A simple message showing that you care, can make your dear ones/someone healthier.
Some of us have been better able to cope with the social isolation brought to us by the travel and movement restrictions, than others. Perhaps you have found a way to uplift your mood and build a level of emotional resilience that has allowed you to see things through.
If this is the case, I’m happy for you, but that means the job is half done.
It’s our responsibility to reach out to others regularly, whether they are family, friends or co-workers, and make sure that they are not feeling the physical, mental and the obvious emotional struggles of loneliness.
Social interaction is so hard-wired in us that isolation tricks our body into thinking it’s in danger. When our brain senses that we are lonely, our nervous system activates the fight-or-flight response, and our immune system turns off some of our antiviral defences. To make things worse, in its quest to divert resources to deal with this perceived threat, our immune system turns on an inflammatory reaction that raises the risk of contracting innumerable ill-health conditions.
That’s why I’d like to encourage you to reach out to at least one person a day who you think would benefit from social contact. It just takes a voice message, a text, an email, an emoticon or a phone call to help people in our immediate social network to be less exposed and debilitated by the experience of loneliness.
I read somewhere that “lonely is not being alone; it’s the feeling that no one cares”.
Prove them wrong and show them that you care.
Always at the service of your wellbeing,
Vitamin D plays a vital role in bone maintenance and growth, but when it comes to other health conditions, like respiratory tract infections (e.g. COVID), the jury is still out.
Lately I have been hearing a lot of people sharing their tips about how to “boost” your immunity and, frankly, I’m a bit concerned. One frequent claim is that taking high or mega doses of vitamin C and D can help keep infections at bay. Let’s focus on Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine” vitamin because it’s produced by your body after you’ve been in the sun.
1.- Vitamin D is not a silver bullet. The crucial role of Vitamin D in bone maintenance and growth has strong evidence behind it, but when it comes to other health conditions, like respiratory tract infections (such as COVID), the evidence remains patchy. The jury is still out as to whether this vitamin helps prevent or fight these infections.
2.- More does not mean better, in fact, more can be worse. Too much Vitamin D can be toxic and in some cases even predispose you to painful kidney stones.
3.- Go natural. If you’re not getting a healthy amount of sun exposure, you can get Vitamin D from natural sources rather than supplements. Some foods rich in Vitamin D are salmon, tuna, sardines, milk, eggs and orange juice.
If you are taking vitamin D supplements, you probably don’t need more than 800 IU per day. Unless your doctor recommends it, avoid going beyond the safe upper limit of 4,000 IU.
Let’s stick to the evidence we have without making any rash decisions and put ourselves at unnecessary risk. Always consult a healthcare professional before making choices about supplements.
Always at the service of your wellbeing.
Ramp up your only defence against Covid-19: Your immune system
By now you must have read dozens of articles reminding you of the importance of getting restful sleep, exercising and eating a plant-based, whole-foods diet to build up your immune response in case you contract COVID-19 before the vaccine comes out next year.
I’d like to share with you additional suggestions that nicely build upon the traditional advice you’ve been exposed to.
1.- Tongue scraping.- Our mouth is the main gateway to our environment, so scraping the tongue daily removes the buildup of toxins and bacteria. Gently scrape your tongue back to front for up 14 strokes with a brass, silver or copper tongue scraper.
2.- Nigh-time steam inhalation.- Our nasal passages can trap infections, particularly when they are dry. Just before bedtime, practice steam inhalation by boiling water, covering your head and inhaling steam. After then inhalation, apply a couple drops eucalyptus oil or sesame oil.
3.- Add heating spices to your food.- Spices like garlic, chilli, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and ginger have shown to help combat inflammation and kill harmful bacteria. These spices are also used to treat nausea, headaches and autoimmune disorders.
We all need to ramp-up our efforts to build immunity, so hopefully, this advice will help.
The surprising welcomed repercussion of Covid-19
One of the positive things that came out of the confinement during the pandemic was witnessing the many people that have taken up exercise. Whilst I was cycling around the neighbourhood with my daughter during the weekend, we saw young and older couples, families and individuals of all ages either running, power walking, cycling or just going for a long stroll.
We could tell by the disparate levels of fitness and some other tell-tell signs, between those who were reconnecting with their exercise routine and those have been at it for a while. Nevertheless, we were delighted that they had chosen to be physically active once again.
Science hasn’t really fully understood why exercise is good for us, but the data is compelling. There is a clear and evident inverse relationship between physical exercise and the manifestation of disease, meaning that the more regularly we exercise, the less prone we are to illness.
Knowing that the people we ran into over the weekend will boost their immune system, get better sleep, keep their weight in check, improve their mood and access natural energy as a result of their investment in exercise, was really a much needed refreshing thought.
You have experienced this situation before. You wake up in the middle of the night, and you desperately want to go back to sleep. “I’ve got a full-on day tomorrow, and I need all the rest that I can get”, you anxiously remind yourself. You toss and turn hoping that you will transition into a deep slumber, only to realise that it’s just wishful thinking. You have been through this before, so you know that deep sleep will be hard to come by anytime soon or it may not come at all. (more…)
The question of whether we should be taking vitamins and mineral supplements to improve our health and wellbeing is still frequently asked, and the answer is really not that complicated.
First and foremost, sourcing your micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) intake from your diet should be your priority. Eating a variety of different foods, preferably plant-based (fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grain cereal & legumes) every day, is, by and large, the best nutritional tactic.
However, in spite of our best intentions, eating a healthy diet doesn’t guarantee that we will get the recommended daily intake of every micronutrient that we need. There are many reasons behind this potential deficit, and in this article, I will focus one: where you source your food.
Depending on where you live, the vegetables you are buying from your local shop might have been grown on soil that lacks certain minerals. The quality of the soil will vary depending on the geographical area where the land is located, farming practices and soil management to name a few influential factors.
For instance, I recently learned that the soil where I source my vegetables from is deficient in selenium, which is an essential nutrient that supports our reproductive function, DNA production, thyroid gland function and immune system. Although I thought that I was getting my recommended daily dosage of selenium every day through my selenium-rich diet (spinach, lentils, mushrooms, beans, etc.), I apparently wasn’t.
To correct this imbalance, I can always go to the supermarket and buy my vegetables from other producers from around the world, but how do I know for sure that the soil those vegetables where grow in contain the minerals I need? Even if their farming practices and soil management are of the highest standards, selenium may exist in that soil in a form that is either absorbed by plants with difficulty or unavailable to plants altogether.
Selenium has been shown to be a powerful antioxidant that helps defend the body from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease, so if I’m unsure as to whether I’m getting the full amount, what are the options?
I have spoken with many different scientific experts that agree with a large number of scientists in the nutrition community. They support the idea of taking multivitamin & multimineral tablets as an insurance policy against potential nutritional gaps. So if a medical doctor hasn’t advised you against taking multivitamin & multimineral supplements, then I think you should play it safe and consider supplementing your healthy diet with high-quality supplements.
1.-Eat a variety of different foods, preferably plant-based (fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grain cereal & legumes) every day to maximise your natural intake of micronutrients.
2.-Make sure that a medical doctor has not advised you against taking multivitamin & multimineral supplements before you start supplementing your diet.
3.-Taking supplements don’t give you the freedom to embark on an unhealthy diet. It would be best if you still ate as healthy as you can.
4.-Multivitamin & multimineral supplements vary in quality. Do your research and find reliable manufacturers you can trust.