Tag Archives: immunity

Sugar Coated Excuses

Sugar Coated Excuses

What’s the excuse that goes through your head when you oh so very much want that sugary sweet? Typically, it’s something along the lines of “It’s only ___ calories” “I’ll just do another __ minutes of cardio”. Let me tell you something- sweets aren’t just about the calories. I’m sure most of you can’t say that when you’re reaching for that cookie, you’re thinking “this could make my skin look worse over the next few days”. Or “this cookie is actually going to deplete my body of some of the nutrients I gave it earlier today” or “if I make this a habit, this sugar is actually going to AGE me and give me premature wrinkles” or “my immunity is going to take a slight hit simply because of this here cookie!”. Nah, it’s all about the calories in this calorie focused world. According to WedMD, a highly credible source, “Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing [sugar].” AskDrSears.com states “An overdose of sugar. Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of two- and-a-half 12-ounce cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.” “If the concentration of glucose in the blood goes beyond a certain concentration, the white blood cell’s 50-times vitamin C concentration can start to drop because of the large amount of glucose it’s pulling in as a substitute for vitamin C.” Sugar attacks the collagen and elastin in your skin as well as the protein fibers that keep skin firm and elastic. This, in turn, leads to premature wrinkles and sagging.
I’m not saying not to eat a cookie EVER, but maybe think twice before overindulging. Your waistline won’t be the only thing to benefit from it.

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Seasonal allergies and natural remedies

Ahhh summer’s finally here…sun is shinin, flowers are bloomin, grills are cookin, and noses are runnin. If you’re like the millions of other allergy sufferers out there, seasonal allergens can put quite the damper on your warm weather. Ready or not, they’re coming. And if you’re like me, meds are the last resort to recovery. Medication can temporarily ease your symptoms, but you eventually pay the price by taking them; figuratively and literally. Instead of helping your immune system build up a tolerance to the allergen, your body instead builds up a resistance to the medication. This means you’ll need larger and larger doses, until eventually your body isn’t even affected by the meds.

The definition of an allergic reaction is “an inappropriate response by the body’s immune system to a substance that is not normally harmful. [Allergens] all contain protein antigens that stimulate an antibody response. Histamine and other chemicals are released into the system, causing an inflammatory reaction.” Some people respond to these antigens and some lucky individuals don’t. For those of you noisy noses, we’ve got some at home cures.

You’ll be amazed by some of these natural allergy remedies that are just as good as the unnatural ones that come in a paper box.

Apple Cider Vinegar

What does this magic drink NOT do? From helping with weight loss to claims of killing cancer cells, it’s no surprise apple cider vinegar is known to help fight allergies. It’s said to help reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system. Just be careful, it is acidic and can be rough on your stomach if taken in excess. Add just a teaspoon to eight ounces of water. A little goes a long way. If you simply can’t stand the bitterness, sometimes a little bit of honey helps it to go down better.

Hair Products

Beauty really is pain in this case. Pollen is a sticky little sucker and hair spray, gel, and other hair products attract it. If you must use these products, just be sure to wash your hair before you hit the pillow at night so you don’t transfer the allergen to your pillowcase and bed sheets. Your hair may be an allergy issue, but don’t forget about your four legged friend’s either. Perhaps it’s not your pooch you’re allergic to. If you get sniffly around certain dogs just during the warm seasons, it may not be an allergy to animals, but rather the pollen and other allergens they’re carrying on their fur. Make sure to wipe Fido down when he comes into the house, and especially if he’s sharing the bed with you at night.

Summer hats and sunglasses outside wouldn’t hurt either. Aside from being fashionable and protection from harmful rays, these will help keep the allergens out of your hair and eyes.

Lemon Peel

Citrus Peels (lemon, lime, and orange skins) are natural antihistamines and an anti-inflammatory. It provides allergy relief within minutes and the Vitamin C is an extra boost for your immune system.

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint helps to clear up congestion, reduce inflammation, and even prevent infection with antibacterial properties. Plus, your breath gets to smell like Christmas in the middle of July. Echinacea can also be a great go-to drink during allergy season due to its immunity enhancing properties.

Spicy Foods

Speaking of appealing breath, spicy foods like wasabi, curry, hot peppers, and tabasco can help to fight off stuffy symptoms too. When your nose and eyes water after a spicy meal, there’s an actual chemical reaction going on. Capsaicin, an element found in these foods, helps your membranes to produce more mucus, causing natural drainage so those allergens can better find their way out.

Quercetin

A plant-derived compound called quercetin helps to stabilize mast cells, preventing them from releasing histamine. This element is known to contain anti-allergen, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties. It helps to clear your system of free radicals as well, which can cause cell damage as well as impair your immunity. Certain foods contain high amounts of quercetin, such as citrus fruits, apples, parsley, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and tomatoes.  It’s recommended to consume about 1,ooo mg a day to ward off allergies.

Hopefully in trying some of these natural cures, your allergy symptoms will lessen if not completely go away. Summertime will finally be spent for the things that make it so great, like water slides and barbecues instead of watery eyes and tissues. You couldn’t notice pollen if it hit you straight in the nose.

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