Subject: Top 20 Cold & Flu Busters for 2012-2013
Mitch Spinach’s Top
Cold and Flu Busters for 2012/2013
During the cold and flu season,
many kids (and adults) struggle with keeping their immune systems
strong and healthy. It’s estimated that 4 million Americans will
get sick every day this winter! Our busy work and school
schedules, after school activities, and errand running, often
leave our bodies vulnerable to those pesky germs and viruses
looking to wreak havoc on our immune system. While eating a whole
food plant-based diet with a colorful variety of fruits and
vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds and avoiding processed
foods/junk foods is always your best defense against colds and
disease, we've shared 20 additional tips and tricks to ensure
good health this season. These Mitch Spinach cold and flu busters
will undoubtedly help get you and your family through the season
without the need for packs of tissues and another round of
antibiotics. Using these tools and eating healthfully, my kids (8
and 7 years old) have never had more than a short-lived sniffle
and have never needed antibiotics, Tylenol, aspirin, ear
medications or ANY prescribed or over the counter pill. As
Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine!” So without further
ado, here is our top 20 cold and flu busters, which include
supplements, whole foods, drinks, and lifestyle reminders to pump
up our list of the ultimate cold and flu tips and tricks for
2012/2013. Many products listed here are sold in a variety of
health food brick and mortar and online stores. Simply Google the
names listed to get more information.
(Disclosure: Always consult your health care practitioner before taking any supplements. These suggestions are not to be construed as medical advice or diagnosing any conditions).
There can be no life without water. Dehydration can cause constipation, fatigue, digestive disorders, high and low blood pressure, respiratory problems, urinary infections and skin rashes, to name a few. Water regulates our body temperature, transports oxygen and nutrients to our cells, and assists in the process of digestion, metabolism and elimination. Make water more appealing to kids by cutting lemons, limes, cucumbers, berries etc and floating it into a clear water bottle. Water becomes instantly more appealing!
Long ago, garlic was revered for its healing abilities. It was used as a remedy for the digestive tract, skin, respiratory system and lots more. Mentioned in both the Bible and the Talmud, garlic was cultivated in the Middle East over 5,000 years ago and has been studied and reviewed countless times since then. Its use in China was first mentioned in A.D. 510, and Louis Pasteur studied it in 1858. Garlic has been noted for its numerous health benefits including cardiovascular support and antioxidant benefits as well. We love roasting garlic in the oven and spreading it over Mary’s Gone Crackers. Delicious!
Smoothies have become our family’s secret weapon. We make a big smoothie every morning, and it is amazing what you can pack in there! We regularly load the blender with kale, spinach, broccoli, goji berries, Amla powder, golden berries, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, carrots, apples, and mixed frozen berries. This is our base for the smoothies. If you are not familiar with these different ingredients send us an email or look back on old Facebook posts. Smoothies are so easy to make and as long as you sweeten them with ripe bananas, dates and berries, you and your kids will love them!
4. Herbal teas
Let’s face it, a warm cup of tea is soothing and relaxing. But don’t be fooled into thinking it can’t pump up your immune system. A comforting boost of tea is also loaded with beneficial phytochemicals and powerful antioxidants. We usually stick to green and white tea but it is important for your kids to consume the extra fluids so look for some fun kid varieties like Traditional Medicinals, Just for Kids tea. Please avoid adding sugar and other sweeteners in your tea. Remember, sugar and other sweeteners will lower your immune system!
5. Sovereign Silver
Sovereign Silver was a product recommended to us years ago by our pediatrician. We have found it to be a great immunity booster over the years. Since ancient times silver has been highly regarded as a versatile healing tool. In ancient Greece, Rome, Phoenicia, and Macedonia, silver was used extensively to control infections and spoilage. Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” taught that silver healed wounds and controlled disease. Around 400 B.C. he listed it as a singular treatment for ulcers “the flowers of silver alone, in the finest powder.” Herodotus describes how the King of Persia carried with him boiled water in silver flagons to prevent sickness. In 69 B.C., silver nitrate was described in the contemporary pharmacopoeia.
6. Sambu Guard (Elderberry extract)
Sambu Guard consists of wild grown elderberry juice concentrate, wild grown elder blossom extract, organic fresh-pressed Echinacea purpurea and vitamin C with acerola fruit powder. Elderberries not only give Sambu Guard its rich, delicious flavor, but provide a valuable mixture of flavonoids including quercetin, rutin and anthocyanins. This is a great immunity booster, great for scratchy throats and other typical systems of the common cold and flu
7. Iced Hibiscus Tea
I put this one separate from the warm teas because Hibiscus tea is great as a cold beverage to keep in the refrigerator at all times (especially during cold and flu season). A recent study of over 283 beverages found hibiscus tea to have the highest antioxidant content. Hibiscus tea is naturally sweet, kind of taste like fruit punch and kids love it!
8. Kids Wellness (Immune Formula)
Kids Wellness Immune Formula is an all-natural proprietary blend of organic and wild-crafted herbs and plants including: certified organic echinacea angustifolia root, certified organic echinacea purpurea root, certified organic goldenseal root, certified organic pau d'arco bark, certified organic burdock root, certified organic astragalus root, wild-crafted olive leaves in a base of palm glycerin. We have used this product successfully for years and it is recommended to take it at the beginning of symptoms such as cold, flu, fever, ear infections, viruses etc. and as a preventative when exposed to illness or when travelling.
9. Dr. Schulze Herbal Formulas
Dr. Schulze makes lots of great health promoting products that we have been using for years and he has successfully used in his clinic. All of his products are organic and wild harvested and full of potent combinations of whole foods and herbs. For the cold and flu season specifically check out Echinacea Plus, Cold and Flu Herbal Shot, and Super Foods Plus.
10. Mushrooms (New Chapter Lifeshield Immunity)
Even though they are a fungus, and not a real vegetable, mushrooms contain a variety of powerful phytochemicals and have been linked to decreased risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer according to some recent studies. Studies show that compounds found in mushrooms help to identify damaged and abnormal cells and remove them. Our kids love Portobello burgers and stuffed mushrooms but during the season you may want to try New Chapter’s mushroom immunity product called Lifeshield Immunity. Open up the capsules and drop it into your morning smoothie! This is a great immunity booster.
11. Fresh Squeezed Juice (We do not recommend children or anyone drinking store bought or bottled juice.)
Many juices are pasteurized and all bottled juices are no longer fresh and they are not loaded with vitamins and minerals (except the synthetic ones they fortify many juices with). Once a fruit is squeezed it starts losing nutrients almost immediately which is why drinking a bottled juice is simply a sugary drink virtually devoid of its nutrients. When you are fighting a cold or flu, make a glass of fresh squeezed orange, grapefruit, carrot or other juice (mixed with vegetable juice is great too) to boost the immune system. Just remember, consume your juice immediately upon squeezing to get the most potent surge of nutrients. Also, keep in mind that most popular store-bought “energy drinks” are loaded with sugar, artificial dyes, color and flavors that should be avoided for a healthy immune system.
12. Vegetable soups
Vegetable soups are great during the cold and flu season. Like smoothies, vegetable soups can be loaded with all kinds of immunity boosting greens, high protein beans and fun-shaped whole-wheat pasta that kids love. Consider sending a warm soup in a thermos for school or take it to work for an extra liquid meal loaded with cold and flu-busting nutrients sure to stave away winter bugs and viruses.
Chlorella is famous for providing a vast array of benefits while fighting numerous diseases and conditions. Chlorella is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C and E. Like most dark green veggies, chlorella is packed with highly beneficial magnesium, which improves blood sugar levels, heart health, mental health and relaxation to name a few. Chlorella also contains other important minerals like potassium, iron and calcium. Again, put a scoop in your morning smoothie and enjoy the amazing health benefits from this powerful whole food.
14. Avoid eating dairy and cheese
Dairy and cheese consumption can often create lots of congestion and sinus issues. We highly recommend limiting your dairy and cheese intake for a healthy flu season.
15. Regular hand washing
Many of the infections we receive during the cold and flu season come from us touching contaminated surfaces and then touching our eyes, nose or mouth. The simple act of washing your hands can dramatically cut down on viral infections.
16. Regular sunlight to manufacture natural Vitamin D.
Try to spend at least 20 minutes a day in natural sunlight exposing your skin as much as possible to the suns rays. Low vitamin D status has been associated with cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, cognitive decline, depression, diabetes, pregnancy complications, autoimmune diseases, and even a 78% increase in all-cause mortality risk. It is highly recommended to check your vitamin D levels and supplement if necessary.
17. Regular Exercise
Regular exercise can boost your circulation and immune strength. This exercise should be frequent and moderate. However, do not over-stress yourself at the gym, or your immune system can be temporarily compromised.
18. Effectively manage stress
Yale researchers found that stress doesn’t negatively affect our immune system. It is how we manage stress that determines a positive or negative response to stress. Effectively handled stress can build a powerful immune system. Watch funny movies, do some stretching or yoga, try deep breathing exercises or meditation, or get a therapeutic massage. Find outlets to manage your stress and you will create super immunity.
19. Homeopathic remedies
Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician in the early 1800s. Check your health food store for companies like Boiron when you are experiencing early signs and symptoms of colds and flus and many other common ailments.
Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat. Shoot for at least 8 hours a night and if that is difficult to accomplish during the week, try and play a little catch-up over the weekend. Kids especially need proper rest to grow and repair!
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