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Ever since I wrote this article about Big Pharma shamelessly making profits off seniors and the disabled, I’ve been looking for all sorts of methods to keep myself away from this industry. Unfortunately, there are certain problems only medication can fix (but even this has been debated!) But that doesn’t mean you can’t try to keep the fat cats as far away from your pocket as possible.
In fact, all you need to do is adopt a few daily habits that will keep you healthy and in good shape without going through any diets, fitness frenzy or anything else that requires a lot of money and effort. I don’t know about you, but I like my life as it is and I don’t want to go out of my way to change it. But I would like to feel healthier and more energetic, especially since I’ve started to actually feel my age for a few years now.
So I looked around for some easy (and affordable!) ways to keep myself independent from Big Pharma and here’s the 5 methods that I’ve decided to try:
#1: Wash Your Hands Frequently
You wouldn’t believe how many germs you ingest simply by not washing your hands often enough. And I’m not talking about the regular “wash your hands before dinner”. I’m referring to other habits that you might not even know can transmit infection – for example touching your eye after touching a door handle that was just handled by someone with flu….
You might want to wash your hands after working on your computer. You may not be aware of this, but your keyboard can be one of the dirtiest things in your home – many people hardly ever clean them. Also, you should wash after cleaning around the house, too, even if you use detergents and other cleaning products. Include washing dishes in this category, as well.
Long story short, just wash your hands often. You don’t need to become obsessed with disinfection. Don’t start spraying anti-bacterials all over the place, just keep your hands clean.
#2: Eat Healthy Food
No, that doesn’t mean you have to diet. You’re not a rabbit, you can’t feed off salad and tomatoes all the time, but you should include plentiful organic veggies, fruits and nuts in your meals and snacks every day. Including lots of healthy foods in your regular meals will nourish your body and boost your immune system.
Here’s a list of foods/herbs/spices for boosting immunity straight from NaturalNews:
Echinacea – Echinacea is a popular herb that has been identified to boost immunity. Combined with goldenseal, another herb, or enjoyed alone as tea, this member of the daisy family has been found to prevent and treat upper respiratory tract infections as well as the common cold. Note that echinacea should not be consumed over a long period but is more suited to short term immune boosting i.e. in case of colds/flu.
Ginseng – This herb has many varieties. The most commonly studied variety is Panax ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng. Its main active component, ginsenosides, has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Clinical research studies have demonstrated that it may improve immune and psychological functions as well as conditions related to diabetes.
Garlic – This spice has had a long history of medicinal value. In a recent study conducted by Dr. Ellen Tattelman, an assistant professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, New York, it was reconfirmed that garlic indeed has cardiovascular, anti-microbial and antineoplastic properties. It’s also a perfect spice to use when doing sauteed dishes.
Bell peppers– This pepper variety does not contain capsaicin, unlike its other feisty cousins. On the contrary, it is sweet and crunchy and contains the carotenoid lycopene which lowers the risk of cancer; beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A; and Zeaxanthin, known to prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.
Ginger – This herb has been shown to reduce inflammation, cardiovascular conditions, blood clots and cholesterol. In a study, researchers found that animal subjects given ginger extracts had a significant reduction in cholesterol and blood clotting qualities. Moreover, it has been observed to inhibit the behavior of genes connected with inflammation.
Turmeric – This spice contains curcumin, which has notable antioxidant properties. It also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and stomach soothing benefits. It reduces inflammation by stimulating the adrenal glands to increase the hormone that lessens inflammation. Animal studies on this herb have revealed that turmeric protects the liver from the adverse effects of alcohol and certain toxins. Turmeric also helps in digestive problems by stimulating bile flow.
Gingko Biloba – Gingko biloba’s leaves contain antioxidant compounds called bilobalides and ginkgolides that protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Moreover, it has also been found to protect against radiation. In a study using animal subjects, ginkgo was demonstrated to have protected the test subjects against radiation poisoning. The latest research also suggests that extracts of this herb can neutralize oxidizing agents and free radicals caused in the cells due to radiation, thus preventing cell death. In fact, NaturalNews recently reported that ginkgo extracts reduce brain damage by up to 50 percent.
Ganoderma (Reishi) – This is a bitter mushroom also known as reishi. It has long been a popular herb in Chinese medicine attributed to assisting in longevity and health. Further studies on this oriental herb reveal that it strengthens immunity and combats cancer. Moreover, it has antioxidant properties and provides relief from urinary tract infections.
Astragalus – Also from China, this herb stimulates the immune system and aids in digestion and adrenal gland functions. It is also a diuretic. The effectiveness of this herb is due to polysaccharides, saponins and flavonoids. It has also been taken to combat the common cold and flu. Its digestive health benefits demonstrate the lowering of stomach acidity, resulting to an increase in the body’s metabolic rates and the promotion of waste elimination.
Cat’s claw – This herb from Peru is commonly used for stomach problems. Recently, however, it is becoming known as an exceptional immune response stimulator that helps the body to fight off infections and degenerative diseases. It contains oxindole alkaloids enhancing the immune system’s capacity to engulf and destroy pathogens.
Stress is the #1 cause for getting sick, whether we’re talking about heart condition, cancer or a weak immune system.
Now, it’s very easy to say “Relax!”, but it’s very hard to disconnect from all the day-to-day problems and leave them behind. So here’s a little exercise that will help you start the day with a smile on your face and go to sleep feeling at ease.
Every morning when you wake up, open your window or go sit on the porch and breathe in deeply 20 times in a row. But here’s the catch: every time you breathe in, let the air gradually enter your lungs, by counting to 5. With every number you count, breathe in a bit more air, so when you get to 5, your lungs are completely filled.
Do the same when you breathe the air out. With every number you count, release more air, until your lungs need air again.
Repeat this exercise before going to bed, as well. It may seem silly when you read this, but trust me, it works like magic. You’ll feel like you’re floating.
#4: Move Your Body
You don’t need to go to the gym to keep your body fit. But you do need to exercise if you don’t want your life to evolve around painkillers and rheumatic relief gels later on. My advice is to take 3-4 fifteen-minute walks every day. This way, you take a recreational break once in a while and you don’t waste a lot of time.
It may not seem like much, but you’re going to see the difference after about two weeks. You’ll feel more relaxed, you’ll be full of energy, less tired and you’ll sleep like a baby. Your body will react very well to this new habit and you’ll feel the need to move more and get more things done by the end of the day.
#5: Spend some time in the sun
You don’t even need to walk, you can just sit on the porch in the morning or do some gardening or read the paper on a comfortable chair in your backyard. The whole point is to expose yourself to sunrays anytime between 8 and 11 am (don’t do it anywhere between 1 and 4 pm, though). This will help your Vitamin D levels increase and boost your body’s immune response.
Basically, you can make your body more resistant to colds and flu simply by enjoying some time in the sun, doing nothing. How great is that?
Note – this article is not medical advice nor a recommendation to self-diagnose or self-medicate.
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