, such as omega 3 and 6, help protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun. Since your body does not naturally produce this, you will need to consume it daily either as a supplement or eating food such as:
- Oily fish
- Flaxseed oil
- Grape seed oil
- Canola oil
- Olive oil
- Chia Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Green, leafy vegetables
Many of these above foods are also major sources of vitamin E, which we need for healthy skin. This vitamin helps protect your skin cells from damage from sun exposure, sunburns and other things that attack your skin. When you go to the store to look for cosmetics, lotions, and creams, look for ones that contain this vitamin. Your skin absorbs this vitamin when it is applied.
By including the above foods in your daily diet, you can enjoy the sunlight without having to worry about whether you are getting too much exposure.
Herbs and Food for Liver Detox
Along with the heart, the liver is the most important organ of our bodies. This organ plays an important role in detoxifying your body by removing toxins from foods that you eat and helps clean your digestive system. It not only filters out toxins that are found in foods, it breaks down toxins we breath in-such as pollutants-and helps the body eliminate them.
The liver produces bile which helps clean and remove waste that builds up in your body. When your liver is not working the way it should be, toxins can build up in the body and can cause damage to other organs. This organ can be damaged from a variety of causes. This includes alcohol abuse, smoking, drug use, poor diet, and illness. Since there are little signs or symptoms that you have a damaged liver, you may not realize it. However, one sign may be evident is if you are overweight and you try diet and exercising and are unable to lose weight, especially if the extra weight is centered around your belly. This can be a sign of a liver damaged by fatty buildup. This organ is working harder to remove the toxins from your body. That is one of the reasons why, when you are older, your metabolism has slowed down considerably.
While the liver can function properly on its own to remove the toxins from the body, there are ways you can do to help this organ do its job. The first thing is to avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit it to one to two drinks a week. If you smoke, there are many smoking cessation aids available. If you take recreational drugs, there are many treatment centers that will help you quit. These are major steps to protecting your liver. There are also many herbs and foods you can include in your daily diet that can help with liver detox.
There are many herbs and spices that are excellent for liver detox. Each contains different health benefits and healing properties. If you use a certain herb to remove toxins from your body, you may be helping your body in other ways as well. Many are natural blood thinners where they are effective in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, therefore promoting heart health. Many are natural painkillers. Why go to the doctor or the pharmacy where all you may need can be found in your spice rack? They contain astringent and antiseptic properties which are excellent for a wide variety of skin conditions. They contain expectorant properties which are excellent in clearing up all sorts of respiratory conditions. The best detoxifying herbs include:
- Milk thistle
- Cayenne pepper
- Dandelion root
- Licorice root
There are many juice detox programs out there. All you need to do is conduct an online search and find them. Some require you to stick to vegetable and juice blends for a period of time ranging from a day up to two weeks. Many of these programs suggest not having solid food while doing the program. While this might work with some people, it may not work with you. You can still detox your liver without giving up on solid food. You just have to avoid fast food and junk food and stick to lean cuts of meat, low-fat dairy products and plenty fruits and vegetables. If you are not a big fan of vegetables, you can make delicious fruit/vegetable blends with a juice extractor such as a Nutri Bullet. Just two blends a day not only will help detox your liver but will also do wonders for your heart.
While any type of fresh fruit is excellent in detoxifying your liver, citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes work the best. The best vegetables to include are:
- Brussels sprouts
Avoid fast food and junk food. It is best to eat foods that are organic. They may cost more money but they will be free from pesticides.
Do away with the carbonated soft drinks and switch to water. Drinking eight glasses of water a day will work wonders on flushing out the toxins. If you want some flavor, add a teaspoon of lemon juice. With the herbs that are mentioned above, you can find them as teas at your local grocery or health food store.
The Healthy Kitchen lists many herbs, spices, and foods. Many of these are excellent for liver detox. Enjoy the health benefits of each. However, some herbs have to be used with caution especially if you are allergic to certain plants, are on blood thinners or are pregnant or nursing.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2017 Lois Ryan